Singer Natalia Kills Defends Poor “Bullied/Victimized” Skinny Girls, Gets It All Wrong


Evidently British singer and producer Natalia Kills just heard “Anaconda” for the first time, or maybe it was “All About That Bass” — either way, oooh weee, she isn’t pleased. Yet another song glorifying plus-sized bodies and attempting to ease the pain of living at the wrong end of a social stigma? A song that refers to skinny women, a group of people that has been notoriously maligned and tread upon, as “bitches”? Natalia Kills won’t just stand by and watch such cruel oppression. Natalia Kills will say something!!!!!!!

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There is just so much wrong here, so much ignorant foolishness, that I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s just go through this very slowly, tweet by tweet, with numbers and charts and graphs and dioramas and about one million gender studies syllabi, okay? But before I do, let me get this out of the way:

I DO NOT SUPPORT THE POLICING OF WOMEN’S BODIES OR BODY-SHAMING OF ANY TYPE, EVER. Inarguably the whole situation — that is, being a woman with a body in this day and age — is fucked. The world talks about women’s bodies with an unprecedented sense of entitlement, as if they are objects in a storefront window intended for consumption and critique. Women are taught that the way to worth and value is through a man’s pants and that this masculine heterosexual desirability is a nonrenewable resource. So we fight with each other — brutal, eye-plucking fights. And it’s sad and it’s distracting and it’s an energy suck. And it just sucks. It plain ol’ sucks, and I’m not about it, and I will defend any sister solider whose body is being belittled or criticized.

BUT, with that said, while I acknowledge that it is very possible to have what society deems a desirable body and struggle with it, we still live in a society that physically and psychologically punishes fat women for their failure to achieve and conform to the ideal standard. Our culture validates and exalts female thinness with aggressive, unvarying certainty. While all women’s bodies are public territory, open to debate and questions, my body — which, let it be known, is a fat body — is openly reviled, pointed to as a cautionary tale, and associated with deviance and failure.

Having thin privilege doesn’t invalidate your own struggle with body acceptance or mean that your life in your body has been a woodland-creature-lined cakewalk. What it means is that your body and other bodies that look like yours, i.e., thin, aren’t systematically and continuously stigmatized, if not vilified, in every form of public media. Someone telling you to eat a cheeseburger is a rude, contemptible thing, yes, but fat-shaming is an institutional thing. It’s built into our society. I do not doubt that thin women have been called names and discriminated against, but it simply doesn’t happen as universally, publicly, or consistently as it does with fat women. It doesn’t. That’s a fact.

This is why I’m so thrown (and amused) by Natalia Kill’s indignation over Nicki Minaj’s big booty anthem/the brassy “All About That Bass”. Can’t we fat girls just have this one thing? I know I said I’ll stand against body policing of any variety, and I meant that, but… isn’t this a bit like a high schooler asking for help because a five-year-old flicked her? The power and privileges inherit to these body types — fat and thin — aren’t equitable. Why can Minaj yelp “fuck those skinny bitches in the club” without (or, well, with little) controversy whereas the line “fuck those fat bitches in the club” would catalyze an entire march? Because so-called “fat bitches” are constantly and consistently dehumanized and devalued — that rap would be yet another line in the world’s unending aria, “No Fatties.” Even the one-two punch of “Anaconda” and “All About That Bass” does nothing to dismantle the entire system that glorifies Natalie Kills’ “smaller than a size 6” body.

So who are these “larger framed women” who are incessantly “bullying/victimizing girls with small frames”? I would love to meet them. Also I didn’t know that anyone was unclear on the fact that “there are guys out there that will actually wanna ‘hold you at night’ even if you have a stick figure or less ‘booty’.” In fact, from my experience, we are taught that those are the only women that men want to hold at night. Now, not that I’m interested in arguing about what men want or what is “beautiful” or “sexy” — since I believe women’s worth shouldn’t be entirely entrenched in their bodies, maybe? — but we cannot pretend that fat bodies don’t defy easy cultural reading as sexual objects. If you don’t know that your body is culturally normal, Natalia, or literally handed down to me as aspirational imagery, please join me for a walk through… anywhere. Any city. Any time of day. Wherever I go, whatever I am wearing, I am loudly and publicly reminded that my body is inferior and undesirable. And I do mean loudly — once, while attempting to sleep on my train ride home after a long night, a drunk crust punk stood over me, swinging from the handle bar, and screamed about how I was a fat bitch who probably never gets fucked. I wish I could say that was an unusual incident. It wasn’t — the only thing unusual about it was that I fought back and reduced the mohawked man to tears. But that’s a story for another day.

And what is this nonsense about the media using smaller models in order to “keep the attention on the product”? Oh, so it has nothing to do with the fact that society hates, condemns, and ascribes literally ZERO VALUE to plus-sized bodies? It has nothing to do with the fact that advertisers are selling a fantasy and so they use the “ideal” feminine body in order to insidiously suggest that if you just buy this product, perhaps you, too, can be skinny/sexy/happy/lovable? It’s just because fat women are too sexy? IN WHAT WORLD, NATALIA? Seriously — what world? I would love to move there.

Unfortunately, a handful of pop songs intended to empower the minority can’t even ding the armor of the majority’s opinion. It’s going to take a lot more than just one Meghan Trainor to make the world “all about that bass.” So don’t worry, Natalia, just go to sleep and everything will be right back to normal in the morning — you’ll be the face on all the billboards and magazine covers and I’ll be just another fat bitch.

Related Links:
Your Favorite Body Positive Booty Anthem May Have Been Plagiarized
WATCH: Nicki Minaj Gives Drake a Lap Dance in ‘Anaconda’
This Man’s Head Is Now a Tribute to “Anaconda”

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