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  • Bekah Hibbert

Stop Labeling Body Types


Curvy. Athletic. Skinny. Fat. Muscular. Plus size.  Any and all of these phrases drive me crazy! Why does a woman’s body have to be given a tag? Why does it need to be defined? Why can’t it just be simple? That regardless of size, shape, or looks it is just our body.  I think what makes me most frustrated is that somehow we have been convinced that adding an adjective like curvy made it all better. I mean what in the hell did that make better? These labels for our bodies keep putting us in boxes, boxes that frankly none of us want to be in, and none of us belong in.

I think when we see this in the context of female vs. male body descriptions it becomes even clearer how little these labels make sense. A story about two women who run the Any BODY community was recently titled “Skinny and Curvy Best Friends will be in Sports Illustrated”, now compare that to any title with two men in it like, Kevin Hart and the Rock, or Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. What you never find is a body label in their descriptors for stories. Can you even imagine? ‘Short actor and his muscular friend make movie together’, ‘Curvy Hill and Athletic Tatum Team Up for Next Film’ you read these fake descriptions and they are laughable. They seem so damn unnecessary when we talk about men but when we talk about women we continue to label their bodies to the point of it being normalized. Do we really wonder why females are so insecure? Or how young girls become obsessed with looks at such a young age?

We have to be cognizant about how we portray body positivity for ourselves and the next generation. Being body positive means loving your body, it means accepting yourself, and not allowing yourself to drown in self judgment or body comparison. Labels continue to create comparisons in all of us. Being body positive also means accepting other women’s bodies, no matter what they look like compared to ours. It is not enough to just empower yourself if you are not also willing to empower other women, young and old. The truth is that the labels keep working until we refuse to use them anymore.  We have made some strides to try and show diversity in bodies yet we still have so far to go because we keep labeling them in order to justify their existence. Why can’t we just show diversity? Why does a label or explanation have to be attached to it? We will never feel like we are good enough if we continue to label body types because society’s definition is always changing. We will always be searching to reach the unattainable. And what we will never find in that search is body confidence. We need to be better, but we also need the places we go to read stories to be better. We need to both demand change and be the change. If we can describe men without labeling their body types we can surely do it for women as well.

We were not put here for labels. Our beauty is not definable by body type. We are who we are with no need for excuses, justifications, or explanations. We are diverse bodies and we are beautiful.  


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