What offends you, ABC?
In today's Fat Can't Possibly Be Sexy news: Lane Bryant. Network TV. Underwear. Fat Phobia.
At long last, a commercial that celebrates the outside-the-(TV)-box female form, and of course, in their historically misogynistic fashion, the networks won't air it.
What offends you, ABC? Is it my fat rolls? My cellulite? My body nourishing my infant? The space I occupy in general?
In response to a request from NBC to edit the video to meet broadcast indecency guidelines, Lane Bryant told Racked:
"The first edit was turned down out of hand and while we clearly created the commercial to air we will not edit it as we believe it’s a beautiful and appropriate expression of women’s bodies.... We do plan to air this through our own media and through digital channels where they find it as acceptable."
While LB is far from perfect, they are trying. They are trying. Which is worth something. The #IMNOANGEL campaign, supporting Jes Baker and her book tour, Lane Bryant is the only real visible corporate ally us fat ladies have.
Yes, it's about capitalism — because that's the currency we deal in. It would be nice if people took up social causes of their own volition instead of for a profit, but sometimes you just need to effect change, however you can, which means meeting people where they are. And where they are is watching Vickie's Angels roll, saunter, push-up, and pout their way across every house and sports bar screen that aired the Superbowl.
They are also eating hamburgers on the beach (which is completely impractical. Hello, sand), in butt-barely-covered-bikinis, playing volleyball (also impractical. Hello, breasts, maybe you've met my friend GRAVITY).
What I'm saying is, they are everywhere. Billboards. TV. Film. Print. It would be futile to even try to avoid the parade of pert breasts in bras and bikinis, jutting hipbones, prominent collarbones, women who probably never eat giant, juicy hamburgers, eating giant, juicy hamburgers.
We can't meet people where they are, we can't be visible, if they won't allow us the same airtime as Vickie's girls, if they will not allow us to be visible.
Eight years ago my body had been carefully crafted to be as close to that of a Victoria's Secret model as it could, given the constraints of my bone structure. It never occurred to me to be offended by the absence of the women I looked like, before I looked like the woman I thought I was supposed to look like. Instead of being saddened by the absence of images of the "average" woman, I just stopped eating.
I stopped eating, developing an eating disorder so I could maintain my Vickie body, so that I could remain visible. An inauthentic version of myself, but a visible one.
I'd like to be outraged today. I'd like to scream and yell and shout at ABC, and every other network giant, "Let me be seen. LET ME BE SEEN."
But I can't find the outrage today; maybe it's the rain, or maybe it's that I went to the doctor yesterday and they made me step on the scale and I saw a number 25 pounds higher than the highest I've ever seen, maybe it's that I can't buy panties at Victoria's secret anymore, but all I can find is sadness.
Sadness at the state of the world, sadness at the way women are made to feel about being perfect normal, healthy humans, sadness knowing that there is a child, or teen, or woman out there who isn't eating today because she wants to be seen.