So I’ve been seeing images similar to these making the rounds:
First off, “All women are real,” is fabulous on its own and is not the part I’m going to focus on here. Also because it’s not the common denominator I’ve seen in most of the messages.
That denominator has been the, “All bodies are beautiful.” Which I don’t hate, but I don’t exactly love, either. Because a lot of times, it’s irrelevant.
Sometimes I think of my body as beautiful; a lot of times I do not. And I am okay with both of those. Moreover, whether or not people perceive me as beautiful does not matter in terms of how I fundamentally expect they should treat me.
Regardless of whether I am beautiful, I expect that I should be able to find clothing appropriate to my body and daily activities.
Regardless of whether I am beautiful, I expect that I should be able to walk or run down the street or in a store without someone insinuating or flat out stating that my appearance is embarrassing, offensive, or that I need to cover up. I mean, this might be a valid course of action were I to go around wearing nothing but “I kick puppies, and I like it!” spread over my naked torso in body paint — but I assure you, that is not the case.
I expect that employers and prospective employers should evaluate me based on my skills and professional competencies rather than how I look in my interview suit.
I deserve to have doctors regard my body size and metabolic health as distinct factors. Similarly, I deserve to have them treat my symptoms seriously, rather than immediately dismissing them as the product of my body size. (Because — and I have mentioned this before — but that broken foot years ago? Yeah, totally slipped on a vibrator. It did not break due to inability to support my weight — just inability to support my weight while stepping on a cylindrical battery operated toy.)
I deserve to have my body not be the butt of jokes or the target of trolls.
I deserve to have people not use my body as a stand in for my physical habits, my mental or emotional habits, my sexual orientation, my sexual practices, my intelligence, my work ethic, or my integrity.
Regardless of whether all bodies are beautiful, all bodies deserve respect.