I was at a friend’s birthday party, having a grand time, and someone walked up behind me after we had both visited the bar for a drink. He grabbed my arm, and whispered in my ear, “Honey, you need a cheeseburger.” My inner self was not happy with that comment and wanted to belt out a litany of insults regarding his 6’2 and 150 pound frame. I smiled and laughed. I went home that night feeling dejected and unsure of myself. I worried about health, body shape, and why someone had the audacity to say that to another person.
All thin girls need a cheeseburger and perhaps a side of fries
Recently, while at another party, I was mingling with the guests. A girl I knew from high school hugged me and said, “Girl, you need to eat a cheeseburger!” Again, my inner self was surprised and asked itself, “Seriously?”. I had actually just eaten a bacon cheeseburger. Again, I smiled and laughed. I was unable to convey how hurt I was by her simple and flippant comment.. Should I have said, “Hey, go eat a salad.”? No. That would be rude. Yet, some people feel it is certainly fine to comment on another person’s size.
There is a quiet and stealthy double-standard that is taking place. Follow any fashion company on Facebook and inevitably there are plenty of women commenting that the model needs to “eat a cheeseburger”, they’re “too thin”, they have “twigs for legs”, and that the models are “unhealthy”. Not only does it demean the models, it demeans the women making the comments. Every woman has body issues and will beat themselves up over the minutest of details they hate about themselves.
Shape up our attitudes
Dove has recently released a campaign that focuses on “real” women’s bodies. It is admirable because they address the media and how it tells the world what “beauty” should look like but it negates the message about what a real woman is. Every woman is a real woman. The essence of what constitute what we should look like is getting lost in translation via the media.
We all have feelings and agonize over our body shape. It hurts to be made fun or stared at. It’s time to allow women to be women no matter their body type and appreciate them for who they are and not what they look like. We all have differences and that is what makes us all unique and beautiful. And the next time someone tells me that I need a cheeseburger, I’m going to ask them when they are taking me to lunch.