At Fangirlish, we love when women support women. Unfortunately, it’s not as common as we would like due to this age-old mentality of us versus them. And it’s come to a point where sometimes we even have trouble finding women on TV shows that are friends because rivalry is the name of the game. So it’s even more disappointing when you’re just minding your business and you stumble across women actually tearing each other down. Like they have with Ashley Graham.
In case you haven’t been following, Graham is a model, and she’s been getting a lot of backlash on social media for… not being the societal standard of what a body should look like in 2022 aka thin/petite. Yes, you read that right. Not being thin. And the sad thing is that the hate and hurtful comments she’s getting are coming from women bashing her. Some are saying things like “Studies show stressed-out men prefer fat women like Ashley Graham” and “the fat positivity movement is getting out of hand.”
And no, we will not be sharing their tweets and hate here.
The fact remains that not all women are size two or four. And if you are a size two or four, that’s absolutely fine, too. This isn’t about what size you are, especially when it’s a useless number that the fashion industry uses to shame and divide us. But it’s about how we shouldn’t tear down others as a means of lifting ourselves up. And what’s wrong with Ashley’s photos helping inspire people who aren’t a size two to feel good about themselves? Nothing. So why waste your time trashing Ashley Graham, in turn making women like her feel bad about themselves?
There’s absolutely no reason to fat shame.
Some might (and have) argued that women who are overweight are not healthy. Well, that’s between that person and their doctor. So unless you’re a doctor, you probably shouldn’t be giving medical/diet/exercise advice anyway. Even then, the body mass index that “helps” to determine if your weight accurately determines your health was created in the 1830’s and has been deemed “fairly useless when looking at the individual” by The New York Times.
Luckily, Ashley seems to be taking this continued criticism of her body and the way she chooses to live in this life in stride. She posted a picture on her Twitter account of herself looking fabulous and encouraged others to post pictures of themselves as well.
Important Notes to Remember
Personally, we think she’s gorgeous. Furthermore, she’s talented. And the fact that she is using her time to spread body positivity is admirable. That doesn’t mean that she is free from criticism. There have been conversations online about her “racist family” when she was introducing her husband to them, how some wish she would use her platform to open doors for women of color who are also in the body positivity space, and how her being White changes the lenses that her body positivity is seen through.
These are all valid criticisms and conversations to have when it comes to those around us. Talk about it. Learn from it. See how you can change things. But in no way should we be using Ashley Graham’s weight or size as a means of tearing her down or dismissing the positive impact she has on other women. We should all want to make others feel good about themselves. We should all want to support each other. And as women or women-identifying people, it’s our job to stand up for each other and hold each other accountable when we can do better.