Today, we’ve got a new take on the classic tale of a semi-anonymous man on Instagram thinking he’s well within his right to comment on a woman’s body online. Let’s dig in.
On Monday, pop artist and very famous woman Madison Beer posted a carousel of mirror selfies to Instagram in which she is literally just standing with her dog, noticeably not asking for anyone’s opinion about her body. Then, in a since-deleted comment that was captured by Pop Base, some incel wrote: “Hey madison i’ve noticed that ur legs and arms are getting fatter. Please do some cardio because we men only like skinny girls. Ur face is already perfect, but please we love a thin-waisted girl.”
The 24-year-old responded, “i wouldn’t touch you with a 10 ten foot pole if you paid me a million dollars.”
It feels so 2009 to have to state that men on the internet do not have a say in hell about what women or femmes’ bodies should look like, but it seems that men have only become more emboldened to make derogatory comments since the start of the pandemic.
It feels particularly outlandish to see these sorts of comments directed at conventionally attractive famous women—both from entitled, self-hating strangers on the internet or within their own relationships. Bebe Rexha’s boyfriend Keyan Safyari recently seemed to criticize what he characterized as the singer’s “35 pound” weight gain: “Should I just pretend it didn’t happen and that it’s ok?” Keke Palmer’s boyfriend also publicly shamed her for what she wore to an Usher concert. And Jonah Hill allegedly told ex-girlfriend Sarah Brady (a professional surfer) that she was violating his “boundaries” by keeping photos of herself in a swimsuit on her Instagram feed.
But alas, men have always been this way. And until they’ve gotten it through their dense heads that a woman’s body is not something they can own/comment/criticize etc., etc., women will need to keep our 10-foot poles at the ready.