Yesterday, I stumbled upon an article from Buzzfeed in which six of their female staff members decided to recreate photos of Victoria’s Secret models wearing the brand’s latest swimsuits. Each staffer chose the swimsuit and image they wanted to recreate, and they not only shared the final product, they also shared their thoughts while modeling the swimsuits.
Several of the staffers expressed their discomfort and uneasiness about being photographed in a bathing suit, explaining how comparing themselves to the models made them feel especially uncomfortable about their bodies and their looks. However, at the end of the process, each staff member felt that the experience was positive overall, concluding that not only are we all beautiful in our own ways, but also that true beauty has no definitive size or shape.
While the Buzzfeed staff reached a positive conclusion, many readers seemed to be less-than-appreciative of the piece. Several commenters immediately railed the staff for using the term “real women” when referring to themselves, claiming that by using the term, they were labeling the models as “aliens,” as one commenter phrased it.
Although the commenters are correct in that the models are no less “real” than the Buzzfeed staff, it seems that they are missing the overall point of the article. The point of the piece was to show that no matter what size or shape a woman is, they can still be beautiful in a swimsuit; they don’t have to be a model’s size to feel like they can look good in a swimsuit, but rather they are already beautiful as they are. This was not about alienating the models or making them out to be anything less than ‘real women.’ Just because models have slender bodies does not mean they aren’t ‘real women.’ Nor are slender women that we see everyday less ‘real’ just because they are skinny. All women of all shapes, sizes, heights and skin tones are ‘real.’
What these six Buzzfeed staff members set out to prove was that we as women don’t have to feel obligated to look like models in order to feel comfortable in a swimsuit. After modeling the swimsuits, one staffer even said, “You don’t have to look like the model to rock the suits!” Another commented, saying “We may not all be models, but the world is a runway for ALL of us.” The point of the article, then, was not to throw shade at models or skinny women; the point was to show that all women are beautiful in their own ways, whether we are a carbon copy of a Victoria’s Secret model, a size 2, a size 12 or a size 22.
The last sentence of the article says, “Remember, no matter your size or your shape…you’re fabulous.” This is the the point of the article — that all women of all shapes and sizes are fabulous and beautiful, and the six staffers certainly modeled this point.
What do you think about this piece? I’d love to hear from you, so drop be a comment below!