A selection of red and green apples and a measuring tape.

A guest blog by Mae, aged 16.

The female body; a beautiful, life-creating hub of a soul, made to seem disgusting by male-run corporations pushing laxatives, vitamins and fat-free yoghurt promoted by women with the money to burn their fat away, whilst telling impoverished women that skinniness can be achieved by “working hard” an idea that the Beverly Hills, Daddy’s Money, “self-made” millionaires could never grasp.

Weight fluctuates from person to person, day to day, but the idea that female bodies have to be one or the other, skinny or fat, a man’s “type”, or worthless haunts women at every turn. And they know. The corporations know. They buy companies known for low-fat, low calorie products, and advertise them purely through misogyny. The demonisation of calories sends people down paths to get their eventual intake lower. And lower. And lower. And even lower until there is barely a meal perched on their plate. Just an empty, tasteless dish created by “experts” who know nothing but profit. Nothing but gaining more and more money while giving women less and less mass. less self worth. Less love between them and the women they feel “lack the discipline” to be thin.

This greed creates a rift between women and that’s what they want. With  no other people to reassure you, you turn to the people you are told to listen to. The men. The people who give your life worth, yet make you feel scared to walk down the street. The people who tell you your body shouldn’t be a struggle, yet holler at you for strutting down streets in a summer dress. The idea that women could ever “give up” worrying about our bodies, when every single time we step outside, we are reminded that our bodies are seen as currency by men. The men that stare us down, rate our looks online and bully women with physical disabilities because they know they can never achieve the “perfect” body. Because it doesn’t exist.

For every woman’s body, there are ten men willing to objectify it. Willing to laugh at stretch marks that they would’ve given their own mothers while growing inside them. And even when they try to engage in body positivity, what do they do? They fetishise us. They don’t see chubby women as women, they still see us as fertilisable objects. They can’t fathom the idea of us having aspirations outside of being so physically weak from starving ourselves in a socially acceptable way, and psychologically weak in a patriarchally acceptable way. Giving up our dreams for a man to love us, only to leave after our bodies change post-pregnancy.