Alexa Chung is no stranger to online cruelty. The model and contributing editor of British Vogue has spoken out about her struggles with online bullying, and even left Twitter for some time after being attacked for “being anorexic.” But after posting a demure, casual photo of herself and her mother to Instagram, Chung once again became the victim of skinny-bashing and body-snark. Which makes me wonder–can women’s bodies ever not be the target of scrutiny?
Chung is a model and works in the fashion industry–which is notorious for talking out of the side of its mouth about not promoting “thinspo” while actively creating it–and her thin figure has, undoubtedly, played a large hand in her success. And while the expectations of thinness and perfection within the fashion world are deplorable (you’ve watched Cover Girl Culture, right?), so, too, is the knee-jerk reaction against it that has developed.
Much like “models eating syndrome,” which emphasizes that the opposite of being an anorexic model is being a model who “pigs out on junk food” and “never works out,” assaulting women for being too thin is neither body-positive, nor helpful to the discussion about the female body. It’s still judgmental. It’s still hurtful. And it’s still objectifying.
We won’t be posting the vicious comments that were lauded at Chung after she posted a totally normal photograph of her hanging out with her mother, but if you’re curious about the cruel words that Chung’s followers left her, The Daily Mail was kind enough to both post several triggering screenshots…while condemning “the Hollywood hegemonic model” and “the media” for promoting impossible body standards. But seriously–trigger warning.
What’s upsetting about many of the comments, which prompted Chung to make her Instagram feed private, is that they were left by other women, which points to one of the stickiest parts of women’s body image: That frequently, women are their own worst critics. Yes, the constant barrage of models draped over various pieces of furniture, bones akimbo, is tough to swallow–but too often, we’re quick to eat it up, soak it in, and even defend it when it comes under attack.
There is no such thing as a perfect body or weight–but society seems to hope that if we keep beating up our bodies, whether it be for being “too skinny” or “too fat,” we’ll eventually abuse everyone into finding it.
Read more: http://www.blisstree.com/2012/04/17/look/alexa-chung-instagram-skinny-bashing-840/#ixzz2FhfospKq
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