Edit: Several bloggers have written to me to ask if they could use the Body Snark Free Zone image on their own sites, and the answer is yes! To get an easily embeddable copy of the image, just go you here: So You Want to Make Your Website a Body Snark Free Zone
Today’s blog post has been four months in the making, pretty much ever since the last article I wrote on body image and body snark back in December. Making a stand on something is always scary, because you never know how people will react. But when something’s been on my mind for a couple hundred days…well, then maybe that means it’s time to say it out loud.
From the very beginning, I’ve wanted The Lingerie Addict to be a place women could find information about lingerie that’s relevant and accessible to them. I truly believe every woman – no matter her size, age, or budget – deserves gorgeous lingerie, and I want my readers to feel that when they visit.
But lately I’ve learned that being relevant and accessible goes beyond just prices and brands and cup sizes. It also means cultivating a tone on the blog that’s welcoming and inviting. It’s so important to me that The Lingerie Addict is a blog every woman can feel comfortable and safe visiting. And even though my About Page talks about my commitment to inclusivity and polite discourse, I’ve not really been explicit about what that means. And so here it is:
Starting today, The Lingerie Addict is a body snark free zone.
This new direction, if you want to call it that, isn’t a decision I made lightly. I always want people to feel like they’re welcome to comment, even if they disagree with me, but body snark goes beyond a simple difference of opinion and into something that I really cannot, in good conscience, tolerate.
Body snark is bullying.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that bullying takes many forms, from physical assault to threats and intimidation to social isolation, and some of you reading this may wonder if bullying is too strong a word to use for body snark. But I believe that intentionally making people feel small and awful and ashamed because they have the audacity to be born with a body type you don’t like (in other words, insulting people just for existing) is bullying. And that’s something The Lingerie Addict cannot and will not support, even in a passive way.
Women come in a range of shapes and sizes, and while you don’t have to think they’re all beautiful (people are entitled to their personal preferences after all), this current climate of listing all the ways women’s bodies are ugly and deficient (too much cellulite, too thin, too fat, too many wrinkles, too old, too light, too dark, etc.) is one I can’t get behind.
No one’s body is “wrong” and in need of changing (or hiding) simply because you don’t like it.
Supporting positive body image doesn’t inquire insults. Nor does wanting more diversity in the kinds of bodies shown in the media make putting down someone else’s body type okay. Every woman is living in a world where there are endless articles about how to make your body “better” and next to none about how to love it just the way it is.
I don’t know how this new policy is going to go over. And I’ve prepared myself for backlash if it happens. But I will say that if you feel like our new “no body snark” policy is unfair or like it’s censorship or like you just can’t enjoy The Lingerie Addict anymore because of it…well, we’re probably not the blog for you, and I’m okay with that.
What do you think about us being a body snark free blog? I welcome your thoughts in the comments.