I Wish Women Would Stop Writing About Weight
Kris Gage
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There are certainly things I wish women (generally speaking) would stop obsessing over but I don’t know what you’ve been reading so it’s hard to tell what you’re reacting to. Are you reacting to unhappy women blaming their problems on their weight, age, etc. or are you reacting to the subject of body image insecurities itself that is very difficult for a lot of women to deal with and overcome and thus many women need to process through their artistic outlets? Most women have had to deal with being objectified and experienced their worth being dependent on their looks/age/image. I don’t think one could make the argument that our culture hasn’t greatly contributed to women feeling like the only thing that’s important about them is whether or not men want to have sex with them and other women want to look like them. Feminine beauty is highly prized in our society. Beautiful women are treated better than any other demographic and people can treat unattractive women very unkindly.

I don’t take issue with any woman who has to express feelings of insecurity that come with being treated as an object of beauty rather than a person with talents and skills to offer because most women have been treated that way. Now if the writing you’ve been reading seeks to blame the world for those feelings and sets an expectation that society should fix the problem for women without seeking a solution to those insecure feelings that involves some personal accountability, then I could see how you might find it frustrating to read those stories. But if the women writers you’ve read are dealing with these feelings in an emotionally mature way and it’s not a subject that interests you or you can’t relate to, then my advice to you would be to stop reading stories about subjects that don’t appeal to you.

I’m not particularly interested in reading the stories of women processing their insecurities or really stories written by anyone processing their insecurities. My feeling is that those stories can be cathartic for the people who write them but the writing should be foremost for the writers and not for the readers. If a cathartic story inspires others or makes them feel less alone, that’s great but it should be a byproduct of a genuine attempt to rid oneself of unnecessary suffering. If one writes with the intention of garnering sympathy, I find that manipulative and I don’t think it’s empowering for the writer when she/he is successful in their bid for sympathy. It doesn’t encourage the writer to look within for the strength and courage to overcome personal roadblocks to happiness. It only encourages him or her to reinforce those roadblocks and foster their emotional dependency on others. We are all emotionally dependent on others but it’s unhealthy when one consistently chooses dependency over the difficult work of moving toward independence (we’re social creatures so I don’t believe we ever get all the way there and I’m not sure we’d be very relatable or interesting if we did).

If you want to read a work by a woman who DOESN’T discuss the issues you mentioned in this article, check out Octavia Butler’s novels. She wrote sci-fi.

I know she’s not the only woman in the world who doesn’t write about women’s issues which it seems has been the focus of the female authors you’ve been reading lately. So if sci-fi isn’t your thing, I’m sure there are women who’ve written about something that does interest you.