If you started watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend after my survey of Rebecca Bunch’s bust-friendly wardrobe last week, then you know all about Valencia, the epitome of every unrealistic beauty standard we’ve ever tried to meet. I was completely surprised, therefore, to find her singing “Women Gotta Stick Together” with the kind of women we see in our own mirrors and around us every day–women of a variety of ages, heights, weights, ethnic origins, orientations, bust size, and hair styles.
It seemed like mainstream TV was finally sending us a body-positive message! Then I listened to Valencia’s lyrics:
Women have the power—
The power to make a change.
Like this girl should pluck her eyebrows,
And those jeans should be exchanged.
You really need a size up.
Instead of sending just one message, this video juxtaposes two:
- acceptance and representation of all body shapes and sizes
- unforgiving perfectionism.
I’d like to say that #1 wins, but if so, why do the women that Valencia hurts stay with her to the end of the song? On the other hand, #2 doesn’t win either because it is impossible to see Valencia in a positive light. If you watch the video, I’d love to hear your perspective.
This topic is on my mind a lot because I’m helping promote a new documentary called Embrace that CLEARLY sends a body-positive message.
Embrace is part of Taryn Brumfitt’s Body Image Movement that began when she posted a “before” photo of herself as skinny and healthy next to an “after” photo of herself as larger and healthy. You may remember when these photos went viral a few years ago.
Screenings begin around the United States on September 19, and you can click this link to find a screening near you. If you are in or near New York City, I would LOVE to see you at the
September 22 screening at Loews 19th Street. Sixty more reservations are needed so that it can happen. Would you share the link with your friends? Brooklyn screening on the 19th.
Here is a recent review of the documentary, another review, and a recent interview with Taryn Brumfitt. At one point the interviewer asks about Taryn’s interaction with a plastic surgeon: “How the hell did you not sock him in the face when he was talking about your boobs?” Don’t you want to see what she’s talking about?