Clementine Ford on Female Bodies

Ford publishes a weekly column for Fairfax Media in Australia. She’s smart, funny, and refreshingly sane about the crap that women deal with in male-dominated culture. Here she is talking about showing skin in public while not conforming to society’s narrow beauty ideals. I particularly like her last paragraph.

Despite its susceptibility to insidious ideas about the body beautiful, the #fatkini trend still seems different to other selfie based campaigns (like the noxious #makeupfreeme). While other campaigns hinge on notions of conformity, asking that the beauty ideals and objectified be widened so that even more women can be subjected to their judgment, the #fatkini (and other fat fashion trends) is a pointedly transgressive political movement which seems to ask for an eradication of beauty rules altogether.

It’s frustrating that women are forced to waste precious time and resources staging rebellions over how much space (both physical and visual) our bodies are entitled to take up. Even though we weren’t party to the negotiations of that social contract, we’re still expected to adhere to them. So it is political act of defiance any time women brazenly flout these unwritten rules.

It will be nice to arrive at a point in time where women of all shapes and sizes can go about our business without being reminded that our most urgent task is to cultivate the erections of an omnipresent male viewer.
Until then, we’ll just have to keep storming the beaches, an invading force clad in the soldier’s uniform of brightly coloured geometric prints and high waisted cut outs.

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