Just because women are having a civilised debate, it doesn’t mean they are “bitchy” or “catty” or going to climb into a mud bath and wrestle over it…
I have a lot to say.
Having started the Body Image Movement out of a deep desire to spread a message worldwide, and along the way, share my thoughts and opinions on all things body image, you should know by now that I’m not afraid to speak my mind. And today is no different.
However, today I’m stepping outside the wellness realm and am lending my voice to another issue near and dear to my heart – the sisterhood – and in particular, the media constantly representing civil debates between women as full-blown boxing matches.
This week, the Daily Mail ran a piece that featured myself and some references towards Sam Armytage, a TV presenter I’ve had the pleasure of both meeting and working with several times. I made mention in the Daily Mail piece that I was opposed to a recent cover she appeared on celebrating body image because in my opinion, the photo had been heavily edited.
The image that Taryn is talking about (post continues after picture):
The story in the Daily Mail:
Sam may or may not agree with my views, and I may or may not agree with hers – but this is not an ongoing bitch slap fest between the two of us, this is simply difference of opinion and I am still as much a fan of hers as I have ever been.
My motivation in writing this is to acknowledge the fact that I celebrate diversity in people’s character and opinions as much as I do diversity in body shapes. I believe the influence that the media has on women and the relationship they have with one another has been skewed, and unfairly so.
Did I like Naomi Watts’ comments on a recent red carpet about starving herself to fit into her dress? No. Do I like Naomi Watts? Yes! Did Maria Kings’ comments back in 2013 annoy me when she asked the world “What’s your excuse?” Yes. Do I want to get into a mud bath and fight with her because of this? No!
I’m grateful to be surrounded by amazing, powerful, strong, caring, kind, compassionate women, and from time to time, we can disagree strongly about the odd subject or two. It doesn’t mean that we hate each other or cross each other off our respective Christmas card lists! It’s no different than having a different opinion to a man.
Two women fighting their corner and views should be seen no differently to two men fighting theirs. When two women have an argument, they are automatically seen to be ‘bitchy’ and ‘catty’, however if two men argue, there isn’t even a label out there that’s used to describe them.
The sisterhood is alive and well in my corner of the world, that is because I don’t choose to buy into the idea that two women disagreeing is any different to two men doing the same. If we don’t buy into it, if we don’t acknowledge it, if we don’t add fuel to the fire, it eventually won’t be newsworthy.
So how do we move towards the conversation of two women fighting being a non-issue?
If asked about a catfight, nonchalantly shrug your shoulders and tell the person that what matters to you most is not what lies between someone’s legs in a fight, but instead, what lies in their brain.
Writer, speaker and free spirit, Taryn is the infectious voice behind The Body Image Movement, a global movement to shift the way women think about themselves, and in turn, feel about their bodies. Her new book EMBRACE – My story from body loather to body lover (foreword by Ricki Lake) tells her story from being bullied at school, to embarrassing toilet tales and what it means to be supported by celebrities including Rosie O’Donnell, Zooey Deschanel and Ashton Kutcher. Signed copies of Embrace are available here.