The Twitter world and the bloggers had a Rihanna smorgasbord as the notorious “starvation” tweet made its way around the internets. The roasting of Rihanna’s need to “starve” in order to look great for a photo shoot seemed to say that the singer was telling little girls that “starving” was the “RockStar” thing to do. Is Rihanna’s tweet a ringing endorsement of #teamanorexic or does it speak to the public’s unwavering desire for women to look a certain way to be considered hot or beautiful? Are the same people criticizing Rihanna for starving the same people that covet Coke bottle bodies and slim waistlines?
As a size 8, personally I have been called thick, overweight, and received words and looks of shock over my appearance. As if I didn’t know the size 4’s and 6’s were fitting snuggerly, friends, family, and random acquaintances have given me staunch reminders of my slimmer summers. Flames have reiterated to me all the sexual positions I could get thrown into, IF I was a just a little bit lighter. The glances in the mirror at the curves that songs like “Bootylicious” by Destiny’s Child had taught me to love were being replaced by fat grabbing examinations on my belly and thighs as I began to think, “maybe this jelly is a bit too bootylicious?” A former vegan, and a current vegetarian, I swiftly removed all dairy from diet, and then fasted for about 20 days eating less than 500 calories per day and drinking gallons of water. After dropping 4 inches or so, I began to feel and think thin again, until I ran into a friend who couldn’t wait to tell me I was unrecognizable almost because I was so thick.
Some women have more pressure on them to be thin than Obama has to be diplomatic with Republicans and simultaneously please the left. We are supposed to love and embrace ourselves no matter what size we are, as the whole world makes you feel like Free Willy gasping for breath on washed up on the shore for putting on a few el bees. I wondered as I read all the tweets roasting Rihanna’s choice of words on the Twitta, how many of them had called a girl fat, or thick that day. I thought about all the girls that felt a kinship with Rihanna because of her honesty about the expectations that were upon her. I looked at pictures of Beyonce alongside comments about her cottage cheese belly and watched videos of Brtney Spears’ Femme Fatale tour with posters pointing out how fat Britney’s size 6 was. Knowing that sex symbols of the past Marilyn Monroe and Dorothy Dandridge floated between a size 10 and a 14, its unnerving knowing they would be modern day fat fodder like Kirstie Alley if this was their hey day.
Health and wellness should be a forefront in all of our minds, but life, stress, and age can change a woman’s metabolism. We all aspire to fit that ONE pair of jeans, rock the photoshoot out, and look in the mirror and feel good about what reflects back to us. Diet and exercise are essential, but a demanding or fast paced lifestyle often dictates our choice more than our knowledge does. But the nitpicking that tons of women endure often forces them to starve, and binge, and binge, and starve. Even as icon Janet Jackson sang about “Control” back in the 80’s she wrestled with her inner fat ass. In search of perfection, our bodies take our abuse, and our minds filter the critiques and our soul endures. Rihanna simply tweeted what women all over the country do every single day in order to be the image their peers expect them to be. As convoluted as it is, their is much badassery in Rihanna telling the truth about what it feels like for a girl. To all the Mrs. She’s Too Big, Now She’s Too Thins across the world the only person’s opinion that matters is YOURS.