The ideal woman doesn’t exist
I don’t know where this image of three inexplicably naked and differently sized women is originally from, but it certainly isn’t new. It reappeared on Twitter today and I couldn’t resist asking my followers, “Is this true, or an excuse for nudity?“. Before long there was a small flurry of responses.
The first few replies I received were from men stating, somewhat predictably, that they preferred the size 16 model and that the size 8 woman was “too skinny”. @theknickermafia then pointed out, quite rightly, that everyone’s taste is different. Next @Traumata wondered why ‘men’s ideal’ should matter to women at all. “It always comes across to me as ‘you’re being silly, men like curves. Surely you want to look how men want?’, but I can see the benefits in showing beautiful, happy women who aren’t model sizes. There should be more of that.” @pekingspring said, “Reality looks pretty hot to me, TBH. Or should I be tutting at the flagrant objectification of women?”, while @snarey concisely declared it to be “oversimplified nonsense on both counts”. @MrSnowgarden suspected it was just an excuse for nudity, but also had issues with the image that were too long for Twitter’s 140 character limit! When someone asked which I preferred/aspired to, I simply replied: “I don’t aspire to be anything other than me. I think confident women are attractive, whatever their size.” As I suspected, there was much discussion to be had on face value, but what do we think the original point of this image is, and has it been lost?
The big problem is that, well… they’re naked. Whatever you think of the point the person who made this image was trying to put across, the nudity simply distracts from any worthy message regarding improving women’s body image and instead just brings it all back to sex. Whether or not they should, these days most people look at an image of a naked person and find it sexual. No matter what the age, shape or size of the person concerned, it’s pretty much always seen as a sexual act to get your kit off in front of a camera. If the person appears to be under 16 or over 70, it’s viewed as disgusting because ‘you shouldn’t be thinking sexual thoughts about them’, should you? If the naked person is fat they should be covering up, if they’re thin they should eat something, because it’s just not considered to be sexually attractive to be anything other than ‘normal’ (not by me, I hasten to add).
So, by removing these women’s clothes, whoever created the image has ensured more people will look at it and talk about it, but I think they have also ensured their original point will be lost. Whatever that was, my point is that all three of those women look amazing, so why should we be worrying about shedding or gaining a few pounds as long as we’re healthy? Even if you do decide that you want to make a few changes to your appearance, remember that the only person you should really want to please with the way you look is yourself. The reason these women look great is because they are confident. There is no denying that Gok Wan’s show How To Look Good Naked is an inspiration when it comes to finding the confidence to love yourself the way you are. We really do need more of that kind of thing.
I cannot find the original source for the image accompanying this post so, if you know where it’s from, please contact me so that I can credit the photographer and/or publication. Thanks.