Body Image: It Doesn’t Matter What Size You Are…Stop the Body Snark

Today’s blog post was supposed to be a lingerie gift guide. After all, it’s the holidays, and I wanted to share some of my fave picks under $100 with you.  But something happened over the weekend. Something that’s been happening a lot more often in the last few months. It’s something I just can’t keep silent about anymore because I find it disturbing, hypocritical, and just plain wrong. And quite frankly, it’s something that makes me really upset.

In case you’re a new reader, The Lingerie Addict is a body positive blog and one of our missions is to promote body positivity. For us, that means every woman–no matter her size, shape, age, or skin color–is beautiful. And it also means that every woman–no matter her size, shape, age, or skin color–deserves gorgeous lingerie. Put simply: I don’t care if you’re tall, short, thin, curvy, plus size, petite, mature, young, muscular, slim, all of the above, or none of the above, we think your body is fine as is and you don’t need to change it…especially not on the whims of internet strangers.

(You may also like: Real Women, Real Bodies: Why the Lingerie Industry Has a Real Problem)

But lately, I’ve seen some people take the exact opposite approach. Namely, that if they’re curvy, full busted, or plus size then it is perfectly okay to mock, taunt, degrade, and insult thin, small busted, or petite women.

How in the world is that acceptable?

Now, I know some folks are probably saying, “Why are you defending them? Thin women have had it good for too long! Now it’s our turn!” But if it’s wrong to call a curvy woman a “fattie” and tell her that she needs to go on a diet, then it is just as wrong to call a thin woman a ‘pre-pubescent boy” and tell her she needs to eat a cheeseburger (both comments I’ve seen on recent blogs). Insulting other people’s bodies doesn’t suddenly become okay because you have larger boobs or wider hips.

Here’s the facts: struggles with body image and self-esteem issues are not the exclusive property of one size. Every woman is told again and again from puberty onward about all the many, many reasons why her body is defective, inadequate, and imperfect. We are presented with dozens of messages every single day about what we need to do to make our bodies “better,” even when they’re perfectly all right. I just don’t understand why someone, anyone, would want to contribute to that dialogue…especially if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of hurtful comments about your body in the past (and who hasn’t?).

Just to be clear, I don’t care what you find sexy. Some folks like big butts. Some folks like small butts. Some folks like big boobs. Some folks like small boobs. Some folks like flat tummies. Some folks like soft tummies. That’s not the point. Your preference is your preference and whatever gets your juices flowing is good for you.  But just because you like big butts or big boobs or soft tummies  doesn’t mean all the other women of the world have the “wrong” body and need to change it to suit you.

(You may also like: Why Doesn’t the Lingerie Industry Like Women of Color?)

But what about health, Treacle?,” someone is probably saying. “Being too thin is unhealthy, and I’m just telling them to eat a cheeseburger because I care.” Really? Here’s my response to that:

1) Just like some people are naturally thicker than others, some people are naturally thinner than others. It doesn’t matter what they do or how much they eat, they will always be on the thin side. That doesn’t automatically make them unhealthy, but trying force themselves into a body type that isn’t theirs probably will.

2) There’s a huge difference between someone being unhealthily thin and someone being thinner than what you personally find attractive. Case in point, I posted this photo to The Lingerie Addict Facebook Page a few months ago:

One of the very first comments was that I needed to gain 10 pounds. Now, in that photo, I’m 5’8″ and 155 lbs (I’m around 170 lbs. now, as seen in this recent photo). I was a graduate student and an active martial artist. I worked out 5 days a week, probably ate around 3,000 calories per day, and was literally in the best shape of my life. Yet someone looked at that photo, and without knowing anything else about me, my health, or my weight, that person made the snap judgment that I needed to gain 10 lbs. That judgment had nothing to do with reality and everything to do with that person’s own preferences.

3) No one has ever been cured of an eating disorder by being told to eat a cheeseburger. If someone is unhealthily thin, the last thing they need is more commentary about their shape, size, or weight. In fact, negative remarks about their body are guaranteed to do more harm than good. If you are worried that someone has an eating disorder, the right thing to do is be supportive, empathetic, and refer them to the appropriate resources, not to make snarky remarks about their weight.

Respect for people’s bodies goes both ways. It is hypocritical to ask people to respect and embrace your body type if you’re mocking and making fun of other people’s body types.

Women come in all shapes and sizes. We’re all beautiful. We’re all real. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a size 6 or a size 16. If you’re for body positivity, then be for body positivity…even when those bodies aren’t shaped like yours. Otherwise, you’re just singing the same old song. And I’m really not interested in hearing it again.

134 Comments

  1. 04/12/11 at 16:53

    Couldn’t agree more. Thank you Treacle for saying what needed to be said!

    • Treacle
      04/12/11 at 18:11

      Thanks for the comment, Karolina! Happy to hear that you agree.

  2. 04/12/11 at 17:10

    Thank you so much for writing this, Treacle. I feel like there is so much hate and critique out there, which is so unnecessary. Criticizing people’s bodies is never acceptable, even for the reason of “health”. Women’s bodies are their business not yours. There are so many types of beauty– stop putting people down.

    • Treacle
      04/12/11 at 18:15

      Exactly! This is so on point. Why would anyone want to add to all the bad body talk? Beauty and health doesn’t just have one size, shape, and body type.

  3. 04/12/11 at 17:39

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for publishing this!

    Body snark is about perpetuating a horrible cycle that most of us learned from media outlets, relationships, and quite frankly, our families. I love what you say about eating disorders, and that “just eat a cheeseburger” has never solved anything. On the flip side, a plus size woman I know commented the other day that whenever anyone told her she should lose weight it just made her want to eat even more. Judging other people’s weight/body type has never helped anyone.

    I hope people take this article to heart, but I worry that to really change these attitudes we have to start learning better when we’re young. We need to teach our kids that all women are real women, and the media needs to represent women of all colors, shapes, and sizes. We also need to be taught to be happy in our own skin, so to speak.

    I’m 5’4″, a size10/12, and weigh around 170 pounds. I literally cannot remember a conversation with my parents since I went to college that didn’t involve my weight somehow. My parents have tried threatening me, insulting me, and outright bribery to get me to lose weight. I’m quite happy with my body, but it matters enough to me that I still dread holidays to the point where I get sick. My experiences are not unique, and are shared by most women in one way or another.

    Thank you for contributing to the conversation in such a positive and logical way. The more of that we get, the better we all will feel about our bodies.

    • Treacle
      04/12/11 at 18:22

      Yes, yes, yes! So much truth here. All these remarks around our bodies start when we’re so young and they’re inescapable. And like you said, those remarks don’t help; they leave physical and psychological scars that don’t go away. Thank you for leaving this comment.

  4. 04/12/11 at 17:51

    Lets face it. Media and runways have been telling women for years and years that we should be thiner and have more boobs and a big etc. I have to recognise that for a while I was influenced by those canons. But not anymore. If I dont accept myself as I am nobody will do. So thank you so much for this post because we should be prefectly happy with what we have :)
    Xoxo

    • Treacle
      04/12/11 at 18:26

      100% agree. I spent a large part of high school thinking I was overweight because I had a muscular build and muscle just weighs more. It wasn’t until I had a serious heart-to-heart with my Mom (who also has a muscular build) that I realized my weight was perfectly normal for my body. I’m lucky because I worked out my body image issue as a young age, but so many women don’t. Like you said, the media won’t tell us that we’re okay; we have to do that for ourselves. Thank you for leaving this comment.

  5. 04/12/11 at 18:14

    Treacle, as you know I fully agree with this. So glad you addressed this in blog form. I really enjoyed it. Here here! Xx

    • Treacle
      04/12/11 at 18:26

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Cheryl. Glad you like the post! :)

      • 04/12/11 at 18:29

        I’ve seen some truly shocking things said on the internet, mags etc said about bigger and thinner bodies, ages etc. Hope some day we can draw a line under it all one and for all. X

  6. bubblesarah
    04/12/11 at 18:36

    I’m a bigger busted woman I have been since I was 16. I have pleanyty of comments for it.
    Everyone is beautiful no matter what and I believe that.

    • Treacle
      04/12/11 at 20:45

      I believe that too. Thank you for leaving this comment. :)

  7. Stephanie
    04/12/11 at 19:11

    I’ve had my own struggles with my curvy body and self acceptance and it wasn’t something I wanted for my daughters so I was careful what I said and what behavior I modeled. I’ve always stressed health over size. Needless to say, it broke my heart when my 12 year old daughter, who has her father’s slim build instead of my curvy one, said “I’m ugly. I’m not pretty like you.”. Somehow, the body hate got to my girls anyway.

    I don’t want that for yet another generation.

    Love your body. Love everyone else’s body. We all only get one.

    • Treacle
      04/12/11 at 20:47

      This story was so touching. I don’t have any daughters, but if I do, I want to model the same behaviors for them. It’s not about what dress size you wear…it’s about being healthy and happy.

  8. JC Gates
    04/12/11 at 19:18

    *applauds* Well said! I admit I do worry for their health when I see models so thin that you can count the vertebrae or so big they have rolls on their ankles, but aside from that, women’s bodies are made in infinite and wonderful variety and I think we all have a right to embrace our beauty and praise the beauty of others. Who cares if you are big or small, short or tall, fat or thin, muscular or frail-looking. If a woman is healthy and happy that ought to be all that matters!

    • Treacle
      04/12/11 at 20:47

      Spot on. Happy and healthy is what matters…and that’s on either side of the continuum.

  9. Such an important post Treacle. Making yourself feel better about your shape by making someone else feel bad about theirs is a hollow satisfaction. For decades women have fought to be recognized politically and socially for more than their bodies (a practice perpetuated by men) let’s not undo this progression by turning on each other and judging our fellow women based on looks. We are beautiful, diverse and complex beings who deserve to celebrate ourselves and each other. This truly is the time for female solidarity. xx

    • Treacle
      04/12/11 at 20:49

      Love this sentence: “We are beautiful, diverse and complex beings who deserve to celebrate ourselves and each other.” Thank you so much for sharing it here.

  10. Miss V
    04/12/11 at 20:01

    Treacle,

    What a wonderful post. It makes sense to me that people who have been on the receiving end of taunts or criticism want to give it back – but that does not break the cycle. It just perpetuates it. What you say about body positivity breaks that cycle. That is why it is so important to hear the message.
    I have been greatly enjoying your blog and the many pictures of different sized women. Keep doing what you’re doing. We need to hear this. Again and again.

    Thank you.

    V

    • Treacle
      04/12/11 at 20:51

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, Miss V! I completely agree. It’s so easy to lash out when we’ve been hurt but, like you said, it does nothing to undo what caused that hurt in the first place. I don’t want to be a part of that cycle or promote that mindset, and it’s why I felt compelled to write this piece.

  11. Alicia
    04/12/11 at 20:27

    I am so glad you wrote this post Treacle! Sometimes when people comment on my over all smallness I feel like commenting on their overall largeness, so that they can see how it feels, because to comment on someone’s smallness is somehow not considered rude. But it SO is. I also do not like the assumption that people with small figures are happy and have it lucky. That is wrong again! I might be small but my butt is larger than the rest of me, and oh how I’d love to have larger boobs!

    A change of attitude needs to happen (from both sides of the table)

    Thank you again! X

    • Treacle
      04/12/11 at 20:52

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, Alicia! It’s so interesting…women with thicker bodies often want thinner bodies; women with thinner bodies often want thicker bodies. There’s so much more happening here than just the numbers on a scale or the letters on your bra band.

  12. Mona
    04/12/11 at 21:25

    Treacle, you’re my hero.
    That is all.

    • Treacle
      04/12/11 at 23:30

      Thank you, Mona. That’s so kind of you to say. I’m glad you’re here. :)

  13. 04/12/11 at 23:34

    I have been size 18 on a 5’8″ frame and weighed 150 pounds on a 5’8″ frame. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this post. All to often in an attempt to accept a larger size, some ladies make comments about other women looking likes sticks. Not cool. All women should work it!

    • Treacle
      05/12/11 at 14:52

      Totally agree. All women should work it. Thanks for leaving this comment. :)

  14. 05/12/11 at 0:10

    Thank you so much for speaking out on this! It’s something I’ve noticed that gets worse and worse these days.

    Nothing stops any woman from being real – if she is short, tall, big, small – we are all real we all have the same rude bits!!

    I’m a plus size model myself and I’m an Australia 14/16 I’ve been mocked even at this size for not being big enough it’s crazy!

    Being healthy is all that matters in the end. Thank you for this post.

    • Treacle
      05/12/11 at 14:53

      Thanks for stopping by, Teer! I don’t even know what “big enough” means…who gets to decide when someone is big enough, small enough, in-between enough? It’s just ridiculous. And divisive. Thanks for leaving this comment.

    • Lily C
      17/04/12 at 7:42

      I cried when I read this. Im 5 foot tall and very slim. Someone once told me a fat boy had more cleavage than me thinking that was funny. I get tired of being told Im not a woman because I dont have boobs. And clothes shop women can be the worst. Thank you for writing this. I feel better about myself.

  15. Sannie
    05/12/11 at 0:15

    Great article. I am so going to show it to my lovely thin friend. Thin people also get way to much body snark, but no one ever talks about it. It could come from worry about thin people or from jealousy, either way it is wrong. Thank you for opening up a conversation about this Treacle. Every woman is beautifull as they are, and luckely there is lingerie out there for every size too ;)

    • Treacle
      05/12/11 at 14:55

      Right on, Sannie! So long as you love lingerie, then you’re OK by me. Thanks for leaving this comment.

  16. Evette Nixon
    05/12/11 at 0:53

    Thank you Treacle for posting this article. Every time I see or hear someone snarking about someone else’s figure, I am passing this article you wrote along. That will be my mission. People need to stop this or we’ll have so many perfect corpses, that someone may while looking over them still criticize.

    • Treacle
      05/12/11 at 14:56

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Evette. You’re so right…I appreciate you leaving this comment.

  17. Robert
    05/12/11 at 1:37

    Thank-you so much! Great Post! People can be so hurtful at times…

    • Treacle
      05/12/11 at 14:56

      You’re right; they can be. But I have faith that if people realize how hurtful their words are, on both sides, they may be motivated to stop. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment.

  18. Claire
    05/12/11 at 5:29

    Thank you for this post, I love you for it and your attitude. I have been tiny I have been huge, I eat depending on what is happening in my life, and so snarky bitches telling me to eat more or less has always made me react negatively and either continue to seek comfort and eat more or continue to punish and eat less. I loathe when folks look at, say, Kelly Brook, and bitch that she has lost weight when she clearly could be having issues behind the scenes which we are not familiar with. I hate when models get hated on because they are thin – oftentimes they are healthy and just happen to be 14 years old and not filled out yet. I hate when anyone who has eaten more than usuall suddenly finds themselves on pregnancy watch. I most hate UK magazines trying to be “supportive” which usually is an attempt to sell more issues, by saying how great so and so looks now she is a size 14, and then the next page is a life endangering diet.

    So that’s what I hate, what I love is diversity, acceptance, rays of light shown by healthy attitudes like yours, I love sisterhood and solidarity and I love choice to be bigger or smaller, and freedom to be what god made us. I love that more and more little voices are making their views known as those views slowly and surely make their way into public consciousness through social media like Facebook.

    • Treacle
      05/12/11 at 14:58

      Oh my goodness…there is so much truth in this post! I 100% agree…all this body hate, snark, and commentary needs to stop because it just goes on and on and on and no one is ever “perfect.” Or happy. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment; I’m glad you liked the article.

  19. 05/12/11 at 5:35

    Preach it Treacle! I get so annoyed by snark from either party. She’s too thick now she’s too thin (as sung by Britney). It’s like how tabloids do it. When a celebrity is thin? EATING DISORDER, MEGA DIET, LIPOSUCTION. When a celebrity is curvy? BREAST IMPLANTS, BUTT LIFT. Always accusing, never pleased.

    I won’t be surprised if my latest youtube video gets comments about my chest (it’s happened in my old channel). I have A-cups and I wear a bikini, I don’t NEED breast implants.

    • Treacle
      05/12/11 at 15:02

      “Always accusing, never pleased.” Love the way you phrased that…it’s so true. Thanks for leaving this comment.

  20. 05/12/11 at 8:08

    Hi Treacle, I am a first time reader and came across your latest post and to be honest i was blown away. The media, will always be a culprit of influencing the way people think, mainly to be something negative (as it’s easier to get a reaction from people!) Nevertheless, with the promotion of inner beauty and acceptance it will over power media and social norms of thin is beautiful or curvy is fat. The most important message is to love the skin your in, as you only have one! Your post demonstrates this exceptionally well, and it just takes more people like you to help spread the word.

    Your honest and true words have captured me, and I can’t wait to see what you post next :)
    Fiona xx
    (brayola)

    • Treacle
      05/12/11 at 15:03

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment, Fiona! I hope you’ll visit us again. The Lingerie Addict really is about people loving themselves the way they are…and I don’t want to contribute to all the noise about how our bodies are inadequate or need “fixing.” I’m glad you appreciate that.

  21. 05/12/11 at 8:58

    wonderful article!

    It’s all about being healthy and I will never understand why girls have to make nasty comments at other girls, just to feel better.

    Thank you!

    • Treacle
      05/12/11 at 15:04

      You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by. I agree…let’s stop the nastiness. It’s just unnecessary.

  22. Dajovan
    05/12/11 at 9:59

    I am so happy you wrote on this. The negative comments usually come from one who despises oneself. Many people make negative comments about other women to make themselves feel better so on that piece I try not to take offense.

    I do believe that body perception starts at a young age. My daughter is 2 and 1/2 years old and since she has been born I bring her to the mirror every morning and tell her that she is beautiful. I also tell her that I am beautiful. She is biracial and I am Black. I want her to learn to love herself but also appreciate differences of others.

    I also try to limit the media use in our household. Many women in the media don’t look like she and I so why make her develop a complex? Treacle you are beautiful and whoever said that statement about you needing to gain ten pounds is obviously jealous. You have a very fit body and anyone can see that.

    I get rude comments since losing five dress sizes as well but we have to understand the type of people that these comments are coming from. It’s even good to laugh at it because they obviously are struggling with their own issues. :)

    • Treacle
      05/12/11 at 15:05

      What a wonderful thing to tell your daughter! I know from the way my parents raised me that it makes a difference, and it’s so important to pass on that mindset to our children. Thanks for leaving this comment.

  23. AlexaFaie
    05/12/11 at 10:43

    Very valid post. Its one thing to be concerned about someone’s health (whether underweight or overweight) but another to be downright rude about it. There are ways if you really feel you should comment about someone else that can be done in a positive and encouraging way. You can contact them privately and offer support if they mention they are struggling with weight issues (either way) and you can help them feel better about themselves. You can be concerned for them without being nasty and rude. Attacking the way someone looks never helps.

    I had a guy when I was in 6th form (I would have been 16 or 17 at the time) tell me to my face whilst I was wearing something which made me feel my most confident that my boobs were too high. I’d never really thought about it before, I didn’t wear push-up bras or anything. My boobs were a UK 34C at the time so pretty average (though smaller than a lot of my friends). But it upset me so much that I went and locked myself in the bathroom to cry. My boobs were where they’d be even without a bra. What he was pointing out and laughing at was that my boobs were perky. Surely that’s something all women want? As opposed to sagging boobs? But his comment managed to make me feel like a freak. I have a short torso for my height, I’m shorter sat down than my friends who are 5ft 3 and 5ft 4, yet I’m 5ft 6 and a half. My boobs are relatively close to my neck and chin simply because there isn’t much torso in between them. Just like there isn’t much torso below them. I can at least comfort myself that I’ll never have boobs sagging down to my knees when I’m old and wrinkly because my legs are too long for that!!

    I was really self concious for a long time. My Mum was always saying how I needed to gain weight and yet I’d eat constantly and it would go nowhere. I measured 34″, 24″, 34″ and at 7 stone 13lbs for years. But at university I had a great and very supportive boyfriend who showed me how beautiful I was and made me feel wonderful about myself. Then I accidentally got pregnant in my 3rd year of university, went up to 8 and a half stone and when weighed by the doctor before getting my abortion (I have an extreme phobia of pregnancy and childbirth) was told that even then I was clinically underweight. As a baby I was almost taken away from my Mum because they thought she wasn’t feeding me because I was underweight. And yet I have never had any serious physical illnesses at any point in my life, I have a very strong immune system, always have had regular periods. So my body exhibited no medical signs of being underweight other than the silly BMI. After the abortion I lost all the weight again really quickly and was back down to my previous weight for the next few years.

    And then I was put on medication for my bipolar disorder which made me gain weight. I went from my 7 stone 13lbs up to my current 10 stone. And even though I stopped the meds (they weren’t working and were making me gain so much weight) in early August, I’ve been unable to loose the weight. I’d be having a bad year and barely left my bed let alone my room so had no exercise. My muscles have shrunk and so now its a struggle to do anything because the weight I gained was purely fat. You try carrying round 31% of your original body weight in fat and see what its like!! So now, although I’m supposedly healthy by BMI standards, I’m covered in flab which I find horrid. Its just not me and I don’t feel healthy any more. I went into town the other day and spent hours wandering round and was so exhausted that I had to spend the entire next day in bed. I used to be able to do that without feeling remotely tired. So now I worry about my health and I dislike how I look because I don’t look like me any more.

    And now my Mum who was telling me for years I needed to gain weight is telling me I’m too big and need to loose weight. She had been saying that to be a healthy weight at my height I should have been 10 stone, and now I’m at that weight she thinks I’m too big. I can’t win really. Though she’s managed to loose 2 stone on a diet so she’s much happier with herself and looks so fantastic now (she was looking unhealthy before and is now back to the size she was before she had my brother). Sometimes I wonder if I actually just gained the weight she lost. I’ve told her she’s not to loose any more just in case!!

    Blah. I’ve gone on more than I meant to. But I suppose it just shows that we don’t need to criticise someone else for how they look because we are perfectly capable of doing it for ourselves and we have to be with ourselves constantly, so we’re harmful enough to ourselves as it is without anyone else interfering!!

    • Treacle
      10/12/11 at 3:47

      Thank you for sharing such a personal story here, Alexa. So much of what you said moved me. I completely agree that we’re plenty good enough at beating ourselves up over our appearance and that if you’re truly concerned about someone’s health, there are ways to express it without attacking them. Because so much of the snark and negative comments (especially the ones that masquerade as “concerns” for health) are nothing more than vicious attacks.

      • collins
        14/03/14 at 4:56

        I have a friend who is in Alecia’s situation exactly, really thin, large butt, makes buying jeans hard. And people tell her to eat and assume she’s anorexic even though she gets her periods reg. Alexa’s story was tough, why can’t moms help instead of blaming? Like if they don’t think your tissue ratios are healthy, they should treat that seriously instead of blaming you, and do research into what foods in what amounts would cause the imbalance.
        People are too focused on the number on the scale, instead of health sometimes, this can lead to the whole skinny flabby look, where you have no muscle (ton of actresses…models typically don’t have any fat, but they don’t have muscle either, I don’t get how people find that attractive). I really think that having too little muscle or fat, or having too much fat is caused by imbalances in diet and metabolism, and unless these go away, tissue ratios will stay in whatever direction they’re going, factoring in hormonal changes which definitely affect metabolic behavior. Weight gain and loss is complicated biologically and inability to do either is too. Even things that seem negative like weight gain, can actually be advantageous (storing toxins so the body can deal with them in the blood more slowly, often weight gain is in response to toxins or toxic rations, someone without fat storage capacity due to maybe low insulin levels, could actually suffer from toxin circulation and resulting stress to the liver and kidneys). People have to be informed if they make body judgements, because otherwise they run the risk of being ignorant in general biology, nutrition, and metabolism, at least to someone who keeps current with research, or just hurtful to someone who does not understand. But, humans always seek labels and identities in order to understand and control their world. Anyone who feels hurt, should try and look at things more objectively. Like: how interesting that this person feels the need to label me, why would they feel that need…when you think about motives a little, it becomes clear that you can’t take anyone seriously. I really recommend reading the “Perfect Health Diet” or going on the blog. It’s a highly research/scientific approach to diet (as in nutritional paradigm for life). Also addressed in the book is the idea that any dietary imbalance can be taken advantage of by one pathogenic bacteria or another and since your body has 3 bacterial cells per human cell, this can be very important for health, including weight gain and loss. Anyways, I guess my point is that tissue ratio disturbances, disturbances in the ratios of adipose to muscle to bone, are not a person’s fault if they are not aware of their food and nutrient body interactions. And most people eat the wrong foods and in the wrong ratios, too many carbs, too little fat, fat and protein from the wrong sources, not enough vitamins and whole foods, etc…I mean we are in the middle of an obesity epidemic in America. This is serious, and although woman are curvier than men, and “curves” vary amongst women, there is a definite difference between being structurally curvy and being too overweight, rather, having too much fat. Even sedentary or hyperactive behaviors and overeating and undereating are symptoms of some underlying metabolic prerogative given a certain diet and hormonal and enzyme make-up.
        I don’t know why someone said lingerie addict had to gain 10 lbs. She had plenty of muscle in that picture (it didn’t surprise me that she was an athlete). Muscle functions as a disposal tissue (so burns energy) but also is healthier for energy storage than large amounts of fat tissue, besides all it’s other benefits. I think you looked great, really healthy and definitely within a healthy weight range! In this case the commenter was clearly a hater for personal reasons…I don’t mind talking about bodies though, I mean I figure draw, bodies are interesting biological machines!…Plus, you can’t really fit women in bras (if you’re going for accuracy) without talking about body shape…the answer to the negative comments from both sides is not to stop all talk or criticism of body tissues, but more to treat body talk seriously, like any other exact or scientific topic…if you want to go down that road. It’s a lot easier to talk when you don’t know what exactly you’re talking about, so it would make people think and deliberate more before verbally judging. I’d say they same for bras when the subject is fit…that’s why bratabase is perfect, because it makes fitting a science if you pay attention to measurements and bra design.

  24. 05/12/11 at 11:05

    I think that this post couldn’t come at a better time, the holidays are always a hard time for those of us who struggle with our weight. The judgmental attitude of women, larger and smaller alike, has got to stop. I have seen and heard what you described SO many times, especially as a photographer working around models, and someone who has dabbled in modeling myself. The internet is a very strange place where people feel entitled to say whatever they want without consequence, and body snark is so commonplace it’s sickening. Just because someone is a certain way doesn’t mean that they are any better or worse than you, because if we were all the same, the world would be a very boring place. When I was 16, I was weighed at the doctor’s office by a male nurse, he made a telling remark about my weight. I weighed in at 150, at 5’8″ (which is a perfectly normal weight!) and he said “Oh my gosh, I’d never have known you weighed so much, you look like you weigh no more than 120! Don’t worry I won’t tell a soul” I was for the first time embarrassed of a number, and began obsessing over my weight. 150 became a huge number I should be ashamed of, a dirty secret I should keep to myself… I worked SO hard to get the number down, and when I finally did, I got comments from everyone about how disgusting I looked, how skinny was ugly and how big my head looked. So I gave up and started eating whatever I wanted, and gained 30 pounds in college. I was happy, felt healthy, and my boyfriend seemed pleased with my new curves… Until I went to the doctor and was told that I was overweight… My mom bought me a gym membership and a pair of Spanx. For every holiday I received workout clothes and home exercise DVDs. I lost the weight and ended up back at 150, which is normal for me, and comfortable. Where is the magic number that frees you from criticism? I still get comments about how fat I am, or how skinny, depending on the outfit. “Hey heifer!” someone shouted at me when I was walking the other day… What’s a girl to do? STOP LISTENING. It doesn’t matter anyways, as long as you feel good, other people can talk all they want and in the end it’s just empty words, the only person who knows what’s good for you is YOURSELF.

    • Treacle
      10/12/11 at 3:49

      Love that advice…STOP LISTENING. Because you’re so right, everyone has an opinion, but hardly anyone knows what’s best for you. Thanks for leaving this comment.

  25. Trent
    05/12/11 at 11:28

    Thank you for posting this. I´m 165 cm and my wight has always been between 48-55 kg. No matter what I ate or did. I spent my puberty listening to nasty comments about how skinny my legs were, at home they forced me to eat and laughed at my legs, which seemed like bow legs, because I was thin. I spent most of my puberty wearing trousers, very wide so nobody would see my legs..even now someone likes to comment on my thin wrists. Sorry, this is the way I am and will always be and the fact that your body looks different doesn´t mean it´s OK to criticize mine. I hope we all reach the point when we´ll all be able to accept the others for what they are.

    • Treacle
      10/12/11 at 3:49

      I hope we reach that point one day too, Trent. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with all those cruel remarks, and I want to thank you for commenting here.

  26. Amaryllis
    05/12/11 at 11:33

    You should make this into a proper web campaign, to stamp it out. Have little “No Body Snark” badges people can put on their websites to say that it’s unwelcome, and that they are making a commitment to delete snarky comments and not stand for them. The more visable the opposition to body snark gets, the less people will feel that it’s acceptable to behave that way.

    • Treacle
      10/12/11 at 3:53

      I like this idea, Amaryllis, and I’m going to make a note to revisit it in 2012. Thank you, as always, for your wonderfully insightful comments both here and on The Lingerie Addict Facebook page.

  27. 05/12/11 at 11:58

    This was fabulous, Treacle. Personally, I had a “friend” in high school who would tease me about being flat chested because she had the privilege of being rather full-busted for a 15 year old. I still relate to the small-busted set and their marginalization in particular because of this, though now I know I’m not small busted, just small all over (especially at my waist and underbust). I still get people hearing I wear a 20″ corset and saying, “Well, I love being curvy,” as if being slender automatically means shapeless. A corsetmaker posted photos of her “real women” models on livejournal a while back, which naturally sparked several, “Hi, I’m small, I am still a real person, thanks” type comments. Obviously it’s helpful to see how a garment looks on several different body types, but none are more “real” than any others!

    From a corsetmaker’s perspective, it’s ironic that so many people consider shaping garments (especially corsets) cruel torture instruments of “the patriarchy,” stamping out cookie cutter shapes of what men find attractive. Ignoring the fact that many men either don’t care or find anything more than the lightest corseting grotesque, due to the intimate, frequently bespoke, fit of our garments we’re actually far more accepting of the different sizes and shapes women really come in. Hell, I don’t care if you still have a penis – if you feel like a woman in your heart, then you’re a “real” woman. (Dead giveaway that I live in San Francisco, of course.)

    • Amy Amadea
      06/12/11 at 18:46

      Perfect comment is completely perfect. I despise all this “real women have curves” nonsense that’s cropped up. It’s just another way of shaming body types that don’t fit the person’s preferred look. It seems like some would have you believe that anyone who doesn’t fit that look is made of plastic or is virtual reality.

      It also completely nullifies the very basic idea that someone can be slim and have curves. A person can be big and not have curves. I would probably come under the curvy heading myself at a UK 12-14 with 39″ hips and a natural 28″ waist but that doesn’t change the fact my friend who is practically the same measurements up and down is no less of a person.

      • Treacle
        10/12/11 at 3:58

        So true, Amy. People come in all shapes and sizes. There’s no cause or reason to marginalize anyone…especially over something like how curvy they are (or how curvy you think they are).

    • Treacle
      10/12/11 at 3:57

      Loving this comment, Marianne. It’s not a zero sum game…there’s room to embrace the beauty of every shape and figure–thin, curvy, athletic, and everything in between.

      And thank you for reminding us that being a woman is more than our body parts. If you feel like you’re a woman, if you identify as a woman, then who am I to tell you otherwise?

  28. 05/12/11 at 12:35

    I adore this post and I love that you have addresses what was said to you! During the Aussie Star In A Bra and the Ann Summers Sexy Search I noticed that a lot of emphasis was being put on the fact that real women are bigger, curves can only be found on real, large women etc. It boiled my blood! I wrote a post on it myself but you have put it into words in such a beautiful way, another amazing post x

  29. 05/12/11 at 13:16

    Thanks so much for saying what needed to be said, and for not taking sides. I’ve seen so many conversations like this get derailed by comments like “people call me too thin, but it would never be acceptable to tell a fat person to lose weight!”, which bother me quite a lot. I’ve been criticised for being “too thin”, and that doesn’t change the fact that others get criticised for being “too fat”… my experience doesn’t cancel out anybody else’s!

    • Treacle
      10/12/11 at 4:01

      Yes, yes, yes. None of our experiences cancel out anyone else’s experience. Every woman has her own unique body and own unique body struggles. Thank you for leaving this comment.

  30. 05/12/11 at 17:39

    First off, I want to say AMEN. I’m sick of seeing fat AND thin women pointing fingers at each other and degrading each other based on body size. Where the hell does it get us? Nowhere.
    Second, please don’t lump every plus size or fat lady into the equation. I dedicated my senior thesis on this very topic and included both fat and thin ladies into it. I’m a fat woman and CANNOT stand the “Real Women Have Curves” BS that a lot of my bigger peers like to tout. Putting someone down because of their body shape is absolutely abhorrant to me.
    I have a friend who helped model for my thesis, and she’s a very thin lady. Not unhealthy, not gross. She has been tormented about her size as much as I have, and it is an ugly, ugly thing.
    Women have so many other issues to overcome without having to fight each other about our looks. We should be supporting each other instead of tearing one another apart.

    • Treacle
      10/12/11 at 4:02

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Jenn. I hope it didn’t come across like I was lumping every plus size or fat lady into my blog post above; that was definitely not my intent. You’re absolutely right…women have enough to deal with. Do we really need random strangers telling us how to “fix” our bodies?

  31. Jen
    05/12/11 at 17:56

    Thank you, Treacle. A very good post. Granted, as a former anorexic myself (who barely made it out the other side), I tend to WORRY about the very, VERY thin gals (it truly scares me, having been there myself), but there are better ways to show concern than saying “Here’s a Twinkie, you need to eat it”, even in jest. How do we know what is in someone’s past, their present, or their genes? Hello?

    Some people are genetically predisposed to being heavy, and others are genetically predisposed to being extremely slender. Some are busty and others aren’t. Others have health difficulties that affect their weight and figure. Name-calling and snark really doesn’t help anyone. Being kind and accepting does wonders, though. We’re all going to be different. There’s nothing wrong with THAT at all! It would be awfully boring if we all looked the same.

    As Mom used to say, if you don’t have anything nice to say, maybe you shouldn’t say anything at all. Also, it seems to me that a sprinkling of empathy would make us all nicer to each other.

    • Treacle
      10/12/11 at 4:04

      Thanks for contributing your experience and point of view to this conversation, Jen. I completely agree that there’s a right way to express concern and a wrong way to express concern and telling someone they need to eat a Twinkie, or eat a cheeseburger (or stop eating Twinkies and cheesburgers) is NOT the right way.

  32. Annmarie
    06/12/11 at 1:35

    Hey Trea- Echoing most, if not all, previous comments- thanks for this piece!!! And judging from the record number of responses you got here, it seems to be an extremely touchy issue for most of us.
    I think much of this negative body image, whatever the body type is, is hyped by our economic system and the way stuff is sold nowadays. Advertisers often pick on our insecurities and tell us we look/smell/feel//whatever pretty bad UNLESS we use the products/crap they’re trying to sell us.

    As they used to say in the old American Express travelers checks commercial: “Don’t let it happen to you!!!”

    • Treacle
      10/12/11 at 4:07

      So true, Annmarie, and thanks for the reminder. Companies make a ton of money from constantly telling women how inadequate they are and what they need to buy to improve themselves. While I’m all for self-care and women doing things that make them feel beautiful, the point to me is that you’re already awesome as is. Always.

  33. Ange
    06/12/11 at 3:52

    Thank you for recognising that just because a woman is slim doesn’t mean she is body confident. I’ve been slim all my life and struggled coming to terms with it at times. Often wishing I had a fuller bust to fill out a low cut top or more shapely legs instead of sticks. Since having a baby I have a lot more respect for my body after witnessing what it is capable of. Acceptance is the key, whatever shape you are. When I’m old I don’t think I’ll be wishing if spent more time trying to change my body but that I’d been more accepting of it! Confidence is the most attractive trait in a woman, making sniping comments about other woman’s bodies really just shows others insecurities.

    • Treacle
      10/12/11 at 4:07

      Love this, “When I’m old I don’t think I’ll be wishing if spent more time trying to change my body but that I’d been more accepting of it!” So true and thanks for sharing it here.

  34. Poppy
    06/12/11 at 9:04

    Well said, couldn’t agree more. I’m busty but slim and some of the comments I get are really rude. I’ve been asked if I eat, I’ve had people muttering that my breasts “must be fake”, been told I’m “disgustingly skinny” even though I’m a healthy weight. There’s no holy grail of bodyshapes, each one has pros and cons. People should concentrate on making the most of theirs instead of putting other people down for how they look.

    • Treacle
      10/12/11 at 4:09

      100% true. We all only get one body; we should take care of it…not tear it down. Thanks for commenting.

  35. RB
    06/12/11 at 13:52

    This needed to be said. Thanks. I’m naturally thin and flat-chested, and ‘real women have curves’ annoys the hell out of me. Last time I checked, I was a real woman too.

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:24

      You are absolutely a real woman. Wouldn’t it be terrible if you had to have a certain up size to qualify as a woman? That’s not the world I want to live in.

  36. 06/12/11 at 14:11

    Glad to hear this side of it! I’ve never been curvy, and am naturally quite tall and boyish (I don’t really have a curvy waist without a corset) and I get comments on how I ought to eat more, how I was lanky, a bean-pole, gangly… I used to think I had limbs like sticks held together with rubber-bands from the teasing I got at school. Mostly I got told “eat more”. I can understand that from the period where I was depressed and lost my appetite (I didn’t deliberately starve myself, I just neglected myself a bit, it wasn’t about weight or food) but I’ve had that constantly, even now. I eat like a horse! I went once to the Chinese restaurant all-you-can-eat buffet and packed 4 heaped plates of main course and 3 of desert! I’m just thin, I don’t starve myself to look like this. I do a lot of exercise (I too like martial arts, and I also work outdoors doing manual labour on conservation projects and I also do industrial dance), so I’ve got a bit “burlier” than I was, but I’m still not exactly a “feminine curves” type. I have a bust but the rest of me has never really been… as curvy as some, and my legs are downright “manly” in the certain people’s opinion, but I like who I am! I’m not “a boy that got breast implants” despite how as a teenager I got mistaken for a boy a lot until I grew boobs. My Dad is 6’3″ and lean, my mother a shade under 5′ and petite, being curvy isn’t in my genes, and being tall is from my Dad. I’m not as much of a “bean-pole” as I was, but I can still empathise.

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:25

      I hate that people are so judgmental towards you, but I love that you embrace your body and love your body. It’s so interesting to me that you said you lost your appetite in response to people’s remarks about your weight…which really just reemphasizes that body snark does absolutely no good for anybody.

  37. Hannah Sifleet
    06/12/11 at 16:01

    Couldn’t agree more. Just because I’m thin, people assume im unhealthy and tell me I need to eat more, or accuse me of not eating enough. I just have a high metabolism and have always been thin!! People need to get a grip!!

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:26

      Couldn’t have said it better, myself, Hannah. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  38. Liz
    06/12/11 at 18:09

    In keeping with your totally lovely post, I thought I might share this with the lingerie community. I guess I’m trying to convey that, the media is always manipulating how we’re supposed to convey our bodies in clothes and we need to be aware of that as consumers. All of our bodies are beautiful – and if we hold ourselves to the standards of society, as conveyed in advertisements like this one, for example – we’re holding ourselves to false representations of how a human woman should be. I kind of found this to be an eye opener and I hope it will help all you lovely ladies out there struggling with how you think you should look. Don’t believe the hype outside, but the one within :) Thanks again Treacle for this post, rock on!
    http://jezebel.com/5865114/hm-puts-real-model-heads-on-fake-bodies

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:27

      Thanks for sharing that link here, Liz! You’re right…the images we’re presented with by the media don’t match up with reality at all. But because the media doesn’t disclose when they’re using heavily manipulated (or even outright fake) images, our brains have somehow been tricked into thinking that’s how we’re supposed to look. When that’s not true at all. Every woman should look a way that’s happy and healthy and maintainable for her…no more, no less.

  39. Alyss
    06/12/11 at 21:49

    Thanks so much for posting this. I’m skinny, I’ve always been skinny. Right now I actually weigh more than I’ve ever weighed, at 120lbs, and 5’9″. I eat, everything in sight, and was constantly teased throughout school. It ranged from ‘eat a bucket of chicken’ to ‘no one wants to f**k bones’. Needless to say, I had a hard time. What bothered me the most however, was the “I don’t believe you, you are skinny what more do you want’ attitude.
    I wish women could find it within themselves to love themselves no matter what size they were. I wish society would stop enforcing ideals so much. I just wish we all had world peace *bawww*

    But seriously, Be healthy and love yourself.
    thanks so much for the article

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:28

      “Be healthy and love yourself.” Such good advice…thank you for posting it here.

  40. 07/12/11 at 10:42

    Beautifully written Treacle.

    Thank you for publishing this post. You are completely right curvy girls are just as bad as slender girls from name calling and it’s upsetting that us women take it upon ourselves to call one another. What ever happened to sisterhood.

    I published a post today on H&M’s ridiculous photo-shopped models on the ‘Perfect Women’. It’s all aload of waffle!

    In my opinion it’s about time we all got over ourselves and started loving our bodies, image and size because we are all so beautiful.

    I hope that you are well and looking forward to the festive season.

    Jess x

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:29

      Thanks so much for stopping by to comment, Jess. I’m glad you liked the article. You are 100% right that it’s time women started loving our own bodies. And even more than that, it’s time we started respecting the bodies of other women. All this negative talk doesn’t do any good for anybody.

  41. Claire
    07/12/11 at 13:37

    Wow, what a truth filled piece of writing! I can totally relate to this as alot of people have mentioned. I work for a little company with a friend and her mother and nearly every day one person will mention something about my weight or say something like ‘you need a few pies in you’, which is insulting anyway as i’m vegan and would never dream of eating a pie! On the other hand these two people in question are overweight and I would never dream of telling them to lose weight! I’m so glad this subject has been raised, hopefully it will be recognised more now :)

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:31

      Thanks so much for the comment, Claire. It’s so interesting to me that people would presume to tell you what to eat without knowing anything about your veganism. Just more evidence that all this body snark is ridiculous.

  42. Gayle
    07/12/11 at 15:14

    Good article! How has this world has gotten so crazy that we all need to look like we were made from the same mold or we are somehow defective? Thru out the ages there have always been a models of beauty, but it seems people are getting obsessed with how one should look. Look back to the Gibson Girl when the hourglass figure was in, then the Flappers with a bound bosoms, how about the curves of Marilyn Monroe in a size 12 , the 60′s had Twiggy (most of us realized that was not realistic).. We all can use improvement, but not to live up to someone else’s standards.

    IMHO: People forget real beauty comes from within.
    .
    Gayle

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:33

      Thanks so much for offering this perspective, Gayle! You’re so right; there’s been a different ideal figure for every generation, and there’s no way every woman can be all of those. It’s about being healthy and beautiful and confident for you…not about living up to anyone else’s standard. And yes, I agree…real beauty comes from within. And no matter how ‘pretty’ you are on the outside, a nasty comment is more than enough to make you ugly in my eyes.

  43. Saila
    09/12/11 at 5:56

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always been more or less skinny and had to tolerate all kinds of comments. I’ve never myself called anyone fat, nor would I do so but it seems that other people take it as their business to let me know how my boobs are too small and how I should eat more. It doesn’t matter if I tell them that I’m of normal weight and completely healthy. Not only do these people make me (and their other targets) feel like crap but I honestly think that if you feel like you have the right to criticize other people’s bodies, you are likely to be overcritical of your own figure.

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:35

      That’s a super good point, Saila. People I know that are happy with their bodies don’t spend time criticizing other people’s bodies. Because happy people don’t spend their free time tearing other people down.

  44. Jennifer
    09/12/11 at 23:04

    Wow, great article! I’m 5’6″ and have weighed around 122-127 for the past five years and am in my mid-twenties. I eat a normal amount of food and occasionally stuff my face with junk food like any other college student. I am so sick of hearing people tell me that I need to eat more or tell me that I’m too skinny, etc. I know that I’m at a healthy weight for my body and lifestyle but when I hear comments like it, it makes me feel like I should try to gain 20lbs just so that people will STOP judging me because I’m “skinny.” By the way, “skinny” means unattractively thin, which I am not! Thank you for reinforcing that women need to maintain a body weight that is HEALTHY and does not need to be classified as “Thin” or “Curvey.”

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:35

      Thanks so much for leaving this comment and sharing your personal experiences here, Jennifer. I’m glad you liked the article.

  45. 12/12/11 at 22:11

    As always, dear Treacle, truth and beauty ring out here.

    To me it is most wonderful that in these posts where you go deeply, passionately, personal that your readers light up and join in the commentary.

    Lovely to see so many positive minds gathered around body positive thoughts.

    xoxo – Petra

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:36

      Always, always, always such a pleasure to see you, Petra. Thanks for stopping by and taking a few moments to comment.

  46. Cat
    13/12/11 at 11:17

    You’ve reminded me very much of this post I read a little while ago: http://www.hanneblank.com/blog/2011/06/23/real-women/

    I think you’ll find yourself in agreement with this author as well.

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:37

      I’ve read that before and you are right…I am in complete agreement with Hanne. Thanks for posting that link here.

  47. 13/12/11 at 14:54

    I’m so glad you wrote this! I have this conversation so much! Me and my friend call it ‘girl hate’, the world around us just teaches us to slag other women to make ourselves feel better. And its not fair or healthy.

    Go you, you’re spreading ‘girl love’! xx

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:38

      Thanks for stopping by, Aimee. I love that term…’girl hate’ because it really describes what’s going on. But this blog is and always will be about the ‘girl love.’ Because seriously, does the world need more body hate? I don’t think so.

  48. Great post, Treacle. Women’s bodies are a work in progress. Much like bra size, we may be full at one point, and smaller at another — all depends on what is going on in our lives. For myself, I’ve finally learned to love the changes that started in puberty, morphed again with pregnancy, and ended (for the time being) in menopause. The beauty of life is embracing who I am at any given moment!

    • Treacle
      16/12/11 at 15:39

      Thanks so much for sharing that advice and perspective here. So true…women’s bodies are constantly changing, which makes it even more unreasonable to mock women’s bodies. Love this comment.

  49. 20/12/11 at 1:24

    Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve heard the “eat a cheeseburger” thing from total strangers. I’m not underweight at the moment but for quite a while, I was very thin… however, I was not anorexic or a junkie or anything else people felt the need to speculate about, often behind my back and occasionally straight to my face.

    I’ve got a naturally angular, slender figure with almost no boobs. It is what it is. I’m not asking everyone to love it, but if you don’t, please keep it to yourself.

    People sometimes seem to think they are giving me some kind of compliment when they talk about how thin I am, but I find it awkward at best and hostile at worst. A compliment is, “I love your dress, where did you get it?” or “I’ve always wanted hair like yours.” It is NOT “You are too __ (skinny, curvy, pale, tanned, etc… whatever).”

    • Treacle
      20/12/11 at 23:26

      So happy to see you, Amanda! Completely agree with you said re: what a compliment is and what it isn’t…thanks for sharing it here.

  50. Laurel
    31/12/11 at 6:47

    As everyone else has said, Thank you! It kills me every time I go to buy groceries and am bombarded by different magazines. I stopped looking period a few months ago when some curvy- I think it was Beyonce maybe?- singer was on the front of a magazine saying curvy was better. Being curvier, I had been finding it as a relief that my style of body was becoming more accepted by mainstream. It was disappointing to look at that and realize that it’s all just a cycle. This idea that there is a “better”, that you can’t be great on your own, that you have to compete and trump others, even on certain things that are out of your control. It hurts to see it and to try to be above it.

    But oh well. It’s good to know that other women see the flaw in this behavior :)

  51. BB
    09/01/12 at 13:57

    I remember laetitia casta saying: “i like that i look like a real woman, not like a green bean”. And that, my friend, was the stupidest thing i had ever heard.

    Thank you sooo much for that…i´ve always defended this point of view, everything you wrote right now. i´ve always been a very tall, thin girl and now i´m a model and believe me, you can not even imagine how often i get those kind of comments. I always say: it shocks me how it’s wrong to tell someone “you’re fat”, but telling someone “EW you’re so skinny” is perfectly ok. And when I´m offended people don´’t understand. I hate the attitude “you´re so skinny, ew”. I complain. They go “Why are you offended? you’re skinny, what more do you want?”. So what? is it good? is it bad? was that just advice? was that just a neutral observation? i don’t think so.
    Even though I´m this tall and thin, i´ve got big boobs and big hips, but sometimes i find myself thinking “am i skinny? am i toned? am i curvy?” and that`s so stupid!! who cares??? i know i´m healthy and that´s all that matters.
    as a model, i would love to see curvier women on the catwalk. but not ONLY curvy women, that would be wrong. I would like to see everything that is healthy. not too thin, not too big women: just thin, curvy, full, toned, petite, big, etc.
    I´m so happy i´m not the only person in the world who feels this way.

  52. BKD
    30/01/12 at 12:23

    This is a great article. I really appreciate the message you are trying to send here.

  53. Jess
    03/02/12 at 19:02

    Beautiful! Its an awkward thing to say in today’s world, but sometimes it’s hard to be thin! As a martial artist (its funny how many are here) I’m constantly getting babied and teased for how thin I am–I can do it just as well as any other man, no matter my size thank you! It can sound majorly condescending, but its not meant to be–as has been said, every woman struggles with their size and shape, so lets work together and all be happy with ourselves instead of tearing each other down!

  54. Vicki
    12/04/12 at 1:49

    Excellent ! Perfectly stated .

  55. Donna Kemp
    17/04/12 at 8:14

    First can I say that I think you look AMAZING in that photo Treacle & anyone that is brave enough to be pictured like that & risk the scorn of the entire internet deserves respect whatever their size!

    Second I beleive the main reason women lash out at others is because they have been made to feel so insecure about their own bodies. It is sad & destructive that we feel so bad about the way we look we have to make others feel bad too.
    This is a fight that is impossible to win in the fact that the media is so derogatory about women no matter how they look. I saw an article that derided the beautiful Megan Fox for being ‘chubby’ & having a ‘big bottom’. Then later the same ‘rag’ bemoaned how ‘thin & scrawny’ she had become (possibly as a result of being humiliated publicly by that very ‘newspaper’),
    Lately Christina Aguilera has been verbally attacked for ‘getting so fat’. Really? She looks gorgeous to me.
    So we are told; if you are fat then you are disgusting & if you are thin you need to go eat a pie NOONE stands a chance really. Also what the media deems fat is ludicrous so anyone bigger feels bigger still.
    I can understand celebs being criticised for being too thin as a lot have undergone drastic weight loss in recent years to conform to fashion which is unhealthy but this in turn makes anyone who is naturally thin feel like they are wrong to look that way. It really is a ‘no win’ situation.
    I beleive if you are happy & healthy then great but if not ……. well it’s not really anyone else’s business.

  56. 28/04/12 at 10:11

    This is probably the 10th time I read this post. It is great, as sad as I am that it is so relevant and needed, I’m really glad it is out there. You rock. <3

    • 28/04/12 at 14:57

      Thank you! I’m glad you like it.

  57. Snarky McSnarkerton
    30/05/12 at 2:22

    So if you’re not going to eat that cheeseburger can I have it? Great article :)

  58. 11/06/12 at 17:18

    I just had to add to the wondrful comments. THANK YOU! I have said things like this every time I see one of those negative posts talking negatively about skinny women. I’m naturally skinny and struggle with poor body image because I’ve allowed myself to to be bothered by others definition of how I should look. I’m constantly teased. “What size do you wear? 00??” (Yes). “Do you eat?” “I’m not going to STARVE myself to look like you?” (as if that’s what I do). One of the recent ones circulating around FB- “Girls without curves are like jeans with no pockets, there’s no where to put your hands.” I’m sorry that media promotes skinny as being in and fat as being out, but it doesn’t mean that skinny women are the enemy nor will it make a fat person really feel any better about herself to speak negatively about skinny women. (It even feels weird to type the word fat because I know that’s a no no…we are taught to be cautious when speaking of fat women but it is not reciprocated in the slightest).

  59. Michelle Wigfall
    10/07/12 at 14:07

    Amen! I couldn’t agree more! I have two daughters, 2 years apart, ages 10 and 12. I do not feed them differently…stuff one and starve the other. One is slender and willowy the other is curvy. Slender child has the metabolism of a hummingbird and is ALWAYS hungry…wakes up hungry and has since infancy. Curvy child would rather not eat when she wakes up…she too has always been this way. They are as they were made to be and they are BEAUTIFUL!

  60. 10/07/12 at 15:49

    It works the same with full busted slender women. Just because a woman is full busted doesn’t mean thick bodied or plus size. There are plenty of women that are full busted and slender- they get it too. I agree about Zero Body Snark. I see many slender women that are smaller busted that are beautiful. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. That said, it is true not everyone will celebrate the person they are viewing. We can continue with the belief we have and continue treating others with respect.

  61. Charlotte
    10/10/12 at 22:25

    As a “skinny”, “flat-chested” girl, thank you very much. My best friend is close to 200 lbs, but with a beautiful, defined waist. I’m sometimes envious of her curves, but I have mostly accepted my shape for what it is.

    In high school, I was called “anorexic” and had rumors spread about me that I was on drugs, since, as one girl’s MOTHER put it: “no one could be that thin and not be on meth!” I was 5’8″ and 110 lbs. I have scoliosis because I was always ducking my head and trying to seem shorter than I was…wore baggy clothes all of the time.

    I’ve since filled out a little on the hips, but my chest, shoulders, arms, waist…protruding collar bone and neck tendons…are all as thin as ever. I’m sick of people making me feel like I am a corpse. I eat mashed potatoes, pasta, avocados/guacamole, creamy curries and pizza almost every other day and I still never gain.

    The only way I’ve *ever* gained weight (and it was only 15 lbs.) was by eating daily “Baconators” and fries (no joke!) or a box of Dave’s pizza rolls and drinking a 6 pack of beer every night. When women tell me I need to gain weight, they’re literally telling me to go back to my unhealthiest, most nihilistic point in my life.

  62. Shawna
    19/10/12 at 4:51

    Such a good point! I’ve struggled with my weight all my life, and while I’ve often been envious of thinner women, I tried to never blame them for my self-consciousness. From 2010-2011 I lost about 80 pounds, and have kept the weight off for about a year now. So I am now at an average size. But I can never fully support any of my friends who post such things about curvier women being more desirable, because even though I know how they feel, I don’t fit their mold anymore. Thank you so much for pointing out what should be the obvious, but is often overlooked!

  63. Ashayla
    31/12/12 at 2:41

    Damn straight! I am tiny! I am 21 years old, I weigh 50kgs. I have an A cup size. I can fit into children’s clothes and this is perfectly natural for me!

  64. Candice
    31/03/13 at 16:41

    This is exactly how I have been feeling. It is so great that finally someone has put it into words! I have been told many many times to eat a cheeseburger. i always think i didn’t tell you to eat a salad… i can’t believe how rude people are! I think all women and men of different shapes and sizes are beautiful and sexy! I actually get jealous of bigger women sometimes because they have bigger breasts and nice curves, they just don’t see how beautiful they really are.

  65. 20/11/13 at 19:31

    Hi Treacle! LOVE your blog, I’m a frequent reader and this has to be my favourite post of yours. I have just started up my own blog, and am writing a similar post on the issue, so I was wondering if you would let me use the photo of you that you shared in this post to help illustrate the point. Would love to reference you on the subject, but don’t want to use your image without permission!

    Much love.

    • 20/11/13 at 20:44

      Hi Hazel,

      Thanks for checking in! Yes, you may, just please credit myself and the photographer.

      Have a wonderful day,
      Cora

      • 20/11/13 at 21:22

        Thanks so much! Who is the photographer?
        Much love.

  66. Kelly
    10/12/13 at 10:00

    Amen to this! FINALLY! Thank you so so much!

  67. 30/12/13 at 2:13

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on body image. Regards

  68. Lamb chop
    21/04/14 at 6:30

    Wonderfully said! I know I’m late to this party, but thank you for putting this out there.

  69. michelle crawford
    25/10/12 at 12:00

    Real women may have long legs or curves or tiny feet or swanlike necks.
    We may have long hair or cropped….it may be curly or straight. Our hips may be broad or slender. We are aALL women and we are all real. Really BEAUTIFUL women have one thing in common. A big heart. My holiday challenge is to find beauty in all the women you see and tell them! They have beautiful hair or complexion or nice manicure or great style or beautiful hands. All compliment-no snark.

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