Has anyone else noticed that when it comes to popular media, some celebrities are praised for their apparently unbelievably fantabulous bodies and amazing physiques, while others who look pretty much exactly the same in terms of size and weight are criticized for their curves? Or how sometimes “real” – as in, real bodies – is alluring—and other times it’s repulsive?
Take this recent photo of a vacationing Kate Moss for example, which ran under the headline “Kate Moss Displays Trim Figure as She Takes a Dip in Rio” in Britain’s Daily Mail. IMHO, Kate looks happy, confident and great. But she’s got a not-pancake-flat belly that on another star would be reason enough for public humiliation.
Somehow, however, Kate’s branded as “trim” while the woman on the right who has virtually the same physique was featured in an article where “brave” women bared their “mummy tummies” and “wobbly bits” in order to get expert advice on how to camouflage them. And praising some bodies that look like this, while labeling other that do as “fat (True story. It totally happened to Jennifer Aniston) has me totally confused — and angry.
On the flip side, some celebs today are praised for their natural, “real” bodies. Take Kate Upton, who has been celebrated as a new It Girl by Vogue and is commonly referred to as a “normal girl” and a good example. At least most of the time.
The rest of the time, she apparently is fair game for snide digs at how hard she has to “struggle” to fit her “ample” proportions into her clothes and how she recently made an “eye-popping entrance” at a movie premiere.
No matter. She still took a lashing for “flashing more flesh than she had intended” when the buttons on her top “failed to contain her ample cleavage.” Oh, please. “Ample,” again? It’s like we’re caught in an old Beavis and Butthead episode. (“Cleavage. Heh heh heh. That means she has boobs.” “You said ‘boobs.’ Heh heh. Boobs! Boobs!”).
So what do we—as women and as a society—do about this trend? We can learn to trust our guts (rounded or not) when it comes to our bodies rather than the media’s wavering definitions of female beauty.
Audrey D. Brashich is the author of “All Made Up: A Girl’s Guide to Seeing Through Celebrity Hype and Celebrating Real Beauty.” Find more here.