Yes, Cosmo featured plus-sized model Tess Holliday on the cover, and people around the world are losing their s**t.
So today I want to answer some important questions…
Are Cosmopolitan glorifying obesity?
Is this sending women the wrong messages about body image?
Or should be we celebrating the fact that a plus-sized model is on the cover, rather than another stick-thin burger dodger?
Be sure to leave me a comment at the end of today’s post, to let me know where you stand on the Tess Holliday Cosmo debate.
Is Tess Holliday Too Fat To Be On The Cosmo Cover?
I understand where people’s initial outrage about Tess Holliday being on the cover comes from, but I don’t agree with it.
When it hit the shelves, it brought out the worst in Twitter:
“They’re telling people it’s okay to be obese.”
“Urgh! Who wants to look at that?”
“HA! I hope it’s a double page spread.”
Sure, Tess Holliday isn’t an example of peak physical fitness. And, yes, she has a reputation for being a bit of a d**k.
But the last time I checked, the lady wasn’t claiming to be Scarlett Johansson’s booty double for Avengers.
Nor is Cosmo considered a health and fitness magazine.
I could understand if this was a photo shoot for a bonafide fitness mag like Flex, or Muscle & Fitness, but it’s not.
In fact, the article isn’t even remotely linked to fitness. As for sending women the wrong body image and glorifying obesity, Tess Holliday has undergone a regular training program in a bid to lose weight, so (although she’s obviously not the finished article yet) that’s bulls**t.
So what are we really saying here?
That fat people should be hidden away?
That you have nothing worthwhile to contribute if you are too heavy?
When it’s put into context, I’m sure you’ll agree this is quite ridiculous.
Of course, the marketing team at Cosmopolitan are very clever individuals.
It’s one of the few print magazines which has reported year on year growth in the digital age, and this issue caused such uproar it’ll no doubt continue that trend.
It was a genius sales move.
But the bottom line here is that people f**king suck.
Because whether it’s fat shaming, or fit shaming, we need to stop.
It’s a behavior so ingrained into human life that most of us don’t even realize we’re doing it.
Heck, the same people who share bulls**t memes on Facebook about “Accept me for who I am” are the folks leaving “F**k! Look at the state of her!” comments on other posts just moments later.
More and more of us are suffering from mental illness as a result of pressure to look a certain way, or being bullied because we don’t fit a stereotype.
It’s not gender-specific, either, as a growing number of young men, are succumbing to the pressures of trying to live up to impossible standards.
But although fat shaming is at the forefront of the news, because it’s an easy knee-jerk reaction to make and it affects a tonne of people, I do acknowledge that fit shaming is also a thing.
From your family calling you a “fitness freak”, to friends saying you’re “obsessed” and “selfish”, to people mocking a celebrity photograph by saying “She probably has nannies look after those kids so she can just workout all day”, these are all quick examples of fit shaming.
And yeah, it sucks.
You should not be judged as a bad mother or a bad person just because you choose to be in shape.
It’s f**king absurd.
And I find it crazy that in this era of women empowering other women that I, a man, am telling everyone to shut the f**k up and stop being such a d**k.
We can’t flip flop between “stop pressurizing young women to be perfect”, and “you can’t be on a magazine cover because I’m disgusted by your body.”
If you’re one of the many people who did that, I suggest you take yourself to your nearest mirror and give yourself a thumbs down.