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Why, in 2019, are tabloids still accusing women of ‘letting themselves go’?

Posted by
Megan Murray
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As wellness coach Danni Tabor has pointed out in her now viral Instagram post, we should have moved on from this by now.

Women have consistently been told that to be smaller is to be better, more attractive and more acceptable in today’s beauty standards. It’s an oppressive lie that, especially thanks to the work of body-positive influencers, we are slowly trying to undo but the blaring headlines of tabloid newspapers and gossip magazines continue to instil this dangerous message. 

One woman who has had enough is wellness coach Danni Tabor, who has posted a riveting and empowering message to all women on her Instagram.

Using the side-by-side picture format (which is often used to show weight loss, in fact), Tabor highlights that she has gained 6kg recently and has spoken candidly about why the media using phrases like “let themselves go” and words like “disgusting” is so wrong.

“I saw an article yesterday that said ‘DISGUSTING celebrities that have LET THEMSELVES GO,’” she starts.

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“FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU MAGAZINE ARTICLES THAT HAVE NO EMPATHY. NO INTELLIGENCE. NO KINDNESS. It’s not 1990. Wtf. We have moved on. We are wiser. We are smarter. Why does gaining weight mean we have ‘let ourselves go’”.

Tabor continues to flip this depressing collection of words on its head, and comments on all the things in life that are more important than trying to be a certain dress size.

She writes: “Maybe we gained weight because we started to live a bit more? Or other priorities came about? Maybe we ‘let go’ of the bullshit standards you hold us up to? Maybe we ‘let go’ of the need to over train and under eat?

“Maybe we ‘let go’ of the idea that taking up less space is the best thing we could possibly do? Maybe we ‘let go’ of incessantly worrying about having an ab on show or a gap between our thighs or a ‘toned’ body (side note: why doesn’t mainstream media explain what toned really means?).”

Tabor continues to point out that instead of “letting go of ourselves” by not defining our self-worth by the way we look, or letting it control our actions, we’re actually “grabbing hold of who we really are.”

She finishes: “Don’t ever call anyone disgusting. Unless they are eating liquorish or drinking celery juice in which case. That remark stands.

But stop deciding for people, that they have failed, fucked up or ‘let themselves go.’ Just stop it!”

Tabor’s post has struck a chord with hundreds of women, vocalising the fury that so many of us feel at being sexualised by the media and pressured to look a certain way.

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One follower wrote: “I’ve loved every single bit of this post. I was talking about this like two mins ago with my boyfriend. I don’t care if I’m heavier (am I? Don’t know), because I am SO MUCH HAPPIER that I can’t even tell. Thank you for sharing.”

Another agreed, writing: “I have let go… Let go of toxic ideas around my worth in relation to my body.”

“This is such an important caption. It’s disgusting how magazine think this is acceptable to comment on / anyone for that matter. Thank you so much for this post!” a third commented. 

Sadly the behaviour that Tabor is talking about is only too prevalent, with papers such as the Daily Mail still ranking women by their dress size and actors like Jennifer Aniston being accused of “showing off” their body by wearing a bikini to the beach. We need people like Tabor to shout out against the din, because those messages from harmful media outlets can only get to us if we let them. Let’s continue to fight back and stick two fingers up to the ridiculous beauty standards we’re still being subjected to. 

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Images: Getty 

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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