The fashion industry is finally (sort of) catching up with the fact that there’s no one standard of beauty, and that’s definitely a good thing. Models of various sizes are being embraced more than ever, and plus-size representation is making its way into the mainstream.
But for all of the progress the industry has made, there’s been plenty of backlash against the body positive movement too. There are the concern trolls, who insist that their fat-shaming comments are because they’re worried about people’s health. And then there are the people who don’t pretend they want what’s best for anyone else — they just want to be cruel.
Model Alessandra Garcia — who happens to be actor Andy Garcia’s daughter — had the perfect response to an Instagram user who cruelly name-called her on the platform. In an Instagram story posted Friday, Garcia shared screenshots that showed the same user commenting multiple times on one of her posts. (Garcia’s Instagram story has since expired, but Yahoo! Lifestyle captured screenshots.)
“Fat” is a complicated word, and there are many differing and valid responses about how it’s used. Garcia’s decision about responding to the word was spot-on, though — she took the power away from the word “fat,” invalidating the Instagram user’s so-called insults.
“Find you a man that loves you as much as this man loves to call me fat,” Garcia wrote in her Instagram story. In a followup screenshot, Garcia said the commenter “has no power” over how she feels about her body. She also wrote that “there is nothing wrong with being fat.”
Garcia’s post illustrates the problem with thinking that fat can’t be beautiful too. Sayings like “You’re not fat, you’re beautiful,” or “You have such a pretty face” create a false distinction between being plus-size and being attractive. But as Garcia and so many others behind the body positive movement have shown, being fat and being beautiful aren’t mutually exclusive.
Garcia’s success in modeling might upset the Instagram user she posted about, but that doesn’t validate his criticism. Her response to the situation shows that she’s totally unbothered by the whole deal, and it might encourage her followers to love themselves how they are, too. So really, that’s a winning situation for everyone.