The Plus-Size Swimsuit Model Meme That's Making Me Sick...But Doesn't Surprise Me One Bit
An image of plus size model posing in a swimsuit has sparked controversy in the cyber-sphere because of disparaging captions created by anonymous users. Just when I thought I couldn't lose any more faith in humanity.
BuzzFeed provides a comprehensive list of the offending captions, but the ones below irked me the most.
1. “Has big boobs....trade off”. When I read this one, I grimaced. Not only does this remark reduce all women to their secondary reproductive organs but it particularly offends full-figured women and presents their curves as the only redeeming feature about them. It's not about her personality nor her biting wit. Hell, it's not even enough to satisfy these pigs that she's gorgeous. No. Boobs are her only saving grace.
2. “She will fuck you....for a pizza”. I saw red when I saw this one and it had nothing to do with the tangerine onesy in the background playing tricks on my iris. This misogynistic caption assumes that women can be bought in the first place. It further insinuates that full-figured women are as starved morally as they obviously are for self-esteem. So, of course, they are more likely to be promiscuous and can be manipulated by offers as base as cheap take-out. Cue eye roll.
3. “Knows a small group of men like the way she looks. Stays looking the way she looks because she’s happy with her body”. I took issue with this statement on two fronts. First, who is to say that only a marginal group of men can appreciate a woman with curves? Beautiful is beautiful, regardless of body measurements. It unnerves me that the beauty of full-figured women is invalidated simply because they aren't a size 2. Wake up, people. The average woman in the U.S. isn't. Secondly, who the hell are these anony-nobodies to suggest that a woman should be anything less than happy with her body? The last time I checked, it was her body. The fact that people have the audacity to even judge someone else's physical appearance to such a gross extent is despicable—then again, I guess that's the power of Internet anonymity. Cowards may gather a sense of empowerment from down-talking others.
Honestly, the flack from the image isn't surprising to me. Whenever a woman reveals any aspect of herself online, from a dissenting opinion to her body, she makes herself highly visible and subject to scrutiny. Even so, it's still disgusting to me the barrage of misogyny and fat-shaming from online users. Come on, people. Do better.