In most mediocre romantic comedies, the protagonist isn’t like “other girls.” No, she’s chill. She’s cool, like guys — she slams beers and watches sports and laughs too loud at crude jokes and eats an entire pizza without gaining a pound, maintaining her supermodel physique with ease. It’s a tired and frustrating trope, one that Gone Girl calls out in one of the most unflinchingly accurate paragraphs of fiction ever written.
It’s also heavily based in reality. Grace Victor, a body-positive blogger, drew attention to the fat-phobia ingrained in our society by posting two Instagrams to Twitter. In the first, a thin girl is eating an enormous burger, titled “Big Tower of Meat” with a side of fries, and afterwards she orders dessert.
“Wife material,” one commenter wrote.
“This is sexy,” another said approvingly.
In the second Instagram, a plus-size girl shares that she faced her biggest fear and “wore a swimsuit” to the beach — an important and powerful milestone. Unfortunately, the Internet comments did not reflect this.
“She needs to take care of herself instead of eating everything she sees,” one user wrote.
“Good to know we encourage obesity now,” another said.
Excuse me? The juxtaposition between these two Instagrams points out that in our society, it’s okay — sexy, even — to treat your body poorly so long as it fits with contemporary beauty standards, but being even a pound overweight makes you “disgusting” and unhealthy.
This, of course, is not true: all bodies are different and it certainly is not up to us to dictate who is healthy and who is not based on their physical appearances.
Judging by the over 100,000 likes and 70,000 retweets, the hypocrisy is resonating with some people. Although, if you’re in need of any further proof of the shame and ridicule plus-size people are subjected to just by existing, read a few of the comments in response to the tweet. I dare you.