In a great victory for womankind or feminism or whatever, Sports Illustrated is featuring – for the first time ever – a plus size model. Her name is Ashley Graham, and yes, she’s absolutely gorgeous. No argument there. Most people seem super proud that a woman whose shoulder blades don’t protrude out of her back is finally the object of lust for millions of drooling men across the globe. Nevertheless, I have mixed emotions. In fact, this just feels like sexism regurgitated into an hourglass figure to me.
The edition is titled, “Swimsuits for All.” It ought to be titled, “Ogling Men for All,” but that doesn’t sound nearly so progressive, now does it?
Jezebel writer Mark Shrayber says, “This month, Sports Illustrated will release their annual swimsuit issue, delighting dads across the world …”
Dads …? DADS? Huh. Maybe he’s right. Dads are, after all, at the root of the problem. Maybe if little girls didn’t think their dads valued sexuality over personality, we’d have a lot more confident, ambitious, and independent women around here.
Seriously dads, get your act together.
Mark continues, “This year, the magazine’s making a historical change, however. It’s featuring plus-size model Ashley Graham in a string bikini on pages usually reserved for women with much smaller bodies.”
Historical? Really? I’m pretty sure the Greeks did it way before Sports Illustrated. Hot plus sized women are not a recent invention you know. In fact, they even predate the light bulb! SMH.
Don’t get me wrong. Equality is great and all when it involves something actually valuable, like the right to vote, get a job, own a home, etcetera. Being lusted after by millions of men with the IQ of Shallow Hal, however, should hardly be considered a badge of honor, let alone a milestone in women’s history.
“Plus size” women shouldn’t envy the spotlight given to anorexic models in the first place. Is being objectified by men who view you – not as an intellectual – but as a collectable, really all that great? Think about it. Would you rather have a few people truly love you for your talents, or a million people ogle your bum?
Also, on a totally random side note, did anyone notice how tiny the male model is? I mean … is he a jockey or something? If so, where’s his horse? And why is he levitating? Either she’s 12 feet tall, or he’s a flying hobbit. I can’t tell which.
Anywho … If I had the choice between being Harper Lee or Marilyn Monroe, I’d pick Harper every time. I’d just rather be appreciated for my brains than my boobs, and my talents than my figure. But for some reason (and I think I have a pretty good idea why) that’s not the norm. I’m looking at you, dads.
Many women prefer to be summed up based on how they look, what they wear, and what they weigh. Or do they? Is that truly a heartfelt desire, or a taught-and-learned behavioral pattern? Perhaps when more women begin to feel proud of their intelligence, ideas, and unique talents, womankind will actually enjoy true equality and pride. Perhaps when dads start loving moms, and showing their daughters by example what admiring and empowering a woman really looks like, sexism will finally cease to be PC.