Body Positivity: We Need More Women Like Cory Bush

Women Bodies Fat-Shaming

Democrat candidate for the US Congress from Missouri, Cory Bush, took a stand against all people who shame women with big hips. Tweeting from her handle, Bush revealed how she has been shamed for having big hips, and not just by trolls.

Bush’s struggle to embrace body positivity in a world obsessed with perfect body statistics, is something which most of us can identify with.

Especially for women who are on the heavier side of the preferred body weight, fat shaming is often served on a plate of snide remarks, along with a side of unsolicited advice

Deal with it

Being a person vying for a seat in the US Congress, Bush knows how important aesthetics are to the common population. She, like many, must have faced biased assessment from people, who ascertain a person’s worth by assessing their physical measurements. Which is why we must appreciate Bush for coming forward to take a stand for herself and women like her. Women are just fed up of being told how imperfect they are. We are told off for being too skinny, too fat, having big breasts or bottoms or hips. We are even told off if our body isn’t shaped like an hour glass.

But it doesn’t just stop at criticism. What follows are endless suggestions to dress “accordingly”. As Bush points out that she has been told to “wear dark pants”, I know of many women who are told to wear loose clothes, which make their waistlines indecipherable. Because one must feel so embarrassed about not having a waist size of 24, that one must hide it beneath a bedsheet. I have witnesses people passing snide remarks at women with big hips and suggesting that they not wear skirt. Or women with heavy arms being criticised for wearing sleeveless.

This criticism is unending, no matter what your body type is. It is as if the sight of our “disproportionate” unshapely body parts is a big torture for others

If the world could have its way, women would have their bodies manufactured in a factory, using a cookie cutter to give us perfect shapes. But where is individuality in that perfect likeness? Isn’t it these natural variations in the size of our breasts or hips or waists, or their permutations which makes us distinct? Perhaps it isn’t us who need to change dresses, but society which needs to change its perspective. Because it is these so-called disproportions, which make us unique in our ways. It is also high time that women realise that being perfect is an anomaly.

Bush, if elected, plans to represent women from her district in the Congress, big hips and all. Because that is what makes her distinct, yet it also connects her to other women like her. Similarly, we all are different in physiques, but this difference is also something which unites us women and helps us identify with each other. We need more representatives like Bush, who don’t work on their aesthetics to please their voters, but embrace their bodies and stand among those like them instead. Perhaps more female leaders can take a cue from her and embrace the diversity in our bodies.

Picture Credit: Samuel Zeller, Unsplash

Also Read: Politics of body shaming and the taunts of Indian society

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are author’s own.