Lionel Shriver, the outspoken author of Big Brother and We Need To Talk About Kevin, recently nonchalantly admitted to The New York Times that she eats only one meal a day. So, when we came across her article on body image in The Cut, we weren't surprised at how freely she discusses size — or by her unapologetic use of the word "fat."
Make no mistake, Shriver isn't poking fun at larger people. Instead, she discusses the social construction of beauty and how the term has evolved to separate the "haves" from the "have-nots." While Shriver argues many points in her argument (beauty is fleeting, being pretty feels like a crack high, and our appearances affect our social lives), the most salient to us was her point that as the nation's waistline expands, we only continue to idealize skinny bodies more.
The growing divide between what a real body looks like versus the body we as a society praise "is a formula for widespread discontent," Shriver writes. She points out that to simply alter our standards of beauty is an uphill battle. Instead, she thoughtfully suggests that "the solution is to get a grip and put human beauty in perspective." The whole piece is pretty thought-provoking, so we highly recommend reading the whole thing — just be ready for some frankly presented opinions. We wouldn't expect any less from Shriver. (The Cut.)