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Are you beach body ready? Fit shaming is as bad as fat shaming


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Are you beach body ready? Are you jealous of skinny women? Is it terrible to fat shame but totally cool to fit shame?

Protein WorldRichard Staveley, head of marketing at Protein World, justified his company’s controversial  advert by saying “it’s been quite odd how many people we’ve found who are far quicker to fit shame than fat shame”.

No surprise that the person who gave this ad the go ahead was a male, and has no personal experience with looking in the mirror and wanting to cry because you hate how bouncy your stomach is or how your boobs are still the same size as when you were birthed.

But, is all this body loathing because we’ve seen a skinny poster girl on the way to work this morning? No, it’s because whatever shape we are we’re never completely happy or confident with our bodies and are sick to death of seeing stick thin women in advertising. (Unless you’re Renee Somerfield).

It’s true that these kind of adverts don’t help, and its clear Protein World is the straw that broke the camel’s back in the world of skinny women and advertising. What confuses me, is how the overweight women out there are only attacking this particular campaign. Have they not seen the perfume adverts of size -6 women? Type into Google images ‘perfume adverts 2015’ and loads pop up, skinny women draped over ridiculously expensive perfume bottles no one can afford. On the flip side, where I agree it’s wrong to portray that you’re only beach body ready if you look like the supermodel in the picture, I do agree with the decision to not remove the advert.

We’re very quick to call someone an alcoholic or a druggy, but suddenly saying that being overweight is wrong is sexist and shouldn’t be allowed. Health IS important and it’s unhealthy to be fat. Renee Somerfield (the one in the Protein World advert) stated “By saying the ad is body shaming by body shaming the image is very contradictory. Two wrongs don’t make a right”.

This is why fit shaming is finally being noticed. After Megan Trainer started singing about ‘skinny bitches’ the parodies of ‘All About That Bass’ got millions of hits and support because of the offence she caused to girls who can’t help being petite and who dare to take care of themselves. And even though Megan Trainer’s whole image is based around female empowerment and how being bigger is OK, she still openly admitted she wanted to look like Fergie - who’s also ridiculously skinny.

Truthfully, I don’t believe that any woman wouldn’t want to look like Renee Somerfield. No one is perfect and there is no such thing as having the ‘perfect body’. But, that does not give permission for singers or radical feminists to go around thin shaming because they’re jealous they can’t look a certain way.

Jealously has certainly played a part in all the graffiti left on the posters, whether you admit it or not. If we all focused on our own body and getting fit for ourselves Protein World wouldn’t have gained all the attention they did.

‘Perfect’ skinny bodied women will always remain in advertising and no amount of signatures on the internet will make them go away. Let’s focus on what’s important, being healthy AND happy. Whether you want to follow what adverts say or not.

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