Every time you tell a woman to cover her chunky arms. When you question the health of a slim model or berate a fatter one. Every single time you tell a Mother to be discreet while feeding her baby. When you say those shorts are too short. Every time you decide that she should be doing life differently, you make it worse.
You add to the laundry list of things a woman should and shouldn’t do. You reaffirm in whatever small way that she is to be dictated to. Reaffirm that beauty matters more than her thoughts or ideas, her principles or her value. That she should be better, try harder, work longer, care more, eat less, give more.
On and on it goes. You should be a good girl, but fun, smart but don’t rock the boat, beautiful but not too beautiful, available but not slutty, accomplished in the boardroom, bedroom, kitchen, garage, and on the playing field.
Follow the rules or don’t. Go after the having it all, or go after none of it. It’s the choice to be all or none of it that makes what our feminist fore-mothers did so freaking important. For what they did, I could not take my husband’s name without threats of him not marrying me because of it. And that’s just part of the list.
I wear what I want, on the body I have, and I’m proud of it. There are many, many doors of opportunity available to me if I want them. I can be a stay at home, work at home, work part-time, full-time mother if I wanted to or none of the above. The whole thing, it’s my choice.
It’s the privilege of being born in a society where my life isn’t under threat daily. It’s the privilege of being white, straight, and fairly conservative in my choices. But I’ll stand for you, if you want me, wherever I am needed.
Because it’s about being who I am and allowing others to be who they are. I mentioned feminism because it gets something of a bad wrap (oh lord, why?) and it’s about that and the way we treat, talk about, and assess our bodies. For women of all shapes and sizes, colours and creeds, background and differences, it’s about equality and graciousness. It’s about getting a god-damned life and butting out of other people’s business.
This post proudly brought to you by a young, beautiful fat woman being absolutely hammered on the City Chic Facebook page. Again. By woman tearing each other down with their own insecurities showing. By women who don’t realise they are part of it. That they continue to maintain the ongoing cycle of you should do this, don’t do that, show this, don’t show that.
We need to put a stop to this shit.
*images via Unsplash
Chief Blogger at Suger Coat It; An Australian lifestyle blog for women who work for themselves. Melissa is a social media consultant & lover of stripes. Most weekends you’ll find her at the beach or home on the veranda kicking back. Around here, they call her Suger. Feel free to do the same.