Last week, as I wrote my response to the Marie Claire controversy, I knew someone would mention all the pictures of slim women on my site. I knew this because I’ve been doing this a long time and have developed a sixth sense about what kind of comments I am likely to receive. I had considered addressing it in the post, but ultimately thought that would take away from my main message which was that people deserve to be happy and respected, no matter their perceived differences. Heavy, thin, gay, straight – we’re all human and shouldn’t be shamed for the simple act of existing.
Now, it’s also true, I do post pictures of mostly slim women. Part of this is symptomatic of my chosen topic: the entertainment industry. There just aren’t that many women in Hollywood who are larger than a Size 0. The vast majority of famous women in Hollywood are conventionally thin. And unless I want to write about Queen Latifah, Nikki Blonsky, Gabourey Sidibe and Camryn Manheim every day, my options are limited. Even the women who sometimes get lumped in with the “plus-size” category aren’t really all that plus, like Sara Ramirez, America Ferrera and Christina Hendricks.
But this isn’t to say I shouldn’t do better. I should. I try not to glorify or perpetuate the unhealthy – in either direction. I don’t regularly post photos of models, because I think most are beyond unrealistic looking. (But not all, and those I celebrate to the fullest.) I don’t regularly post overly Photoshopped pictures, because there’s nothing realistic at all about the overuse of the liquefy tool. (I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really hate over Photoshopping. For real.)
Which brings us back to the topic of size and what I post on my site. I actually do think about inclusiveness, be it size or race or left handedness, a lot. A lot, a lot. But it’s not always that easy. I post about what I watch and enjoy because, well, it’s my site. But not all the TV/movies/music I watch and enjoy includes women of varying sizes. “30 Rock” – maybe Sherri Shepherd, but she’s on maybe twice a year. “Glee” – Amber Riley who is perpetually second fiddle of Lea Michele. “Rizzoli & Isles” – those two could fit on a twin-size bed with room to spare, trust me, I’ve imagined it. “Buffy” – Xander got a little chunky in the later seasons. “The Vampire Diaries” – nada, blood must be slimming.
I used to write about America Ferrera more often, but then “Ugly Betty” got bad and now it’s off the air. I write about Queen Latifah sometimes but closet organizing gets old after a while. And then, it can start to feel like tokenism. I’ve got to throw the Queen into this post, I’ve got to add Gabby to that post. Like I said, it isn’t always easy.
Also, do you know how hard it is to find pictures of some of these ladies in tank tops? The one, one, I’ve ever been able to find of Sara Ramirez I posted.
I guess this is all just a long, rambly way of saying – I do care and I do try. I want to be representative and I want to be inclusive. But I also write about a sliver of our popular culture that tends to be show women who look like a sliver. So trust me when I tell you, my love for women is not one size fits all.
p.s. Apologies to those expecting a post on the midterm elections today. I just couldn’t, it is too – well – ugh.