Social media has become a big part of our culture, but it sure does bring out the worst in people.
I’m referring to this picture:
This is a picture that Rebecca Judd posted of herself in a bikini on her Instagram account to show off an organic spray tan she had done for an event.
She has come under some mega fire for the bikini shot and people are getting, well, mean. Ferocious even.
I have been thinking about this for the last couple of days, trying to decide where my opinion stands. Has Bec done the wrong thing? Is her tiny frame in a bikini sending the wrong message to the thousands of women, and girls, who follow her Instagram and website?
I think I have settled on a ‘no’ and here is why.
There is just no winning.
We see a picture of Rebecca Judd in a bikini and let fly with the labels. The nasty name-calling. She’s a skeleton. She’s setting a bad example. She’s malnourished. Give her a steak.
We see a picture of someone like Ajay Rochester in a bikini and we do the same thing. She’s fat. She has no restraint. Isn’t she embarrassed getting around in a bikini like that?
Here’s the thing…..we are nasty. We are judgemental and we are majorly critical of anyone who sits at either end of the weight spectrum. Both the very slim and the very large are crucified for being bad examples.
Whether or not we want to accept it, we’ve all been brainwashed to some extent by what the media has told us is attractive.
We don’t want to hear anyone’s stories. We don’t want to know that you are very thin because that is your genetic make up or that you are overweight for the same reason. We don’t want to know that you lose or gain weight due to stress. We actually don’t care what is going on in your life because we have judged you, on the most superficial level, as being Bad. Bad. Bad.
I acknowledge all of this, but I remain very critical of my own weight. I cannot think of anything that would make me feel more vulnerable than wearing a bikini in public, let alone posting it online. That’s because I have zero body confidence. I have been caught up in the sticky web of the body beautiful and in turn, continue to perpetuate the body image bullshit that I am so critical of.
Rebecca Judd is no fool. She’s been in the industry long enough to know what kind of reaction that picture would have stirred up. But I think I love the fact that she didn’t care. She obviously loves the way she looks, so shouldn’t we be celebrating that in the same way we should celebrate a curvier girl doing the exact same thing? With a pat on the back for loving and embracing her shape, regardless of the backlash?
I wonder if we would be as insecure (and critical) of our own – and each others – body sizes if fashion houses, glossy mags and media in general regularly featured models of all sizes in their publications and campaigns. I’m not just talking about the annual ‘body love’ issue or the token ‘plus-size’ editorial. I’m talking about forever and always.
I’m talking about photo shoots of women who are naturally very slim showing off their bodies. I’m talking about soft flesh and big boobs. Muscle tone and cellulite as opposed to versus. A stretch mark here, a flat chest there.
It all sounds great in theory, but until it becomes a practise, nothing will change. So we need to take it into our own hands. Until we can all don that bikini with confidence, we will continue to send a message to each other, and most importantly the younger and more impressionable girls and boys of society, that only one kind of body type is the winner. And that’s just bullshit……..
What message do you think this image of Rebecca Judd sends?