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Inclusive Beauty Standards Panic

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As some of you probably know, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue featured a plus-sized model on their cover. Many people responded favorably, but it seemed to reveal some deep-seated fear in others.

The incel crowd cloak their fears in concerns about health. “This woman is promoting an unhealthy lifestyle!” they scream. But what really concerns them is that if beauty norms change, they will have to look at women who don’t give them boners.

Most of them don’t seem to understand that beauty norms change constantly. It wasn’t that long ago that heroin chic was a thing. And the ideal 90’s shape was 0% fat, with D-cup breasts, a body type that is quite literally impossible to achieve naturally, as breasts are composed of fat. Breast implants are not nearly as popular as they once were. Neither is being bone-thin.

Obviously there are exceptions to this–the runway will likely always be a place where people serve as hangers, more than as actual people with, you know, mass. But, my broader points stands: standards change–all the time!

I think the fear that media will be filled with offensively-zaftig women is ill-founded. I think what is likely to happen is that there will be simply be an acknowledgment that different body types exist.

There’s been a remarkable change in how movies and television shows are cast. A lot of media now looks like the people who are consuming it, in that is a lot more diverse than it was just, say, a decade a go. That’s a good thing. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t watch shows about white people. It just means that you can also watch shows about people of color.

I suspect media will follow the same path when it comes to body type and size. In other words, you will always have the option of lusting after Charlize Theron or Halle Berry…and women with similar builds. The “worst” that will happen is that we may forced to acknowledge that some women are built like Mindy Kaling or Amy Schumer or Serena Williams, or, yes, Yumi Nu.

Gentlemen, no matter what you’re into, your boners are safe. I promise.

NOTE: I also think that as long as thinness is conflated with wealth/class, it will continue to be the ideal.

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