I hold major love for Sophie Milner (@sophiemilner_fs) as she wrote about this topic about a month ago, and it inspired me to write this blog post.
Occasionally, I get comments on my Instagram / in my DMs along the lines of calling me 'body goals.'
I don't want to be anyone's body goals. In fact, I hate the phrase 'body goals.' It's a double-edged compliment that positively targets one specific body type, and inadvertently criticizes or dismisses every other body type.
Women's bodies are already subjugated to endless criticism, and treated like trends that go in and out of style. I am all for body positivity, but not at the expense of other body types.
I have been told that I am "body goals", because I have a butt, and wider hips, and thicker thighs, and these are body traits that are currently "on trend". I have received numerous comments along the lines of "I think it's amazing that you dress so confidently with your body type..." and "I love seeing things styled by a 'real girl'..." I get questions like "how do you work on being so body confident?" which simply makes me wonder, is there a reason why I shouldn't be?
I don't doubt that these comments and questions are written with good intentions, but I want to address how problematic they are.
People are born with all different body types. The word 'goals' is incredibly troublesome, as it refers to an underlying indication that all other body types should be working towards this 'goal.' We are human beings, not trends, and our bodies do not go out of style.
I am not a body goal: I am a body type, and every single one of us is a body type.
I want to stop fat-shaming girls for having normal bodies. I want to stop skinny-shaming girls for having normal bodies. I want to stop using the phrase 'real girl' or 'real body' to reference girls with a little bit of curve, because skinny girls have real bodies too. Pudgy girls have real bodies too. Every single one of us has a real body, and while I understand the frustration with clothing companies modeling all of their clothes on size 0 girls, the opposite of a size 0 model isn't a "real girl."
In general, I'd like to stop talking about our bodies.
Many of you know that I am going through eating disorder recovery- what some people may fail to consider, is that their 'compliments' can be triggering. I don't want to read comments about my body, period. I don't like them, I don't think they are beneficial, and frankly, they have nothing to do with fashion blogging.
I am neither a model, nor a personal trainer, and I created blackdenimchic to create editorial photography, and share my vision for fashion. I do not want to be anyone's 'body goals', and I certainly don't want my brand to be known as 'that fashion blogger that looks good even though she's not a size 0.'
If I am going to be an inspiration, I want it to be for my authenticity, or my honesty, or my work- not for the fact that I have a body, and I'm comfortable with it.
Let's stop branding people as 'body goals.' It's a seemingly harmless compliment that is full of problematic undertones. I don't think a term is empowering if it compliments a person's appearance at the expense of someone else's.
The human body is an extraordinary thing, and it's value far exceeds the superficiality of a trend. Our bodies are not trends, nor are they goals. Let's allow our bodies to simply be our bodies- they are extraordinary enough as it is.