Originally Posted by ButterflyWoman
I'm referring to the countless people I've seen and heard saying that Marilyn Monroe was "fat", by their definition. Liz Hurley said once that if she was as fat as Marilyn Monroe, she'd kill herself. When you look at early pictures of MM, especially some of her "bathing beauty" shots, you see she had beautiful, womanly, full thighs and a rounded tummy. Compare that to Victoria Beckham, who is an actual fashion designer, with her "Lollipop" look (big head on a scrawny, skinny frame) and to Kate Moss, who was (and is) an icon of beauty and fashion.
That's the frame of reference I was using.
NOT that I think MM was fat, but that a lot of people DO.
They are improving, yes, but a Rubens-style figure is still out of fashion (and for the record, making fun of fat people is still considered socially acceptable in most circles; you can't make racist comments, sexist comments, ethnic slurs, etc., but you can ramble on about body size, and that's fine. BUT... that's another discussion
Well, assuming that the Liz Hurley quote is accurate (I can't find a good source), she is someone who was in the fashion biz in the 1990s, which was pretty much the industry's low point. (See also: Kate Moss) Today you're much more likely to see Rubenesque models (Crystal Renn, Toccara Jones, Lizzie Miller, Robyn Lawley, Candice Huffine, Tara Lynn, etc) as well as older women and less conventional beauties (Queen Latifah, RuPaul) everywhere from Italian Vogue to makeup advertisements. The industry is unlikely to change overnight, but it has undergone a relatively massive change in the last couple of years.
However, the industry is also different to 'the real world'. Ask some random person on the street if Marilyn Monroe was fat and I think you'll get a very different answer.
Also, as Criseyde noted, what it's REALLY okay to do now is criticise or talk offensively about someone because they're skinny. I know as someone who spent much of her adult life with an 18.5 BMI or below, that people have no problem saying to your face: 'What, are you anorexic or something?' Fat shaming seems to at least be regarded badly enough now that most people do it behind the person's back. (Not that it makes it all right!) But even you couldn't apologise to Criseyde without adding 'But basically what I say is true!' I'm sorry, but it's not. Victoria Beckham is very skinny but she does not look like a lollipop in any realistic way. It's just body-shaming to say she does. It would be just like saying sorry for describing a very fat person as looking like a jam bun but then saying 'But she does have red hair, that's just what I meant.'
Originally Posted by Criseyde
Doesn't this basically amount to saying "unattractive people should be held to a higher standard for the same treatment"? The only reason it matters is because we make it matter. What if we all decided that we weren't going to discriminate based on looks?
No, I don't think there's any 'should' in there, it's just describing what currently is. It would be marvellous if everyone agreed not to discriminate based on looks, but I think you're going to have a hard time getting the whole world on board. It's taken long enough to just get the media to show a moderately representative range of people and that's an actual industry you can legislate against.
All you can do is decide that you
are not going to discriminate based on looks. Everyone else, however, may not get on board, so it helps to know that there are ways you can respond to biases inherent in society.