That being said, these ideas and standards exist, and it is naive to say societal standards are bullshit so you should just ignore them and feel good about yourself. Context matters and there is only so far you can go in 'ignoring standards'.
I include this caveat mostly to make clear that when I speak of acceptable and unacceptable bodies, I mean by societal standards and definitely not my own. Had I my druthers, we wouldn't be having this conversation at all, because there'd be no concept of a body that was unacceptable.
The other day I read a post on my Facebook feed, lauding Australian 'plus-sized' model Robyn Lawley for posting a number of un-retouched, un-airbrushed bikini pictures in the name of body acceptance.
I'm not even going to get into discussing how ludicrous the modelling industry's idea of plus-sized is. Most of the average-sized women I know are considered too large for plus-sized modelling.
|Yup. Plus-sized. Okay, then.
So, yes. On a personal level, a big thumbs up for you, Robin Lawley.
All that being said, I just wish that the body acceptance movement would focus more on 'unacceptable' bodies. Practising body acceptance, while a generally good thing, is a lot easier when you live in a body that falls near the "most acceptable" end of the spectrum. Having a slender, white, youthful women preach body acceptance leaves me feeling pretty underwhelmed.
A woman like Robyn Lawley can post online a picture of herself, flaws and all, and will most likely receive accolades and support and comments to the effect of how beautiful she already is. Granted, you always get a few assholes that will pick apart her appearance.
I have to wonder.. what if someone like myself, at 200+ lbs, stretch-marked, scarred, flabby, posted the same picture in my own bikini (which I have, because fuck societal standards)? Mockery, cries of "No one wants to see that!", fake concern for my health and possibly threats of violence because the internet is like that.
Body acceptance should be applicable to all bodies, not just acceptable bodies. Black bodies, brown bodies, short bodies, fat bodies, disabled bodies, old bodies, scarred bodies, tattooed bodies, trans bodies. All ethnicities, all genders.
We need to celebrate ALL bodies.