Late last week, a dude’s instagram post went viral when he gushed about how much he loves his wife’s curvy figure, “big booty,” “thick thighs,” “cute little side roll,” “beautiful stretch marks” and all. His post, which you can read in its entirety after the jump, has garnered over 34k likes, and was featured on the Today Show, ABC News, and others. The man is being heralded as some sort of body positive feminist hero because he had the nerve to celebrate his love of THICK WOMEN. But plenty of critics (myself included) are rolling their eyes and satirizing the self-congratulatory message from a guy who bravely admits he appreciates an aesthetic that isn’t celebrated in the mainstream or among high school boys or featured on the cover of Cosmo. After the jump, the post that started it all, and one woman’s reversal of the post, re-writing it from a wife’s perspective about her pale, skinny husband.
Ew, right? I mean, great that Robbie Tripp is so attracted to his wife. But the profession of this attraction, as if it’s special — as if HE is special — because he can appreciate something that he thinks many others don’t is just gross. It’s insulting. But Sarah, his wife, is not insulted. In an interview with Women’s Health, she gushes right back about her husband and how wonderful his post was and how he tells her every day how beautiful she is (and she is! I just don’t get what is noteworthy about a husband appreciating his beautiful wife’s beauty). Note: there is no mention, in the wife’s interview or any of the recent Instagram posts from either of their accounts, about her feelings about his appearance. Where’s her gushing about his skinny arms and, um, interesting fashion sense, and close-together eyes?
Here, a writer imagines what such a post might look like written from a wife’s perspective about her husband:
“I love this man and his thin, pale body. As a teenager, I was often teased by my friends for my attraction to skinny guys with questionable facial hair, ones who were weaker and not athletic, boys that the average (basic) chick might refer to as “pasty” or even “mediocre.” Then, as I became a woman and started to educate myself on issues such as how the media constantly applauds men for everything they do, I realized how many men have bought into that lie. For me, there is nothing sexier than this man right here: weak chin, pale legs, cute little Miami Vice-era facial hair, etc. His shape and size won’t be the one featured on the cover of Esquire, but it’s the one featured in my life and in my heart. There’s nothing sexier to me than a man who is both totally average and confident; this cute man I married has never filled out a muscle shirt in his life and is still the hottest guy in the room. Girls, rethink what society has told you that you should desire. A real man is not a porn star or a underwear model or a movie character. He’s real. He has quirky facial hair, a receding hair line, beautiful scrawny legs and cute pale arms. Boys, don’t ever fool yourself by thinking you have to fit a certain mold to be loved and appreciated. There is a girl out there who is going to celebrate you for exactly who you are, someone who will love you like I love my Robbie.”
Could you imagine if a post like that went viral? If the husband did interviews with men’s fitness magazines about how awesome his wife is and how great her love for his body makes him feel? Never. It would never happen. And not just because we don’t dissect male bodies like we do women’s bodies, but because everyone would think the wife was trying to tear her husband down, embarrass him, shame him. Because it’s weird to simultaneously call attention to perceived flaws, congratulate yourself for seeing the beauty in them, and admonish others as “basic,” “average,” and unevolved if they don’t. But then maybe I’m just an angry feminist who’s simply over women’s bodies being used to make men feel more manly…