Sunday, 1 April 2012

Shapes and labels

You know that timeless red plastic baby toy full of different shapes and corresponding holes on the outside.  I bet when you were a toddler you spend hours fitting those shapes in the right space and celebrating your success.  Maybe that is where our obsession with shapes begins.  We are taught about squares and triangles and octagons.  We name them and memorize how many sides they have. We label them so we can identify them and we know when a squares a square.

Then you grow up and a funny thing happens.  You learn about pears, and apples and triangles again but this time they are body shapes.  We agonize about which shape we are, "what to wear" to suit that shape, and in some cases how to work to change it.  In fact, most magazines will have some sort of feature on all of the above every month that they hit the stands.  Why the obsession with our shapes and everyone elses? Is a pear more attractive than an apple? And how ridiculous is a 'spoon' shape?

We are so shape conscious that shapeism finds its way into so many aspects of our lives, and we publicly criticize other shapes for not being the 'ideal'.  Adds like this one are supposedly meant to motivate people but aren't they a little harsh? Sure unhealthy norms for skinny in our culture are shocking, but there truly is a percentile of the population that has been and always will be 'skinny'.  I hate that word.  I am not a fan of this add either.

I want to see more ads (maybe like the Dove one below) of women of all shapes and sizes standing together and saying we are ALL healthy.  Health comes in all shapes and sizes.  Sometimes it is 'skinny', sometimes not.  Let health be your label and let go of all the others that aren't adding to the strength of who you are.

Sorry for the rant but spending hours on pinterest will do that to you (it is shocking how many people pin ads as "inspiration").


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