Don’t Slim me Down! Wooooo!

A very good friend of mine turned me on to the story of model Meaghan Kausman’s very public outcry over recently released images that have made heavy use of Photoshop to slim down her physique.  The notion of models having their images retouched with Photoshop is certainly not new.  Slimmed down hips and arms are fairly common.  And some infamous images have been retouched with such a lack grace that some models have found themselves missing very important body parts.

What is unusual in this case is that the model is speaking out very publicly against the retouching of her image.  She posted the original image versus the retouched on her Instagram account.  And she was quick to point out that the image below is how she really looks.  This may have something to do with the way she was raised.  You see Meaghan’s father is one of my colleagues.  Dr. Rick Kausman is one of Australia’s leading advocates of Health At Every Size and one of its most outspoken opponents of body shaming and diet culture.  Maybe this important grounding in body love is one of the reasons that Meaghan spoke out about the situation.  “They had drastically altered my body, thinning out my stomach and thighs in an attempt to box me into the cultural ideal of beauty,” continued Kausman. “Above is their version, below is the real version. My body is a size 8, not a size 4. That’s my body!”  You can take a look at an interview with Dr. Kausman, Meaghan, and the photographer on the Australian version of “Today” HERE.

So naturally, given the way my brain works, I woke up with the ELO classic “Don’t Bring Me Down” running through my head.  Except the lyrics were now magically changed to “Don’t Slim Me Down” in honor of this story.  In fact, I’ve come up with a whole new set of lyrics:

You gave me thin thighs and a really big head
You made me look like I’ve never been fed

Don’t slim me down, no no no no no
Don’t change my weight
I already look great
Don’t slim me down

Removed a rib and my arms are too long
Lifted my booty and now I just look wrong

Don’t slim me down, no no no no no
Believe it or not
I already look hot
Don’t bring me down

Don’t bring me down, Grroosss
Don’t bring me down, Grroosss
Don’t bring me down, Grroosss
Don’t bring me down

Here’s the original music video so you can sing along: (P.S. note amazing drum majorette neon animation!)

All kidding aside, I am so inspired by this model and her amazing dad.  And I am so inspired by all the models, actresses and others who have spoken out about having their bodies publicly “shopped” against their will.  Because for every one of these iother-worldly, weirdly-elongated, hyper-skinny, totally fabricated model images, there are hundreds and thousands and even millions of young girls trying to mold their bodies into shapes like these pictures.  They are trying to mold their bodies into shapes that are completely make-believe and don’t exist in nature.  Which sets them up for a lifetime of frustration, weight cycling and in thousands of cases, for a lifetime of eating disorders.

So hurrah for Meaghan who took a stand and said, “Don’t Slim Me Down!”

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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