So, there's this meme going around. Perhaps you've seen. It's called the "good sport plus size model," or some variation on that. And yes, it's horrible.
Buzzfeed has a collection of some of the worst right here, and while we can conceivably understand how some might be funny in a not-hugely-offensive way, it's the concept itself that has us drinking the rage Kool-Aid. All of these, whether they present a positive or negative image of a plus-sized woman, are based on one assumption: That weight is a factor in personality, in sexuality, in morality, in everything. More specifically, that weight is particularly important to these aspects of life if your body isn't in line with the current societal ideal. Do note that this meme does not exist for straight-size models.
Is it possible that the person who created this had good intentions? Sure, and there are a few on the Buzzfeed list that aren't so bad. Maybe they wanted to change the perception of plus-size women and help them be more accepted by society. But that's the problem — there's still this crazy idea that overweight or even just particularly curvaceous women need help, because their weight is standing in the way of their happiness and success. It's true that people seen as "fat" by society are often disenfranchised when it comes to things like job interviews and healthcare, but it's also possible that these so-called fat people are sometimes intelligent, competent, ambitious, and awesome enough to have jobs, boyfriends, girlfriends, and cats despite of their supposedly unacceptable body types.
It's this idea, that physical appearance has everything (or anything) to do with actual moral character, that feeds the old stereotype that overweight people are lazy and stupid, feeding off all the wonderful things done by the skinny people of the world. We'd like to someday live on a planet where a woman doesn't constantly think about her weight with every choice she makes, be it sexual, food-related, or something more momentous. Oh, wait — we already do live in that world, though the maker of this meme apparently does not. Most of us go about our daily lives without thinking about thunder thighs every other minute. And we do just fine.
Photo: Via Buzzfeed; via Real Simple.