Body Image and the Plight of Sexy

I’ll just go ahead and state that I simply do not understand sexy.  At all.  I don’t understand flirting either.  Am I odd?  You betcha!

However, I realize that most women want to be seen as sexy.  OK, I can get on board with that.  But still, should not the first and foremost person you should be concerned with is yourself…?  And not whether you are sexy to others or not?  Am I thinking out loud again?  Is this a taboo topic that I shouldn’t be discussing?

Two things though have popped this thought back into my head again.  Lane Bryant’s lingerie ad and a rhetoric post from BuzzFeed about 17 Reasons Plus-Size Women Shouldn’t Wear Bikinis.

 

Are they selling porn to men… or underwear to women? I can’t tell anymore.

 

Am I getting this wrong here?  But isn’t the basic point of underwear to hold all of your bits in place, unless you’re getting the super see-through lacy, racy stuff that you might want your significant other to see?  I’ve never understood the highly charged sexuality of lingerie ads.  I don’t care if they are from Victoria’s Secret or where ever.  If it’s just a regular set of underwear why are we making it sexy?

All I can think about is, “OMG I’m sooo sexy with these white cotton no nonsense panties and matching bra!”  Why do we feel the need to make that sexual?  There’s a time and a place for sexual, but this is like trying to make pizza sexy.  It’s just pizza.  This is just normal underwear.

Honestly, I feel like those women are about to come through the screen and make out with me.  Is that necessary in order to sell me underwear that I’m going to be wearing… under my clothes… and the chances of guys seeing it is not so much?  Really, these ads seem more geared towards men, so they can get off.  Why do we do this?!

So, the Lane Bryant ad isn’t being shown on the telly because it’s fat women being sexy.  I have no problem with any woman being sexy.  If you show Victoria’s Secret lingerie commercials, then you should damn well better show Lane Bryant’s.  It’s just how super sexy they are, yet do not need to be, that bothers me.

I’m not even a fan of breast-feeding in public.  You might be thinking, ‘How dare you… and as a woman!’  But I just don’t want to see it.  Hell, there are tons of people I don’t want to see eating in public; basically people who eat like animals and have no table manners like chewing with one’s mouth open.

Would I scoff or make faces, or make a fuss because a woman is breast-feeding in public?  No.  Would I ever do it?  No.  It’s natural and there’s nothing wrong with using the bathroom or having sex either, but do I want to see that out in public?  Nope.  Childbirth is even considered beautiful, as well as natural.  Do I want to see that?  Nope.  So, I think it’s highly illogical to actually use the statement that it’s beautiful or natural; or beautiful and natural.

However, on the front of things being natural, I’ll take breast-feeding over the other one’s any day, but maybe let’s stop using that as the reason, because it honestly doesn’t make much sense for me not to pee on the floor of the restaurant since that is natural and wonderful too.  But because your tiny baby needs to eat and bottles aren’t always the way to go, I think is a much better reason.

Anyways, I actually like the inclusion of the woman breast-feeding her baby in the video saying that “this body is made for love”.  That’s actually nice.

And these ladies aren’t showing anymore skin (other than the fact that there is actually just more skin) than ladies in other lingerie ads.  That, I don’t have a problem with.  Although, seriously why do we all have to be so sexy like we’re in soft core porn?

But perhaps I am not the right person to be seeing this logically or from a general female population.

Is it right on par?  Or is it a bit degrading?  This body is made for “turning heads”, “…sexy”, “getting it on”?  It seems to me that larger ladies desperately want to be seen as sexy, so here’s this ad, with those lines.  I know it’s about the body and not the entire package, but might that not be a mistake?

I understand wanting to be seen as sexy in a world full of Victoria’s Secret models with everyone seeming to root for them, but is that all that’s really important?  My body isn’t made for “rockin’ denim”.  That seems stupid.  I put on my jeans, they look fine, I like the way they look on me.  But rockin’?  Is this 1983?  Perhaps most people think that’s a fantastic line?  I honestly don’t know if it’s on trend for the majority of women… or if it’s just stupid.

I get the This body is made for “style”, “being bold, powerful…”, & “living”.  Those seem fine.  I would be one board with “proving them wrong”, “breaking the mold”, and “starting a revolution” if it were in normal context.  However it seems a bit petulant to me, because it’s all about this body being the new body; the only body style that matters.  Not really all that great.

Besides the fact that all lingerie ads somehow have to be super sexy that I feel like one of the women is going to lick me through the screen and she’s only saying “breaking the mold” or “starting a revolution”.  What is that?  I can not, in an everyday context, go up to someone and say, “I enjoy swimming” with bedroom eyes and breathy tones and be taken seriously.  Not because I’m a larger lady, but because it’s ridiculous.  So, why is this OK when the woman is only in her underwear?

Honestly they could have added the line “This body is made for swimming.”  Tell me, if you said that line, in the exact same way these ladies are saying lines to some random person, wouldn’t you feel ridiculous?  Wouldn’t it be out-of-place?  Yes, it absolutely would!  And if you think it’s OK when you’re only in your underwear, then try that the next time you’re out.

To me, they’re not really selling, “I am big and that is beautiful and I am worthy.”  They’re selling “Oh, come on!  See fat girls as sexy, please!  Honest!  ‘This body is made for getting it on’!”  And really with any ad of this kind, we’re just selling half-naked women in their underwear of any size talking in husky voices, because sex sells.  But to me, that degrades women.  We’re making it that women can only be sexy, are only there for your viewing pleasure.  This is why I don’t like this ad, nor any lingerie ad.

Women can be sexy.  Women are sexy.  I don’t care which size they are.  But this really shouldn’t be the most important quality or the only one that we see in reference to women.  Sexiness can really only get one so far in life.  But sexiness, along with beauty, fades and what are you left with?  Do women really want to be that woman?  I’m sure you know her; have one in your life.  That women who put all her hopes and dreams on sexy and now she’s old, her looks are gone and she doesn’t know anything except how to be sexy which comes off really badly because that time has passed (or perhaps it always came off badly?  Depends on the woman, I suppose).

Perhaps it is because I do have this woman in my life that I think the way that I do; that I know that sexiness is not the end all be all in life.  It’s sad y’all.  That aged woman still trying to get younger men because she’s “sexy”.  You are sexy, but stop worrying about it.  Sexiness is not nearly as important as loving yourself, your mensch credentials, how much time you spend with your family, feeding that stray cat or dog, enjoying that trip you just took/are going to take, etc.

So, yes, be sexy, you are sexy, but please don’t get all wrapped up in sexy.  And for christ’s sake lets stop having soft core porn lingerie ads.  I am more than soft core porn, and I buy my damn underwear because I like it, not because I want others to like me because that is not what normal underwear is for people!

Now, moving on to the swimsuit arena.  Obviously I’ve already hit on this in a few posts.  Women are already beach/bikini/swimsuit/swimming pool ready.  Unless you don’t have a swimsuit and it’s not naked swimming, otherwise you’re ready for that swimsuit by simply putting it on your body.

Besides even if one were to argue that one must be in good shape to be in a swimsuit.  That has always been ridiculous to me.  The bottom line is that swimsuits are first and foremost made for swimming.  But even if you’re just going to bob up and down in the water or lay out in the sun, I don’t care.  Who’s asinine idea was it to judge women for not having a “perfect” body to put into a suit that is made for exercise?  That’s like saying because you don’t have a “perfect” runners body you can’t wear a track suit to the track.  This does not make any sense at all!!

So firstly, to my logical thinking, any type of body can go into a swimsuit because any type of body is going to benefit from swimming.  That’s like being told you can’t be at the gym unless you have a “perfect” body.  I know it happens, but it’s ridiculous.  The gym is not simply there for people to strut around looking good with a “perfect” body.  You can be at the gym to help maintain your muscles and weight, and obviously the sound reasoning of actually losing weight or toning that muscle.  So to tell fat people they don’t belong at a gym is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.  And it’s the same as telling fat people that they can’t wear a swimsuit… ANY swimsuit.

I think all of the ladies in their varying swimsuits look fabulous in the photos from the BuzzFeed post.  But, then again, it doesn’t really matter what I think about them.  If they want to wear that particular swimsuit then that’s all them.  It really only matters what they think.

So I’ve already hit on beach body ready.  -_-   So, let’s move on, shall we?.

 

Hey! Everyone’s swimsuit ready here!

 

“Bikinis just don’t look nice on plus-size women.”

OK, that’s just ridiculous.  Though most of these are really tasteful two-pieces, bikinis look fine, you know why?  Because that woman chose that particular swimsuit and who cares!  Besides I’ve seen plenty of people who do not look good in bikinis.  The women I have seen are either entirely too skinny and it looks like a skeleton walking about in partial clothes or it is ill-fitting on this deemed “perfect” body and her boobs are going to fall out from the bottom of her top.  That’s not nice.  I don’t want to see that.  But ya know what?  I’m not at the pool to look at people.  I’m there to hang out and talk with people who I know and actually swim.  If I were a laying out type of gal, I’d be enjoying the sun and the book that I’m reading instead of focusing all of my attention on the person who I think shouldn’t be wearing that suit.

 

“They just shouldn’t wear them.”

There’s lot’s of things people shouldn’t do like turn themselves orange or brighten their teeth too much.  They also shouldn’t wear g-strings with low-rise jeans.  But while people all have opinions on what others should and shouldn’t do, at the end of the day it really isn’t any of your business.  Unless they are doing something horrible like killing kittens or beating up little old ladies.  Then you say something.  Otherwise, I’m pretty sure that you have more important things to be worrying with than what someone else is wearing.  Whether you agree with their fashion choice or not!

 

“Why should I have to look at that on the beach?”

There are lots of things I don’t want to see at the beach.  People making out on blankets or rafts.  Seaweed.  Sand in my hair.  A “perfect” ass with absolutely no covering.  Triangle tops barely covering women’s areola’s.  People spitting.  But ya know what?  People are people.  People are always going to not wear enough clothes at the beach because it is really hot out there.  Plus extra clothes are not conducive to getting a tan or being in the water.  If you don’t have to cover up your boobs and butt, then I shouldn’t have to cover myself up either.  And no, you might think it, but not everyone wants to look at your ass or your breasts.  So, what if we have extra meat on our thighs and arms and butts.  Who gives a good god damn?  Remember we talked about this?  Read your book, talk to your own friends.  Stop staring at people in bathing suits and mind your own business.

 

“It’s just not attractive.”

Really?  Again.  Lots of things aren’t attractive yet you do them anyways.  Even though you might be doing it to get lots of attention from your preferred sex or even if your friends have said, “Dude, don’t do that.”  You do it anyways because YOU like it or YOU think it looks good.  And just because you might not think something is attractive for someone else, good for you, don’t date them.  But it is attractive to someone who isn’t you.  And besides that girl might just be wearing it because it’s all about her, and not about hoping someone else will think she’s purty.  Jesus!

 

“I mean does anyone actually find that sexy?”

Yes, yes they do.  Just the same as you probably find the really, really bony girl to be sexy.  Or the really short red-head or the really tall brunette.  But, the main reason for putting on a swimsuit isn’t to be sexy.  Sure you want it to look good and you want to like it and if you think, “Dang, I’m sexy in this!  I like it!”, then alright.  But that woman isn’t there for YOU to find her sexy.  She’s there to swim or get some sun.  Did you really think this was all about you?  Oh, perhaps you did…

 

“Having all that skin out just makes everyone else feel uncomfortable.”

You know, you’re right.  You’re actually right about one.  Showing off skin does make a lot of people uncomfortable, I have noticed.  Anybody’s skin, as a matter of fact.  Even if she’s got a “perfect” body, there are going to be people who are uncomfortable about it for whatever reason.  They feel threatened because of low body image or they happen to be a bit puritan in their thinking.  There are loads of people who I just don’t want to see half-naked, but we’re here to swim and I’m busy with my underwater cart-wheel and handstand acts to really dwell on it.  So, you shouldn’t either.

As someone who has been reserved to the cover up section.  No, I won’t do it anymore and I’d never try to coerce another into being lobbed into that same group.  I can not swim in a T-Shirt and shorts.  I can not swim in a little skirt cover up.  That shit is all in my face and all in the way.  Plus, it is hot here.  I’m going to wear tank tops and you’re going to see my meaty, flabby arms.  I’m going to get made fun of it from time to time as well.  So, what?  It’s too damn hot for other shirts and ain’t nobody got time for frilly bits on a suit when swimming is to be done.  So, I’ll say it in the nicest way possible.  “Go fuck yourself.”

 

“I think it is so brave to wear a bikini when you are not slim.”

This is a touchy statement right here.  Sure, it is a form of bravery knowing that you might get made fun of for wearing it.  But, also, it’s not really brave at all.  I could say, “Wow, you’re brave for wearing that bikini when you don’t have any curves.”  But that’s not bravery, and it’s just cruel.  The stick girl can wear the swim suit even if I don’t find it flattering on her.  She likes it, she can wear it.  It’s not brave.  Plus, if this statement is coming from a thin girl, it’s a back-handed compliment.  If it’s coming from a big girl, it’s just sad that she can’t see that she’s can wear it too.  I’ve heard it from both size groups.  About wearing a swimsuit in public or tank tops or whatever;  t’s not brave, it’s just logical.

 

“I would never wear a bikini if I looked like that.”

Well, then you’ll be very pleased to find out that we live in a country where you can’t be forced to wear what you don’t want to!  Yay for you!  Now, I do look about like the girl in the photo for this quote.  I personally wouldn’t wear a bikini either.  Mainly because I’m modest.  Even if I had a “perfect” body I would not wear an actual bikini because I just need more coverage than that.  With the body I have now, no, because in a real bikini the bottoms would be rolling down and my boobs would be popping out (as they are too skimpy for my taste).  But, this to me is not a bikini but a two piece.  I would totally wear this.  Unless it were a halter top because that is something I have found that I do not enjoy wearing because it’s painful.  But it’s not too frilly or fancy with weird fringe and stuff that would get in my way.  I’d choose a different print, personally.  But yeah, I would put this on, no problem, and wear this to go swimming… *gasp* in front of people!

And the best part is, you don’t HAVE to choose to wear this!  Isn’t life fantastic?!  You can choose any suit that YOU want to choose.  But, you can’t choose for me, so stop trying to make statements off-handedly trying to police what I, or any other girl, can wear.

 

“Maybe curvy girls should just wear black bikinis”

swim10

I’m gonna go ahead and say no.  This is not even a bikini, it’s a takini, and all that black isn’t hiding any of my fat.  Surprise!  There is, indeed, a fat girl under that swimsuit!  Honestly, this photo would look the same if my suit was hot pink or yellow or a floral print.  So, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but black isn’t slimming.  It’s not going to hide fat.  So, if a girl wants to wear colour, she should wear colour!

I actually don’t like this suit.  I mean it’s fine, but it’s not ideal.  I was looking for a real bra and no halter top and this is what they had.  I would have definitely chosen colour… but they didn’t offer it.  It’s too va-va-voom in the boob area and the top I have to tuck into my briefs at the hip line while I’m swimming because it’s all in my face.

Do some people make fun of me for “parading around” in this suit?  Absolutely.  Do I care?  Not at all.  Remember, I have more important things to do in this suit like actual swimming and acrobatic underwater feats of greatness to be worried about whether people approve or disapprove of me in this suit.

Also, people.  This is not brave.  Brave would be if I went into a knife fighting contest in this swimsuit.  Or rather it’d be the kind of bravery that’s stupid.  Brave would be if I stood up in front of thousands of people because I am afraid of public speaking.  No, no, just the conquering the fear part, as I’d be wearing normal clothes.  Because there’s a time and a place for a swimsuit and it is not at a public speaking function, silly!

 

“But why would big girls want to wear a bikini anyway?”

This.  OK, the second photo is something I would never personally wear.  It’s what I was talking about in the last point.  I wouldn’t be able to keep those bottoms in place, and with no straps, well that’s just a catastrophe waiting to happen.  Besides why does anyone want to wear a bikini…?  Because they want to.  I think she looks amazing in both photos, though that’s really neither here nor there.  Plus, I wouldn’t wear either of these suits.  My main reasoning for the second photo, obviously, but I also don’t like the print.  The first, I don’t like the faux lingerie boning of the bra part because it screams “Hello Breasts!”  and seems almost comical to me.  But people wear what they like.  That doesn’t stop because you’re a different size than “normal”.

 

“Why don’t they just wear one-piece swimsuits?”

Again, this is the thing I was trying to explain before, geeze-la-weeze, keep up will ya?  I’ll type it slowly for you.

We    live   where    you    can    wear    whatever    the    hell    you   want    to    wear.

Remember?  You aren’t forced to wear what you don’t like… and neither is anyone else.  I personally like one-piece suits.  Am I going to wear one simply because you think that I should?

Wait for it….

Umm… nope.  Not so much.

 

“I just don’t think it looks good.”

Well, shit.  I must have missed the world-wide memo that stated everything revolves around you now.  Darn it all if I’m not always last to know about these things.  Oh wait, your opinion isn’t, in fact, the new standard of what all people must go by?

Phew!  Good, because that would get very boring, very fast!  I’m sorry, but no one’s one-off thoughts are important to people as a whole.  Sorry, you’re not that special.  I probably think something doesn’t look good about/on you, but I have enough grace to say, “Whatever.  Who cares.”  You should probably try that too.

 

“I just think you should dress for your size.”

Really, what does this even mean?  I’ve purchased the XL or XXL tank top, so I’m gonna go ahead and say that it’s in my size.  I’m not buying size 2’s over here thinking they’ll fit me.  Ha!  Those won’t even fit my arm!

Oh, you meant that I should wear a circus tent?  I’m sorry, but that’s no one’s size.  Or hadn’t you noticed?  Perhaps you should get that eye appointment scheduled for sooner.

Oh no, I understand now.  There are just items that aren’t flattering on particular body frames and people shouldn’t wear them.  I can sorta see that.  Like skinny jeans.  There really are very large women who look phenomenal in them.  Some girls?  Not so much.  Me, I prefer not to look like an ice cream cone, plus I don’t dig constriction, so I won’t wear things that button or cinch at the ankles or wrists.

But, that stuffs out there and if a gal wants to wear it, then let her.  I don’t say anything against thin girls when they wear their clothes too small or too big or some particular item that does nothing for them.  And believe me, y’all are out there.  In droves!  At least the larger ladies are actually picking their sizes, mostly.  Most of you thin girls that I see are squeezing super thinness into smaller sizes than what you need.  You do this.  But the more important question is why do you do this?  Most of us larger ladies actually have to work to find a size and when we find the thing that fits, we know it fits, it looks great and is, actually, our size.

So, tell me again what it’s supposed to mean by dressing by our size?

 

“I don’t think men like bodies like that.”

Really?  You don’t say!  So, because you don’t think that men like bodies like this that what… we should be thrown under a bus and killed?  What are you saying?  For one, most women aren’t having a body like that to lure men.  And while I know it’s a male dominated society, they really don’t have that much power.  As in, does a man actually think that by making this statement that larger women are going to cower down and say, “Oh sir, you are correct, I have forgotten my place”?  Do you?

I, for one, don’t really give a good god damn if men like bodies like this.  I don’t care who likes bodies like this.  I like my body and that’s pretty much end of discussion as far as it goes personally.  As for any person.  You have a body.  Congratulations.  And that should pretty much be the end of the discussion as well.

Men don’t like bodies like this.  Pfft, please!  Is that even worth worrying about?  I say no.  Besides for the record, there apparently are men out there who like bodies like this.  I say apparently, because I couldn’t tell you first hand, as there have hardly been any men liking this particular body.  But I don’t much mind.  I’m not even kidding.  So, I couldn’t tell you how many men like larger ladies or for whatever reason.  Whether it’s just what they’re attracted in a nice way… or a fetish style way.

Two of the men that thought I looked nice did seem like nice guys.  The other three, eh, not so much.  One of them screamed at me to have his babies.  Another begged me to take him home.  Yeah… I think I’m gonna pass.

However, I do see lots of larger ladies with boyfriends/husbands.  Though the statement is all about men, I also see lots of larger ladies with girlfriends/wives too!  So, apparently, yes, this is a thing.  People like all shapes of bodies.  Just because you don’t, stop asking passive-aggressive questions about it.

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