Why This Stereotype About Men & Women's Bodies Is So Harmful

We may have come a long way in terms of body positivity, but that doesn't mean we aren't still unlearning the harmful myths that we've come to absorb about our own bodies and what they should look like.
Take, for example, the idea that women should be smaller than their boyfriends, light enough for a big strapping man to easily lift into the air. Megan Jayne Crabbe (a.k.a. @bodyposipanda), one of our favorite voices in the body positivity community, recently took to Instagram with a photo of herself and her boyfriend to talk about why this stereotype can so harmful β€”Β and not just for women.
"'If you weigh more than your boyfriend, you're too fat,'" she wrote. "That's something I learned while we were still on the playground, back before any of us had even been near a boy."
Like any myth that's come to be ingrained in us, Crabbe wrote that she doesn't know where it came from or where she heard it. All she knew was that it was presented to her as a fact.
"Beautiful women were always light and graceful, the men strong and solid," she wrote. "So that the boyfriends could lift you up and swing you round, you his feather light princess."
Crabbe isn't the only one who came to believe this β€” while many women have come forward recently to destroy this idea, that's only more proof of how many of us have been taught that this is a fact.
"As I got older that image became one more reason I was convinced that my body made me unlovable," Crabbe wrote.
While this stereotype is harmful for women who may come to believe that their bodies made them unworthy of love, as Crabbe did, she made an excellent point about how harmful it can be for other people, too.
"It isn't an image that only hurts women, it hurts men who can't reach the strong, solid expectation, it hurts people who don't fit the gender binary, people who don't slot in the limited boxes our culture puts gender into," she wrote. "It hurts queer people who are only given heteronormative images to aspire to. It hurts us all, the idea that only certain bodies are deserving of love."
The truth, as Crabbe wrote, is that we are all deserving of love, no matter what our bodies look like. It doesn't matter if we're bigger or smaller than our partners, and that shouldn't have to be such a revolutionary idea.
"Every single one of us are worthy of love, whether our bodies are light, strong, soft, bigger or smaller than our partners," she wrote. "Whether we believe that we're worthy or not. We already are. That means you too."
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