Stop Calling This Plus-Size Woman “Brave”

Plus-size-style blogger Jessica Kane has a message for everyone who commends her courage for wearing a swimsuit in public. Earlier this week, Kane took to Facebook and Instagram to share the above photo, which she captioned with this observation on the would-be compliment: "I've been told how brave I am for not having a coverup... Going without a wrap would only take bravery if I cared what others thought of me, but I don't."  Kane went on to name actions that, in her opinion, do require bravery: "A family battling tragic illness, a mother trying to beat addiction, a person trying to break free of domestic violence." Non-thin women showing skin? Not on the list. Her comments echo those made by Mindy Kaling in 2013 when Kaling explained why not to ask her where she got her confidence. "I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting," Kaling remarked. "Because, what it means to me is, 'You, Mindy Kaling...[are] not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?'" Complimenting Kane on her style "bravery" implies that she has overcome a body shame assumed to be universal; Kane attests that it isn't. Complimenting her adorable pink-and-black swimsuit itself, on the other hand? Totally cool.

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