Speak.

S

Hello. I’m Ben Attwood. Im your typical 18 year old Whistonian. I like to listen to music, chat with my friends, and go on social media. A lot. As such, I see a lot of things which annoy me. This is a prime example.

A while ago, I was talking to a group of friends. And we mostly talk about inane nonsence which amuses us. We have a facebook group chat, and one of them shared a picture of a model, not much older than we are, who was apparently ‘plus sized’. And the girls in our chat were taken aback by how beautiful she was. Which is fair enough. But then what they said was really alarming to me. One person said they ‘wished they looked like her’ and they idolised this girls body. And it made me angry. So I ended up telling those girls off. And I wrote this rant. I’d like to share this with you now:

 

People. I want you to read this. Because I want you to know how I really feel. I wanted to make this rant on here, based on a plus size model that some of my friends saw in a catalogue. They all believed that her legs were too skinny, and and that she did not look ‘plus sized’. Photoshop. Real bodies aren’t so unrealistic.They slim models down to make plus size men or women feel more confident about what they’re wearing. you’ll never see a model in a catalogue who hasn’t been altered in one way or another. Its the old ‘dangle a carrot trick’. We all want to be like that, but we can’t. Because body types can’t be standardised. We’re not shop window dummies, people. You’re all attractive in your own way. For example, I’ve never liked one type of person, one body type, or ethnicity, or background. I’ve fancied small girls, tall girls, buff girls, thin, fat etc. You can’t fall for that image, my friends. No one person is cuter than the other, you all have qualities that i admire in people. The only one physical attribute I like is Brown Eyes. You’re all different heights, body shapes, body types, skin colour, eye colour, hair colour, nationality, regions etc. That is irrelevant. Nothing. You’re all humans. And don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise. You are beautiful. And I love you all.

I wrote this because I was so annoyed. I am annoyed by a lot of things. But today, this made me annoyed and sad. I try not to let things bother me. But today really annoyed me. Seeing people my age fall into the cookie cutter trap that fashion magazines have done. It’s not just them, I can’t put all the blame on them. Pornographic websites, clothes stores, the mass media. Its all made up by moral entrepreneuers who want us all to follow their moral crusades. Eg, ‘I think this is right, so I will say it is right on my newspaper/website’ and then people follow it.  That’s what annoys me the most. So when I saw my friends making a fuss over this, I had to speak up. The catalyst for this was a poem I wrote, in fact. Its called Common Hero. And its about people. If anything, its about the person whose reading this right now. Be it a computer, tablet, or a sheet of paper. I don’t know! But this is the poem that inspired me to speak.

Common Hero

I could be a common hero

flying through the streets

well, maybe not.

But I still save the day.

I have no powers

but I have my heart

No spandex

but a smile

I don’t leap buildings in a sinle bound

nor do I fight evil clowns

I tell you the time

I give you directions

I help you across the road

But I don’t beat the baddies

No muscles, only flab

white teeth? No sir.

I lack the height

the women

the glory.

I don’t even have a fancy lair.

I don’t get money

Or the thanks of a city

but your smile means more

your thanks is everything

You know what?

We’re all common heroes

one way or another.

The power is in our heart.

We are capable of good

stopping real evil

as long as you care

you’re a hero in my eyes.

The trouble is, there’s not enough heroes. You don’t have to be Spiderman, and swing into action, save Mary Jane Watson from Doc Ock, and be glorified because ‘ooh, he’s wearing a suit’. Just speak out, is all I am suggesting. I’m not a professional. And in fact, speaking out, can get you punched (I have NOT been punched, but I bet some people have wanted to punch me for speaking out against their rubbish). But you speak out, because it is the right thing to do. You may not always be right, but your opinions matter. Like I said, you’re a hero in my eyes.

If I could give every soul on this earth a piece of advice. I would say one thing. ‘Speak’. That is all I’d say. One word. Speak. Because if you say nothing, then things will continue the way they are. Speak, and the world will listen. Thank you for reading.

About the author

Ben

Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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