Why Women Commenting On Other Women’s Weight Is (Sadly) Not So Shocking
The Debrief: Are we policing them our ourselves?
In some not so newsworthy news: presenter Holly Willoughby has lost some weight. At least, thats what the panel on Loose Women were gossiping about yesterday, unaware they were already on air. 'Holly Willoughby’s disappearing!' Loose Women’s Nadia Sawalha was heard exclaiming, while a shocked Holly looked on.
Social media users have also been expressing their thoughts on Holly’s supposed weight loss, writing things like: “Wish I knew how to lose that much weight so quickly” and “#WhereHaveHollysBoobsGone.”
It’s sadly not the first, nor the last time someone has expressed their opinion on someone else’s physical appearance. When there’s a noticeable change in a celebrity’s weight, especially when said celebrity is a woman, people talk about it.
If they lose weight, everyone wonders how and why, if they gain weight, everyone wonders if they’re pregnant or sick or depressed. The positive and negative connotations involved with this are a whole mine-field in themselves but also… why is this any of our business?
We saw the same thing recently when Rihanna, who has apparently gained some weight as of late, was re-nicknamed “Thickanna.” After the initial “is she pregnant” speculation most of the internet seemed happy with her new appearance - bar a sports writer who worried she’d make being “fat” a trend and encourage all the hot girls to gain weight - UM WHAT!? (He subsequently lost his job so yes there is good in the world.)
Elsewhere on the interwebs came hundreds of thousands of heart eye emojis. Perhaps some departure from the usual reaction to famous women gaining weight but wait hold up… why is this our business again? The fact that we place so much emphasis on women’s appearances as important and valuable is detrimental, no matter whether that judgement is coloured as criticism or praise.
Thing is, it kind of feels like we’re basing our own worth, and forming our own judgements on appearance through that same sphere. Because if Rihanna gains weight it means it’s okay if I gain a little weight too, right? The internet seems to think so, with tweets like: "Rihanna's getting thick. I feel so much better about my thighs. You go gerl [sic] #Thickanna.”
And while it’s important to have all sorts of definitions and examples of beauty, and we can rejoice that we’ve come quite some way to having broader definitions of that, perhaps what would be even better would be to not place so much emphasis and importance on outer appearance.
It’s important to remember that our bodies are likely to grow and change multiple times over the course of our lives. That there are tons and tons of factors that play a role in the appearance of our bodies, lives and minds and that actually what’s most important is that we’re living healthy, happy and fulfilling lives. The truth of that will, and often is, reflected in a healthy and happy appearance.
Because the thing is, not only is looking at pictures of someone’s shrinking or expanding ass and trying to judge them or ourselves accordingly a waste of time, but it actually won’t get us any closer to achieving that. Ever.
The fact is, we just don’t need bigger boobs (or a flatter stomach, or a bigger ass, or a more Instagram face.)
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