"Boobs are back in a big way..." reported The New York Post yesterday.
Yes, you heard that correctly--according to a fairly reputable news source, just like a new style of jeans or a brand of sneakers, an aspect of the human body is "trending".
Why is this problematic? By commodifying a human body part to the level of a fashion trend, we are single-handedly eliminating the entirety of a range of forms, body types, and individuals. Making body parts "trending" assumes that like jeans or new shoes, you too can go out and pick up a new pair and update your look. However, while a very select few may have the means to go out and pay for a new body, most people cannot. We are born with our bodies and we have them for the entirety of our lives--and in the grand scheme of things, a very limited time on this earth.
That said, to say the idea of trending body types is a recent phenomenon would be false. Rather, the concept of valuing a woman by whatever claim society makes on her physical appearance spans back hundreds of years. There were the full-figured women of the renaissance who were popular because they represented wealth and access to resources. There were the tiny-waisted women of the 1800's, constrained by corsets that while crushing their organs, made them look "appealing". There were the Marilyn Monroes of the 1950's who were praised as bombshells because of their dramatic hour glass figures. Any way you cut it, the standards of beauty continue to change, demeaning one group, while embracing another group for a limited amount of time, and it's about time we change that.
Rather than embracing who we are and what we each have to offer as individuals, people are trained to go with what society deems to be truth. And while it is great that public figures such as Ashley Graham and the Kardashians have brought figures into the mainstream that were a breath of fresh air from the heroin chic of their recent predecessors, we still need to do better. You can be skinny, you can be curvy, you can be athletic, you can be petite, and you will still be beautiful.
Instead of living in the "age of the booty" or saying "boobs are cool again", we must focus on inclusivity. Instead of devaluing a human's figure to the status of a trend (which by definition is fleeting), we need to make an effort to support, embrace and accept all.
Let's do better.