Advocacy Builds and Restores (or You May Be Doing it Wrong)

Jenni Chiu, writing for The Huffington Post, on "Stop Making the Thin Girl Ugly":



I stumbled across a petition on started by a fellow blogger whom I happen to adore. I've met her. I've laughed with her. I've slept in the same hotel room with her. I find her intelligent and quite glorious.


I don't like her petition… though I may be in the minority.


The petition is to Francesca Bellettini, the CEO of Yves Saint Laurent with this request: "Do not use anorexic models in your advertisements anymore." She also wrote a blog post about it here.


My problem is that the petition was inspired by a photo of a thin model in an ad, and we don't know that this young woman is actually anorexic. Perhaps the genes she inherited, combined with her youth, keeps her rail thin. Isn't assuming all skinny girls are anorexic just as bad as assuming all bigger girls are lazy?




There is a sad and inexcusable tendency in social justice circles. Too often, activists are incapable of advocating for one group without intentionally (or not) tearing down or hurting another group. Inclusion does not require the moral and emotional bludgeoning of another group. Intentions matter, but so do the consequences of a particular advocacy effort. If you must hurt one innocent party to advocate for another party, then you don't understand the concept.
Read the rest here:


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