For a few decades now, women have been spreading awareness of how narrowly defined female beauty is and how thinness has been idolized to the point that females will starve themselves and sometimes die in their quest for the “ideal body”. We blamed fashion magazines, we blamed men, we blamed Hollywood. We asked, “Why are slim attractive women often paired with chubby men on television but we never see the opposite?” And some of us wondered why so many men prefer to date skinny women and can’t appreciate a woman who eats more than 700 calories a day.
Fuller-figured women began to flaunt their bodies to stand against society shaming them, and the Body Positivity movement was born.
So recently, a man named Tripp decides to write a love letter to his wife’s curvy body on Instagram. Even though he’s not the first man to do this, it ignited a shitstorm on Twitter. First, his letter:
While many loved his ode, many also criticized him. I found myself floored reading how often his critics misunderstood his words, his motive for writing it, and showed an apparent need to go back to school to brush up on their reading comprehension skills.
Here’s one popular tweet criticizing him:
Oh Julia, you (and 90,000 people–yikes!) missed his point entirely. It was less about him thinking “liking a curvy woman is revolutionary” and more about how society thinks it’s revolutionary! He has obviously received the message all his life that his preference for bigger women is different/uncommon. Most feminists would agree that’s the message men get. I find it striking that feminists would acknowledge that it’s wrong to judge fuller figured women as unattractive and then blast a man who writes about his love for fuller figures!
Feminist Woman: “Real women have CURVES! I’m proud of my body!”
Feminist Man: “I love my wife’s curves, I’ve always been attracted to this body type.”
Feminist Woman: “Stop objectifying women’s bodies!”
Next ridiculous tweet:
- He didn’t say he loved his wife “even though she’s chubby”. He very clearly said he’s always been attracted to this body type! He doesn’t love her despite her weight, he loves her weight.
- A sexologist discovered that because society still says “thin is best”, many men who are most attracted to voluptuous women will only date skinny women, because they don’t want to get shit for dating bigger women and because they want to show off the “trophy” girlfriend that society admires. In other words, while it might not be what we’d call “brave” to date and marry fuller figured women, I can see why he felt compelled to write these words: “Guys, rethink what society has told you that you should desire.”
- It’s the person who reads his words and thinks ‘he’s objectifying her!’ who is actually the one objectifying her. Why would you assume by this letter he doesn’t love everything else about her, too? So because you only see her for her body, he must, too? The point of the letter wasn’t to write about her infectious laugh, or her cool blog, but about society shaming men who are into women that are bigger than a size 4. So of course he’s going to focus on her body.
I suspect the women bashing this guy for writing a love letter to his wife are either jealous because they’re not in a loving relationship, looking for something to be angry about, or so blinded by their own biases, experiences, and rigid opinions that they read what they want to read instead of what was actually written. I can see why so many men express exasperation with third-wave feminists, like “We’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t.”