Some might argue that these model bodies could serve as inspiration for the rest of us to get fit like them. But on that, I call bullshit. Watching them isn't inspiring. Sure, they work their butts off to stay in shape, but these women are just built differently than most of us. But, as much as we try to fight it, we can't help but compare ourselves to each Angel as she makes her way down the runway.
"Why can't I get my hair to look like that?"
"How is her waist even possible?"
"Her legs literally never touch!"
And we’re not the only ones. I know many friend groups (all millennials indeed) who gather to engage in similar activities the night of the fashion show.
“Let’s all eat and cry together!” the invitations say.
I want so badly for everyone to have a broad, widely sweeping definition of beauty, a goal the body positive movement is pushing so fervently toward, but the reality is most of us still admire these Angels' appearances as much as we did a few years ago, before the body positive movement began.
Despite all I've read, nodded in agreement, and written about the body-positive movement, I still find myself thinking Shanina Shaik is one of the most beautiful creatures to grace the planet whenever she appears on stage.
So, what’s the answer? Should I just throw in the towel on the body positive movement? No, it's making progress, slowly but surely. Women are actually starting to back each other up on the Internet — can you believe it?
But in the short term, I just plan to be more aware of what I'm feeling as I watch. I realize it's not actually cathartic for me to shove chicken fingers into my face as Maria Borges flashes that mesmerizing smile at the end of the runway. I'll probably just stick to one entree instead of five.
I want to be able to laugh at the ridiculousness of the show — its lack of diversity, the enormous spectacle it's become, how seriously it's taken — because, really, what else can I do? There's no point in beating myself up about it — or hating on the models instead, as they're just doing their job.
I hope, as I watch, I'll realize there’s likely always going to be some insane standard of beauty disseminated by the media, but that my self-worth isn’t determined by how well I can pull off a pair of wings (though, of course, I wish I could pull them off the way they do). That’s my plan. Let's hope it helps, even if just a little bit.