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Guys, Let's Talk About What Women 'Should' Look Like, Mmmmkay?

Recently I responded with satire to an article by The Daily Callers' David Hookstead, who said, basically, that larger female models should go back to working in retail instead of showing up in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit magazine he likes to ogle. Apparently, some of you conservative men out there didn't get the joke or the point and got very upset that I had the nerve to chide Hookstead about his looks (while he was doing the same to plus-sized models). So let me drop the sarcasm and explain it in terms you might understand better. Respecting women isn't a left or right issue.

Hookstead likes very thin women. That's his preference and he's allowed to have it. What he's not allowed to do is determine what is attractive to everybody else while hiding behind concern about "glorifying obesity." I've heard this argument, mostly from outraged conservative men, that showing anyone over 98 lbs. in a magazine is somehow pushing the idea that "fat is good." I don't want to see Lena Dunham's pudge, either, especially in the context she is usually offering herself up.

It's true that women like Dunham (and the left) seem to want to glorify what is not beautiful and make us agree with them while the emperor is sitting naked on a toilet shoving cake in her mouth. That's wrong too. The fact that feminists we don't like (because we disagree with their ideology) appreciate larger female models makes us immediately want to reject them. I get it. SJWs ruin everything.

But look at this issue from the perspective of a parent instead of an ideologue. I have two daughters. I want them to be healthy and fit and happy. I want them to eat well and treat their bodies with respect. But what if one or both of them struggle with their weight? Will berating them and shaming them for their body shape or size get me the result that I want? Or will it damage them and make the problem worse?

OMG she has a belly? I bet she never had a boyfriend. (Nue dans un Paysage, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir via Wikimedia Commons)

What I have seen in the modeling industry over the last forty years is distressing. The reason Hookstead makes the point that women in these magazines are like unicorns he never sees is because women don't naturally look like that. Some genetically thin women do, and some are naturally muscular, but on the whole, women are rounder, softer and fatter than the standard for models. I'm not talking about obese women, but women who range from a size six to a size twelve are not obese. Some women who wear up to an 18 are not obese, depending on height. This idea that all women must be a size two or under to be attractive or healthy or to avoid ridicule is damaging and stupid. I know women who run marathons who are a size twelve. They are tough! Some get up at 5 a.m. to work out in their garage with the neighbor gals and lift more weight than some of the models in the magazines weigh — and they are still a size twelve. I've watched friends eat nothing but celery sticks and hummus for a year and not lose a pound while exercising like the hounds of hell are after them. They do this because they want to stay healthy, but also because it's what our fashion culture, run by gay men, has told them they need to do to stay attractive. So they chase an ideal that isn't healthy at all for women.