The Sartorialist seems to have caused a fair bit of controversy and outcry with one of his recent posts. The uber-blogger has ruffled a considerable number of feathers by referring to a girl as sturdy(note: the actual quote is “sturdy, but beautiful”). Now, if someone called me sturdy I would probably want to cry, so I do get that it’s not the nicest way to describe a lady. However, I don’t necessarily agree with the rest of the commotion and I feel like it’s time to throw my two cents into the debate. I would also really like your views on this! And as with everything on this blog, my views are just my own and are not intended to offend or insult anyone, and if you don’t agree with me that is fine!
image via thesartorialist
I normally keep quiet because I don’t really tow the line when it comes to general consensus on this issue. I think it’s a topic that we are a little bit too sensitive to really talk about in an objective and rational way. This is natural, given that it is our bodies and by extension ourselves we are discussing. Let me start off by saying that I firmly believe that the best body shape is a healthy one, where the person has a healthy BMI. I do not believe that there is a magic (dress) number for women, because we come in different shapes and sizes, tall, short, hippy, athletic, booby, petite, etc.
What really annoys me in all the furore about size is the assumption that all women need to be curvy. Some women are. But some AREN’T. Does the lack of wide hips mean that they are not “real” women? Really???? That’s akin to saying that you need a massive pair of knockers to be a real bird. Come off it.
image via popcultureafternoon.blogspot.com
The Sartorialist annoyed many by saying that the girl he photographed was a bigger girl than most famous bloggers. From the blogs I read anyway, that is a fairly accurate statement. It is our own insecurities that makes such statements an insult. And in an industry where the standard is a couple of dress sizes smaller, she IS bigger than a model. I missed the part where he said this was a bad thing though.
I suppose my views on size are slightly warped. I am well above average height for a girl, especially an Irish girl. I have always been very tall and have spent my life listening to people tell me HOW TAAAALLLLLLL I am. Now, when was the last time you went up to a short person and told them they were sooooooooooooooo small??? It just isn’t done. Why? It might hurt their feelings. How does that work? If I told a short person that they were short it would be an observation, not an insult. Now, when was the last time you told someone they were thin? And the last time you told someone they were fat? It’s the same.
We are so preoccupied with insulting “fuller figured” people. It is fine to tell someone that they have an eating disorder when they are too thin, but not when they are too fat. I do not encourage being underweight, far from it, but by the same token it is a bit rich for a society to then ignore the other end of the spectrum. And, to be cynical, we don’t have a thin crisis, we have an obesity crisis….
image via fashiontoast
Back to my original point. What really really annoys me is women who think that you have to be a size 14 (US 10) to be a REAL woman. Sorry sister, that’s like saying you have to be 5’1″ to be a REAL woman. I feel like the official line on weight and size has become a little bit distorted and that instead of promoting an ideal body based on the individual’s natural shape, height and BMI, we are instead saying that you have to have to have loads of curves to be “normal”. That to me is as misleading as saying you have to have no curves at all. Although the “real women” campaigners say that women come in all shapes and sizes, they systematically ignore any of those shapes that do not resemble Christina Hendricks’. I’m far from model thin, but I’m hardly voluptuous either. I’m athletic I guess, with strong shoulders, (proportionally) small waist and big hips. So does that make some parts of me “real” and others not??? And if so, what are the others, fake?!!!!! To be slender (or in my case, partially slender) is to be fake, is that it?!!
For me, this real woman thing fails to address issues such as eating well and exercise to make ourselves fit and healthy, which should be the ideal, rather than shifting favour from one body shape to another. We are so worried about not wanting to be too thin that perhaps we are leaning too far the other way.
So, the Sartorialist, and that girl. She’s not model thin. And he said that. He also said she has awesome style. Which is again true. And her face is stunning (to be fair when was the last time you saw an ugly girl on his blog?!). She looks healthy and well dressed. There are larger and smaller well dressed girls out there, and ALL of them are REAL women.