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These body-obsessed trends are a fat lot of good for 'real' women

Another week, another body trend.

There was the thigh gap, the bikini bridge, double, then treble zero, no make up selfies, body shaming and fat shaming.

Now there's #fatkini - a trend where 'real women' (I'll get to those in a minute) are posting selfies of themselves in bikinis with the hastag fatkini, as a celebration of 'real' bodies.

So what then is a 'real' woman? In the UK, the average size is actually a 12 to 14, so I think it's safe to assume that we're roughly the same here.

But most of the pictures I've seen on Twitter are of quite overweight women, not size 12s, which would be the most 'real'.


'Real' women, surely are neither Tom Wolfe's 'scrawny social X rays' nor morbidly obese. Are obese women really representative or typical of what is actually 'real'?

To be fair, the trend is partly to combat the prevalence of images of skeletal women we've see so much of in media and fashion.

And I guess it's also about people saying they are comfortable in their own skin and that they don't and shouldn't have to hide away; that they too can feel the sun on their skin and swim, along with slimmer women.

That's clearly a positive thing. There's also a sort of two fingers to fat discrimination.

There's plenty of plugging of plus-sized swimsuit ranges which is fine, I suppose, given that we too often see endless product placement of a zillion other lines online.

But what bothers me about the #fatkini trend is that it's just another trend that is solely focussed on women's bodies and selfies (look at me, me, me, me). It responds and give oxygen to constant body shaming and body talk.

How about a selfie that isn't actually about what you look like with or without makeup? Or that's not you showing off your bum. (Is this a bum-fie? A bel-fie? Is there anyone on earth more narcissistic than Kim Kardashian?)

What about some selfies of you actually doing something? Of performing a task?

Of your hands writing your blog about something other than diet tips?


How about posting something other than a snap of your body or face, clearly begging the cybersphere to give you a 'like' or a 'you look ammmmaaaaaazzzing'?

It doesn't matter what you're like, whether it's obese, reed thin, size 12, no make-up, with make-up, in a bikini, bum in or out.

How about getting a hastag or trend going about a thing or concept that has nothing at all to do with bodies and image? #nowthatwouldberefreshing