This weekend, Sophie Cachia posted a bikini photo to her Instagram story.
There was nothing more to the photo than, well, how it’s just been described. It looked like this:
Backlash, it seemed, was fast, furious and nasty. Sophie stumbled on criticism on a 'mums' group' Facebook page. She, among other things, was called vain and self-obsessed.
And then, as media outlets began to report the story, a second wave a backlash came that sounded a little like this: If you put yourself out there, then you have to cop what comes.
It's a salient point. To a degree. Because, as first noted by Show and Tell on Saturday, this month, these guys put themselves out there, too:
Where's their backlash?
Women are fed a message that taking your top off is an act that has something to do with sex. Something to do with being sensual and vain and self-obsessed, because we live in a culture that tells us we're not good enough. We live in a culture where photoshop is prevalent and size six the bar, a world that tells us we'll never measure up. So what happens when a woman has the confidence to admit she's happy?
Backlash comes with intense fire. The subtext is a curious one: she's proud, but she should be quiet about it. Oh, and she's a mum, too. Mothers, we subconsciously concede, must be wholesome beings who exist as nothing more than the captains of the children they bring into the world. As if the minute they welcome a child, the must shut down a sexual side of themselves, because of course, a woman can't be both nurturing and sensual.
Holly Wainwright and Mia Freedman discuss the enigma that is the modern ‘Mummy Blogger’.
Men? Ah, men live in a world that tells them to run and reign free, to take their tops off or leave them on, the physical has no bearing on their worth. He can be vain without people thinking he's taking himself too seriously. He just likes the gym a lot!
If nothing else, this weekend has proven our attitudes towards women and their bodies needs an overhaul so we consider them just as we consider men's bodies: Nothing more than a man without his shirt on, no over analysis required.