Fox News Host Andrea Tantaros Spreads the Body Shame

Picture courtesy of the fabulous Jodee Rose
Picture courtesy of the fabulous Jodee Rose

After the controversy surrounding Protein World’s body shaming ads, they found a defender in Fox News host Andrea Tantaros who said:

“At this time of year, anyone with a functioning brain asks themselves that question, ‘Are you beach body ready? In fact, I ask myself that question every single day. And I bet you people who have a problem with this ad going into summer time are not beach body ready.”

So Andrea has chosen a worldview wherein only people who look a certain way should be seen on beaches, and in which every single day she asks herself if she looks “good enough,” if she will get approval from strangers if she wears a bathing suit to the beach.  I would never want to worry about strangers approval of my body at all, let alone every single day.

But I celebrate her right to choose that for herself because, unlike Ms. Tantaros, I understand that (setting aside the layers of ableism embedded in the suggestion people who think differently than she does don’t have functioning brains) people are allowed to make personal choices with which I disagree, including being desperate for the approval of their bodies by strangers.

So I’m not asking Ms. Tantaros to change, if she wants to ask herself if strangers will find her fuckable every hour on the hour, that’s her prerogative. I am going continue to fight the system that says that women should base our value on whether or not whoever shows up at a beach at the same time we do approves of how we look in a bathing suit, or whether we meet the current stereotype of beauty (which, being rooted in pictures of people who have been massively digitally retouched is actually impossible.)

I think that one of the ways we can help dismantle this whole “beach body bullshit” is by simply not buying into it. If we don’t care what the beach body police think of us, if we’re at the pool, the lake, the river, the ocean not giving a shit, then the people who judge us lose their power.

So I’m going to continue to be very clear that if I have a body, a beach, and a suit, then you bet your sweet bippy that I’m beach body ready. I’m going to continue to provide support for people struggling to feel comfortable in bathing suits, and anyone who has a problem with that is kindly invited to look the other way, and/or fuck right the hell off.

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18 thoughts on “Fox News Host Andrea Tantaros Spreads the Body Shame

  1. I knew there was a reason I don’t like that woman. Something about her just pisses me off every time I see her. I cannot believe that a woman who looks like she does worries every single day about what others think about her body. WTF? Just goes to show you that these people that are telling us what we need to do about our bodies are not even comfortable with their own! Seems to me that they should be concentrating on themselves – they obviously have some shit to overcome!

  2. While I think she is a loathsome person in general, I understand why she is obsessed with her looks. It’s the only thing keeping her on the air. She certainly wasn’t hired for her intelligence, and she demonstrates that every time she opens her mouth.

  3. Tantaros is absolutely free to base her entire self opinion on her assumptions about the random thoughts of random strangers she will never see again, if that is her desire.

    Me? I’d much rather not waste my time and brain power that way. I’ve got better things to do with both.

    What I think is sad is the fact that every day we are all encouraged to waste our time and energy on worrying whether total strangers will consider us attractive enough to accept our right to live, work, play, exercise, shop, eat, and appear in public.

    So while I have no intention of following Tantaros’ example or her advice, I do have pity for her as a victim of societal panic. She gets social rewards for a combination of genetic accident, economic and environmental access, and the fact that her body is the one considered socially acceptable, but only at the cost of constant stress and fear of losing privilege. If anything happens to change her body drastically, then she would not only face the same intolerance from society she has shown to others, but also massive levels of self-loathing.

    Bonus: I can’t imagine anything that would piss her off more than knowing the people she ridicules consider here merely pathetic.

  4. I will never be beach body ready as I’m a very fair skinned Scot. I wear SPF50 and still worry about burning also sand in weird places has lost it’s appeal, but those are the only reasons, got feck all to do with the size and shape of my arse.

  5. So like everything else Protein World related, their defense boils down to “No, you! And ur fat.”

  6. Oh sweet fluffy lord, my brain doesn’t function? How will I ever survive?

    *headdesk* Seriously, that is the most absurd thing I’ve heard today. I can’t say ever, because I’ve been dealing with a world of stupid lately, but geeze.

  7. My body is never fully beach ready – because I burn *so* badly… I cover up to avoid burning, not some fool’s opinion! (And that suit is made for swimming, thank you – and I will.) At least these days, I don’t have people looking down on my pale untanned skin, as they did when I was a girl.

    When I went to Nice, decades ago, I loved that *everyone* was running around in itsy bitsy teeny weenie bikini bottoms… Young girls, old woman, thin women, fat women, mamas and grandmas, everyone. It was very clearly about going out and enjoying the sun and the water, not about someone else’s viewing pleasure.

  8. Last year, my sister and I got season passes to the local pool. My fat and unshaved body went there frequently.

    And you know what? Either the judgers were quiet about it, or else I simply was enjoying myself too much to even notice them. I guess I’m lucky that way. One advantage to chronic pain is that I’m easily distracted.

    Yeah, there’s always the possibility of fat-haters being at the pool, and being downright mean about it. But I’m not going to let that keep me away from the pool this summer, either! Frankly, I feel safer from judgment at the pool than I do at the grocery store. Weird, huh?

  9. Bang on with those comments! This post actually put a huge smile on my face. Why? Well, the comment about people being less intelligent than others simply because they disagree… I put up with that almost every time I speak to my “other half”. And I use the term very loosely because we hardly spend any time together. He thinks he is much more superior in the intellect department than me and I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m not stick thin. Funny thing is, neither is he. But he has a typical arrogant male outlook in that skinny people with their bits hanging out is much better to look at than me. Fair enough. If he has a problem with fat then why, I ask myself, is he dating it in the first place? Moreover, why has he been dating it for six years? Either way, this isn’t about him or anyone else that cares to look at me with or without disgust. I am a great advocate that true beauty is on the inside. And my favourite saying to people is that “my beauty is where it matters, not where it shows!”

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