Should Posh be Slandered?

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After the recent attacks towards Victoria Beckham after she claimed her size 6 frame is an average woman’s build, it posed me to question societies perception of eating disorders and if people would ever accept smaller women as legit human beings rather than a danger to the general public.

Victoria Beckham

Posh spice has bravely admitted to suffering with an eating disorder in the past, and the courage it must have taken to voice that deep secret is worth saluting. However, did the public and media show any signs of understanding? Did they empathise with her struggles and leave her be? No, they callously comment on her body and aesthetic appearance at whatever chance they can. ‘Posh seen looking scarily thin’, ‘Victoria Beckham skips meals’, ‘Posh Spice is wasting away’. I’ve never seen such cowardly attacks purposely thrown at one particular person, constantly drawing attention to the one thing that she is clearly self-conscious of. Granted, she might not be the best singer or performer, so do not be thinking I am a huge fan of this lady, yet the lack of respect she receives in terms of how she looks is a sad reflection upon our societies way of thinking. Despite her ambitions to succeed in the designing world, the media only notices what she looks like, not her clothing label. It seems to have sadly reached the point where Posh could scream in fear that a fireball is plunging towards planet Earth, yet remarks would cry ‘OH EM GEE, SHE LOOKS SO THIN’ then by which point everyone would be incinerated.

To admit to the world you have suffered with anorexia is a death wish. Social suicide. Nobody understands you or your disorder so the only way people can cope is to distant themselves from you and turn on the defence. Everybody knows about her admission to anorexia, yet the verbal abuse is still given. Eating disorders do not crave sympathy or attention, but they wish to be understood like any other health disorder. If Posh were to announce she has severe dyslexia, would the media mock her attempts at reading at writing? ‘Brooklyn can spell better than his mom!’ ‘Baby Cruz seen reading to his mom!’ The only reason she caved in and admitted her problem was due to countless remarks about her weight and size, so she bravely gave everybody a legitimate reason behind it. Although she claims the eating disorder is in the past, this is somewhat debateable and too uncertain to make any judgement on, however I can understand why she has declared she has beaten the disorder; in order to cease the personal digs that did not stop after her admission. Clearly being an anorexic in the celebrity world brought negative press, so maybe she is just trying to fit into society and mould into what is expected of her. However even this endeavour is proving unsuccessful after the latest scandal about the size of an average woman.

All the columnists and reporters are livid at the notion of size 6 being the average size for a woman, as they sit there trying to shamelessly squeeze into clothes too small, implying they do too, want to be smaller. Jealously, perhaps? Okay, I wouldn’t be that crude to suggest that everybody is envious of Posh’s body, however surely to degrade her in such brutal ways to deem her as less womanly is a catty and selfish crusade? Everybody is so caught up in the ‘real women’ campaigns that they have lost sight of what a real woman is. A real woman is a loving and devoting mother. A real woman is a caring partner who helps their other half in times of need. A real woman is a best friend or a sister who shares her life with her companions. A real woman would go to the end of the world and back to ensure their loved ones are okay. Do you have to be curvy, chubby and voluptuous to be those things? Victoria Beckham is a mother to four children; does her size mean she has less love to give? Victoria Beckham has stood by her man in times of crisis; does her size mean she has less loyalty? It is frustrating to see so many adverts, campaigns and articles fixated with the ‘real woman’ ideology, all concentrating around size and shape, but not one woman has spoke of femininity has a discursive practice, the things we do that make us woman. They speak of the ‘real woman’ as an objectified being, destroying other attempts at breaking that inferior mould.

Posh’s claims at what she personally thinks constitutes the average woman have been tittered over with little insight into the deeper pragmatics of her argument. This is coming from a woman battling with her own insecurities at the same time as fighting a war with the press over whom she should be. If she truly is making amends with her eating disorder, then this claim reveals a woman who is merely trying to be a part of the world as a ‘real woman’. She wants to believe her body is acceptable and wants others to follow suit too. She is not undermining other sizes and saying they’re unacceptable, but craving acceptance of herself. The angry comments from chubby journalists come as a defensive attack protecting their own unresolved image problems, as they see Beckham’s opinion as a personal assault. However even though her claims were not intended to be an insult, it surely wouldn’t be the worst thing Posh could do after all the years of slander she has received about her body…

3 responses »

  1. You raise some very important points in this post.
    I constantly see people “liking” pages on Facebook that are called such things as, “Big girls do it better”, “Curvy is better, only dogs want bones” etc. That, to me, determines that I am not a woman, I’m only attractive to “dogs” and I cannot do anything right because I am thin. I don’t want to be attractive, that’s part of my Eating Disorder. Does it make me any less of a woman? Okay, some would argue that maybe it does, with the ceasing of a menstrual cycle and lack of feminine features because I don’t have enough body fat for those. But, does it make me any less of a human? No. I have feelings, and I hate that I am determined, “not a woman” because I suffer with mental health issues, in this case my eating disorder.
    Do women suffering from schizophrenia suffer the same “you’re-not-a-woman” criticism (non-schizophrenics do it better!)? No.
    I think jealousy is a major part of this, but I don’t think they are jealous of being a bony woman, I think they are jealous of the “willpower” and “control” anorexics in particular appear to have, because they don’t understand that in fact, anorexic thoughts control anorexics. And when “normal” women decide to go on a diet on a Monday morning, by Monday evening they are eating McDonald’s because they cannot cope with the hunger.
    Great post.

    • I have mentioned the Facebook group ‘only dogs want a bone’ in one of my other blogs. It is derogatory and degrading to regard us with less human compassion all because they do not understand us. Eating disorders are not understood by society as they not given a chance to be regarded with respect. If a celebrity reveals an eating disorder, they are slated and thought of as a dangerous ideology to be presented to the world.
      I understand your comment ‘i don’t want to be attractive’ – eating disorders are about punishing ourselves and complete lack of self worth. People go on diets to make them slim so they feel pretty and confident. I restrict and vomit because I hate myself, who I am and what I look like. I do not look in the mirror after a day of restriction and think ‘wow, this anorexia is really paying off!’
      In order to accept eating disorders, people need to acknowledge and comprehend the struggles, not just be on the defence. Victoria Beckham has only ever received negativity about her ED and I think it is shocking of the media and public to present THAT ideology that mental health disorders should be condemned.

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