We’ve all done it. Clumped together in a group photo and quickly nestled our hand on our hip, propping our elbow outward giving us a “skinny arm.” I am most definitely guilty as charged.
As we can see, I’m a big fan of the skinny arm. So, it was much to my despair when I came across this Elite Daily article shaming us skinny arm lovers.
At first, I thought we were just going to have a quick chuckle, “Haha, we all sort of look like flamingos with our arms popped out to the side, silly us!” But as I dug deeper into this article, I couldn’t help but feel saddened and attacked. I became as angry as I did watching Nicole Arbour’s “fat shaming” video while reading this. There are so many things that are problematic with this viewpoint, I don’t even know where to begin.
As someone who has been overweight for basically their entire lifetime, taking photos was (and still is) a huge insecurity for me. Sure, you’re probably right, everyone and their mom knows that standing with a “skinny arm” is done with the intention of looking more attractive, BUT SO WHAT!? I can’t even count the number of times where I’ve looked at photos of myself, where my arms are down, and I’m overwhelmed with feelings that I am unattractive. Some might say that a photo is meant to be an accurate reflection of the subject matter, but sometimes I just want to use a photo to say “Hey world, I feel and look great today,” and if throwing my arm out like a flamingo lets me do that, you can be damn sure I’m going to take that opportunity.
Hey, here’s what I’m actually saying:
A) I don’t seek validation from strangers and acquaintances, I seek validation from myself, and myself only. I want to be able to reminisce upon pictures I’ve taken with family and friends and focus on the memories we created that night, not that my arm looks bumpy and lumpy. Sue me.
B) You’re right, I don’t have skinny arms and I am definitely aware of that fact. I’m not trying to trick anyone, I just feel like using angles to my advantage. I am a science major after all #science.
C) Maybe, JUST maybe I spent two hours getting ready this morning because I do it for me. Or maybe I did spend two hours because I care what other people think of me. Either way, I’m not really sure why the number of hours I spend getting ready is any of your business.
I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what exactly I SHOULD be doing in photos, standing on my head? While I’ve only touched on a few of the reasons why this article was hurtful, I can’t even begin to express how stressful taking photos can be for people who have been made fun of throughout their lives because of their appearance. So, Gigi, while you probably thought your article was somewhat funny, it was actually pretty damaging.
PEOPLE OF THE WORLD. If you want to skinny arm, then skinny arm. Sometimes, you might even want to double skinny arm. Cheers to you!
Screengrabs via Elite Daily.
Featured Image via We Heart It.