KARACHI: What exactly is it about a woman’s body that everyone is so quick to claim ownership of ? Whether it’s the way her body looks, or the way it feels or what it means to the opposite sex, everyone has a lot of concerns about the female body. Unsurprisingly, Tess Holiday is being attacked for exactly this collective ‘concern’ of our society. The plus size supermodel was chosen as the cover girl for Cosmopolitan magazine this month and naturally, there are two very strong reactions to it. The first is support for the magazine’s decision to promote body positivity and support for Tess for making it there.
The second is ‘concern’: people are worried that her appearance on the cover means that obesity is being promoted and glorified. And naturally, a woman who is overweight must obviously be unhealthy or sick. Right? Wrong.
So let’s get one thing straight about Tess Holiday. Despite the fact that she is overweight and apparently looks unhealthy, we can’t really come to that conclusion because guess what, the girl works out, that already makes her more healthy than half the inactive people sitting on their bums and commenting on her pictures.
Secondly, who came to the conclusion that overweight = unhealthy while skinny = healthy? There isn’t any one correct way to look ‘healthy’. Just because someone is thin doesn’t mean they’re in great shape. Sometimes people have medical conditions that do not allow them to be conventionally thin while others may be overweight and simply not give a damn.
Also, why is ‘health’ the yardstick for a fashion magazine? Can’t unhealthy people be fashionable and feel good about themselves?
Let’s just cut through the bullshit and call out this so called concern for what it really is – we are simply uncomfortable looking at overweight women, and men, and will come up with excuses for why their bodies make us uncomfortable.