“Not For Skinny Bitches” is NOT a Body Love Message

Fat Mandi clothing line "not for skinny bitches"
Fat Mandi clothing line "not for skinny bitches"
Fat Mandi clothing line "not for skinny bitches"

Fat Mandi clothing line “not for skinny bitches”

I’m pretty angry right now, guys. I’m angry because Rebel Wilson (who I think is pretty funny, just for the record) has released a line of “Fat Mandi” T-shirts that are being promoted as “Not for skinny bitches”. This has annoyed a few people with Brisbane Times reporting it is sending mixed messages as the “Not for skinny bitches” line of clothing sends a body love message that is directly against her relationship with Jenny Craig. This makes me angry. Why?

Because “not for skinny bitches” is not a body love message!!

It is body shaming bullshit strutting around as a body love message. In what universe is calling someone a bitch due to their body type a body love message? Yeah, I get the reference to The Wedge, and when Rebel played Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect and spouted similar lines I laughed, because I can take a joke and I understand that it’s a joke. I don’t care if Rebel Wilson wants to make clothing with jokes on it that play into her role, and that fit people her size. That doesn’t bother me at all. It’s when reputable sources report it as a body love message that I get angry.

Calling someone names because of their body shape or size is body shaming and it is not OK. It is not OK when it’s someone calling someone else fat and it is not OK when it’s the other way around. It’s not OK to undermine other people’s confidence and it’s not OK to undermine other people’s choices.

Can I say this, even though it’s really controversial? It is OK to want to change your body. It is OK to want to be healthy and it is OK to want to be a healthy size for you. I will add that it needs to come from a place of love, because I think loving yourself first is incredibly important and is, in fact, the only healthy way to change your body (eating disorders are a very real and very deadly problem). But wanting to change your body is OK.

So in regard to her association with Jenny Craig, if Rebel loves her body and wants to lose weight because that’s what is best for her and that’s what she wants, then that’s OK too. That does not mean she is not allowed to be pushing a body love message. In fact, I think saying she cannot be trying to lose weight and pushing a body love message is against the body love message. It’s telling others what they can or cannot do with their bodies.

Love you. Love the size you are. Love your body for what it can do. But if you want to work on changing it because you want to, that’s OK too.

I had a friend recently come to me and tell me she had a body confession to make, and she was really ashamed. She was very slim when she was younger, about a size 8-10, and over the years put on a lot of weight due to some medical issues. She now has those issues under control and wants to lose weight, shape up, and get back to the kind of size her body is naturally designed to be at it’s healthiest. Its “set weight”.

My manifesto

The KiKi & Tea Body Love Manifesto

Her confession to me? “I want to lose weight and get back closer to the size I used to be”

She had been made to feel that part of being a body love ambassador, which she is, was that she wasn’t allowed to want to change her body. She wasn’t allowed to want to be the size she naturally was predisposed to be.

That’s body shaming too.

Telling anyone else what they can or can’t do with their body when you are not their doctor or their specialist is wrong. And it is body shaming.

This goes both ways. I believe it when people tell other people they should lose weight. I believe it when people tell others they should gain weight. And I believe it when people tell others they can’t lose weight.

It is wrong for people to judge other people for the size or shape they are. This is wrong when people are doing it to others for being big, and it is wrong when people are doing it to others for being small.

What part of this is hard for people to understand? Not your body. Not your business.

Do you feel pressure from others about your size? Do you think “not for skinny bitches” promotes size acceptance, or is another form of body shaming? 

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  • Hayley Ashman

    Completely agree with all of this! Can you imagine if someone brought out a clothing line called ‘not for fat bitches’? Loving our bodies (and that may mean wanting to be healthy/treat it better or being happy with what you’ve got) will only take off when we stop being so shit to each other.

    • Mandi Aylmore

      There may not be a clothing line “not for fat bitches”, but there are signs and stickers that say “no fat chicks”. Lovely.

      • Hayley Ashman

        Far out, people are shit!

      • http://kikiandtea.com Tamsin Howse

        And both are so wrong!!

  • Monique Fischle

    YES!!!! That is all.

  • Mandi Aylmore

    Firstly, I take issue with the name of the brand, for obvious reasons.

    Secondly, you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. I get ridiculed for being the weight I am now, even though really I don’t care. When I do care, it’s because I’ve spent the day being laughed at or insulted.

    When I CHOOSE to lose weight, I will not be striving for a size 8 or 10. I will look bloody ridiculous. I am naturally a 12-14. But honestly, if I start that journey, it will be because I want to, not because I’m told to, and I will stop at a weight where I look at myself and can smile. If that’s a size 16 then so be it. And anyone else’s opinion on MY BODY can get stuffed.

    • http://kikiandtea.com Tamsin Howse

      “And anyone else’s opinion on MY BODY can get stuffed.” AMEN TO THAT!

  • http://bobisdysautonomia.blogspot.com/ Rusty Hoe

    I hate the continual need to make it a ‘us’ and ‘them’ issue every time. It’s like the ‘Real women have curves’ posters you see everywhere. I am scrawny, no curves whatsoever and yet last time I checked I was a real woman. Skinny, yes. Bitch, no. I’m not sure why we have this need to denigrate someone else to make ourselves feel better. Tall, short, fat, thin, big boobs no boobs, surely we are past letting that define our worth, and if we aren’t maybe we need to take a good look at ourselves. Body size/shape has nothing whatsoever to do with our worth as a human being. Why don’t we start concentrating on the things that do matter, compassion, tolerance, being a decent human being? Maybe my view is skewed as I have a crap and deteriorating body, but blood hell, if I defined myself by the shape or look of my body I’d be royally screwed. My body is what it is, but it is my actions and behaviours that define the type of person I am. And that’s regardless of what anyone else thinks when they spot my minuscule mammaries and non-existent arse. I like Rebel, but am disappointed that is the tag line for her brand. Regardless of your size, being body/person proud shouldn’t require putting anyone else down.

  • Bradley

    As one of those “slightly larger than life” individuals, I’m always appreciative of any line of clothing that comes out specifically for those of us who are big boned.

    I prefer to see the humour in the line “not for skinny bitches” rather than see it as something offensive.

    I recently saw a bumper sticker for Sumo Salad on someone’s car. “Eat more salads…you fat bastard” the sticker proclaimed. I laughed like mad. If people want to get upset, then want what you want when you want.

    • Maree Talidu

      I’ll fess up- I’m the friend who wanted to get back to my original size which is slight to say the least. And over the last 2 years I’ve lost nearly 25kg. But so many people have told me to stop dieting now: I’m fine the way I am. And yeah, I probably am, but to ME who knows and remembers what my original, slim frame was like, I don’t see me as ‘fine’.

      I’ve been told just today by a colleague to quit now and stay the weight I am. Due to my height (6ft 1) I can get away with a bit of extra weight: but that doesn’t mean I should have to. I have felt so apprehensive about telling anyone that my genuine goal weight is probably 10kg less than what I’ve actually been saying, because people start with the “you’ll be SO skinny, it won’t look right” etc and I’m not trying to look like I have an eating disorder, but I KNOW my body and I also am aware of when I look at my best.

      I have the tiniest skeleton known to man. But tell someone that I want to weigh 65kg and they blow a fuse about unrealistic, unhealthy expectations. Well sorry, no. I want to weigh what I am comfortable with, not what YOU’RE comfortable with me weighing. As long as I’m losing weight in a healthy fashion and have meat on my bones, then please let me decide what size/weight suits me best!

      T, thank you so much for bringing this up. I WAS the ‘skinny bitch’ for so long, then due to health issues, gained a stack and became a big girl very quickly. Having decided to take the reigns back 2 years ago, I have lost weight slowly, steadily and not resorted to fad/crash diets. I’m not doing it for a guy or because society demands it, but because I FEEL GOOD when I’m slim. Is that a freakin crime?

      • http://kikiandtea.com Tamsin Howse

        Didn’t want to “out” you 😉

        I know your bone structure, it’s like mine. If I get over 60kg I get a bit podgy for my body type and preference, yet when one of my friends was 70kg, who is only an inch or two taller than me, she looked absolutely skeletal.

        Everyone’s body is different, and no one knows it like you. xx

    • http://kikiandtea.com Tamsin Howse

      I don’t see the line itself as offensive, I find the fact that it’s supposedly a “body love message” offensive. It’s a joke, I got it, and I understand Rebel’s sense of humour, but it’s not a body love message.

  • Maree Talidu

    Also: Rebel has parted company with Jenny Craig.

  • http://carlyfindlay.blogspot.com carly findlay

    Body shaming goes both ways. It’s sad that these kinds of slogans get laughs.
    Great piece Tamsin.
    I have a really fast metabolism and eat a lot to keep my energy levels up. Someone who was a little bigger, not comfortable with their own shape and size, constantly made reference to being jealous about my body vs food intake, and once she made pig snort noises, to reflect that I was eating a lot. She had no idea that it would offend me, because, as she said “you’re so lucky, you’re skinny”.
    Not your body, not your business, indeed.

    • http://kikiandtea.com Tamsin Howse

      I can’t believe she SNORTED at you!! Wow!

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  • defvfd

    Get the fuck over it

  • Lyng

    I just wish they made all clothes in all sizes, I’m so tired of being forced to dress in unflattering grandma clothes because all the cute stuff is in smaller sizes. Ya’ll really are lucky, and that has nothing to do with shaming you. I’ve lost 80 pounds recently to try to reach a smaller size because I desperately want to escape the fat shaming, vicious comments, ridicule, panic attacks from a lifetime of being the elephant in the room, and I just want to experience the simple joy of buying a really cute outfit from walmart, for a decent price off the rack out of the other section, that is for the skinny girls. I see a lot of sympathy for each other here. And it’s kind of sad. ‘Oh poor me, I’m so thin’. Please. Just try huffing and puffing it a mile in a fat bitches shoes. You’d die of embarrassment, experience what it really feels like to be a social outcast, and all those guys that like you? That would be a thing of the past. Welcome to the world of true shallow assholes. Stop complaining, you really don’t have it so bad. Get butt and boobs implants like the everyone else and your set.