Back in 2015, Twitter went into a meltdown after Protein World plastered the notorious “are you beach body ready?” advert throughout the London underground. Almost immediately, my Facebook feed and inboxes were inundated with articles shaming Protein World and tenuous “watch this woman perfectly shut down the internet with her ‘beach ready’ body” links.
Seemingly, I was the only woman who gave zero cares about the whole shebang.
Now London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced adverts at risk of causing “body confidence issues” will be banned from London tubes and buses. Call me a terrible excuse of a person, but am I the only one who thinks we need to lighten up a little?
Okay, so admittedly, Protein World’s marketing team didn’t really think it through; perhaps placing diet pills next to a woman with a smoking-hot bod wouldn’t go down so well with us mere mortals. But can you blame their thought process? I know I’d sooner gawp at her perfectly pert chest than at an overweight woman in a string bikini during a commute at an ungodly hour.
SHOCK HORROR. I can just imagine your faces as you read that last paragraph; “How dare this girl call herself a woman? Whatever happened to female solidarity?”
I’ll tell you what happened – the world became too politically correct and I didn’t.
To this day, I still can’t see how the model in question sent society so thoroughly off its rockers. Admittedly very blessed (or very photoshopped), she had the figure I could only dream of; but at 4’11’’ with ‘strong thighs’ and a substantially peachy behind, her physique is not my reality. Yet I didn’t feel jealous or even vaguely provoked. How could I? As a consciously healthy eater with a penchant for gym classes, I am that same girl striving for beach body readiness.
In the midst of the body confidence backlash, super plus size models like Tess Holliday were resultantly thrust upon us. It suddenly became acceptable to shame svelte women the world over with the hashtag #StrongNotSkinny, but speaking against an undeniably overweight model was deemed taboo. Am I the only one that can’t grasp the contradictions of the female mind?
Ironically, being berated daily for my lack of height has strengthened my confidence. And yet, my friends whose sensitivity must be pandered to lack even an ounce of the confidence I exude.
I do not have the physique society would deem as perfect, but I do have a sense of humour. Maybe it’s not sensitivity and appearances Sadiq should be so concerned with, but instead our shameless inability to laugh in the face of controversy.