The demonization of women’s bodies has got to stop

Come on ladies, enough already! Can we call time on the demonization of each other’s bodies?

It seems to me that we’re slowly and belatedly moving towards acceptance of curvier, bigger, bodies. Granted, we’re not quite there yet, but in 2013, I regularly come across columns applauding women’s decisions not to give in to pressures to diet, and it’s (thankfully) not acceptable to openly criticize fuller figured women in a way it used to be.

But now that everyone has finally united in their disgust at Heat Magazine et al’s ‘circle of shame,’ that truly rotten game of encircling a funny looking ankle to say ‘ew,’ it seems that there is a new object of hatred; ‘fitspo,’ and athletic looking women.

‘Fitspo,’ short for ‘fitspiration,’ a (not very) genius play on words, generally involves incredibly toned women posting photographs of their abs on Instagram and marking them with the fitso hashtag. It’s one part showing off, and yes, fine, maybe you think these people are a bit annoying, but recently there has been a whole wash of hate-filled articles about them, but more specifically, about their bodies.

The problem almost certainly comes from some women’s use of the fitspo tag to question whether other ladies are doing enough to keep their bodies in a similar condition. Questions such as ‘what’s your excuse?’ undoubtedly get some people’s backs up, for quite often the ‘excuse,’ can be genetics, too much other shit to do, or a complete disinterest in spending hours down the gym.

I get all that, but I really dislike the way that that the critics have so broadly condemned these women for projecting a negative image of women, one that’s harmful to children who may perhaps feels that they can’t live up to that ideal. In penning so many of these pieces, they’re just opening up the female body to criticism once again, and that’s what is harmful to children, the constant, never-ending discussion about what’s wrong and right.

The endless tearing apart of other women’s bodies has to stop. Where’s the solidarity here? Why does this continue to happen? The next generation of children shouldn’t need to justify what kind of body they have; they shouldn’t need to give it a thought. A woman’s body is hers, and hers alone. There is no ‘wrong’ body, there are just bodies; not wrong, not to be hated, in fact, ideally, not even to be discussed.

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