By Madeline Bartos
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Nicki Minaj’s "Anaconda"launched a new wave of body positivity encouraging girls to flaunt their curves. As Minaj had everyone chanting, “my anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hun.” It is at this point that I began to think that my womanhood was found in my curves, and that, if this was true, my womanhood was lost. Nonexistent. My less-than-A cups and tiny butt made me the equivalent of a 12-year-old boy trying to wear a bikini.
Body positivity is never a bad thing. Curves are awesome. But, Minaj’s new body positivity anthem was far from inclusive. I felt like I couldn’t even sing along, since I wasn’t curvy. I’m a sophomore in college and still waiting to get those “boobs” Mother Nature bestowed upon literally every other girl on the face of the planet. All my friends who complained about push-up bras and too-tight jeans were suddenly more feminine than me because I was the skinny b*tch everyone hated.
They were stronger than me.
I’m not complaining about being skinny. I’m not even complaining. I’m just tired of the narrative whereby women can only be empowered by putting down other women. Girls with curves can’t feel empowered unless the peach emoji is praised. Girls without curves can’t feel empowered unless the Victoria's Secret Fashion show is on. Woman can’t even go shopping for a swimsuit that makes them feel good without needing a math equation, and the equation isn’t possible unless you tell flat-chested girls that bathing suits without ruffles aren’t flattering.
The truth is, every single female body type is beautiful. As Beyoncé said, we’re “strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.” It’s wonderful to finally acknowledge that curvy girls are (and always have been) beautiful, but it should be possible to lift them up without shaming skinny girls. My fast metabolism isn’t an insult to girls with curves.
You may think it’s easy to be skinny. And sometimes it is—I can eat a lot of Oreos, I don’t have to wear a bra the majority of the time, and whenever I try to go to the gym, I’m always being told that I’m “already skinny enough.”
But for a long time, I didn’t like my skinny body. My food baby is bigger than my boobs. Jeans fall off my butt. I can’t fill out a push-up bra enough to push anything up at all. I remember riding the bus back from a summer dance competition, sweaty and sitting with the top of my costume pulled down to cool off when my then-best friend tugged at the top of my exposed bra and asked why I had such a huge gap between the cup and my chest.
That was my junior year. Of high school.
I can’t change my flat figure without surgery. Embracing curves while shaming the lack of them is not a productive step towards body positivity, not in my book. The definition of real, inclusive body positivity is simple. Break it down to body, or the outer shell that everybody has, and positivity, or hopefulness and confidence. It’s that easy.
Of course, it may not be so easy in practice. But real, genuine body positivity has taught me to accept that my soul resides in my body. No matter how desperately I dream of growing boobs, that’s not going to change the outside of me, and it’s certainly not going to change what’s on the inside.
That’s okay. I don’t have to sabotage myself and eat a whole sleeve of Thin Mints, hoping they’ll go straight to my butt. I don’t have to google the cost of breast implants. What I can do is nourish my body with healthy foods and stay active. Some women have curves, but I do not. All women are beautiful, and so am I.
When we can realize that “the grass is greener on the other side” is a saying for a reason, maybe I can feel confident in a bathing suit without ruffles. Maybe curvy girls will be able to post nude selfies without the world crumbling. We don’t have to attack fat girls or skinny b*tches. Inclusive body positivity makes that possible.