Of course, we all object to the super skinny waif models, the vast majority of whom have disordered eating, whose bodies look extraordinarily thin behind the camera, and even worse off scenes. Without a doubt, I have found it disturbing that media and subsequently ourselves and our children begin idolizing a body image that is impossible to reach through healthy means, and that resembles a child rather than a grown woman's body ( and I know that male models also have issues, hurrah). Many times I have thought about how we should create contracts, demand healthy standards be set, that anorexic/bulimic etc women are not allowed to walk the runway. But I never considered how deeply anti-feminist this representation of women is , how it cuts down a woman beyond compare.
For what distinguishes a woman from a man? What qualities, what abilities are uniquely female? And one clear answer ( though there are others) is her extraordinary power of giving life. A woman is host for an organism within her to give birth to. She sustains life through nursing. Her curves, her extra fat etc, are what enables other life to exist. Physically, when a woman is severely underweight, her period stops, her ability to conceive life ends. The breastmilk is also connected and improves or diminishes quality with the woman's intake.
On a different level, a woman needs to feel full, satiated, emotionally, physically, and psychologically in order to give. If a woman doesn't feel full, content, she cannot give, truly give, from the depths of her being and go beyond herself. And so women need to eat, they need to nourish themselves, they need to feel full in all realms. And that means not just eating to survive, but eating to live, to truly live, to sustain life at its finest and strongest. So women need to eat and enjoy it, fully, deeply, because they deserve it.Because it is hard work and taxing and depleting to give and sustain life. It is not easy. And receiving is critical to the ebb and flow process.
And one of these days, we're going to stand up to those magazine editors and runway hostages and demand better treatment and to reset the ideal. Because those who promote anorexia promote death. Those who promote nourishment and life, they promote a woman's body that is able to give.
In the era in which women are rising, let's live. But let's really live. By celebrating the fullness and the beauty of a nourished woman. Because we deserve better.