‘Big is beautiful’ objectifies women

Illustration by Zachary Phillips.
Illustration by Zachary Phillips.

Society’s obsession with beauty is getting old.

I love seeing women of all sizes and shapes feel confident enough to strut their stuff, but I feel that isn’t addressing the beauty problem as a whole.

Changing beauty standards to include different body types is the equivalent of slapping new paint on a house that is unlivable. Sure, it looks nice, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is an inhospitable environment.

One example of this fad is the popular “fatkini” trend. This is where larger girls post pictures of themselves in bikinis on social media and tag it #fatkini.

I think it is great that women are not letting their insecurities get in the way of summer fun. What bothers me is what men’s brains do when shown a woman in a bikini. According to National Geographic, men no longer view women as human. The prefrontal cortex just shuts off, making men view women as objects.

I have seen countless articles and blog posts discussing the fatkini trend over this summer. This also makes it seem that looks are open to be critiqued.

Some people might still wonder what the big deal is and feel they aren’t affected by these issues. However, this is not just about looking good in a bathing suit or being popular.

There are major issues in the workplace depending on looks, and it does not just affect women. According to an article from the Huffington Post, taller men get paid more than shorter men, and women with BMIs higher than 23 have their wages drop by almost $3 compared to women with BMIs of 23. Wages should only be determined by skill, performance and seniority.

I think that #fatkini trends are fun, but they still contribute to the idea that women’s looks are open for critique and judgment. There should be better social media fads for women like #goodgrades or #volunteertime. We should start congratulating each other on accomplishments instead of our makeup.

Alyssa Dunning can be reached at [email protected] or @alyssadunning3 on Twitter.