Every once in a while, something on the internet brightens your day. Something so positive and heartwarming that just one 'like' doesn't seem to do it justice.
This is not that story.
This is the story of a man called Robbie Tripp, who has posted an open letter to his wife, Sarah, on Instagram. Robbie, who is 26 and an 'entrepreneur', shared a picture of the couple on the beach and, in 265 words, told the world how much he loves Sarah's curves.
Or as Robbie put it, her 'thick thighs, big booty, cute little side roll, etc.'
Robbie, you see, is a man who has educated himself 'on issues such as feminism and how the media marginalizes women by portraying a very narrow and very specific standard of beauty'. Having been 'teased as a teenager' for his attraction to girls who 'the average (basic) bro might refer to as ‘chubby’,' Robbie has now become a 'man' and is OK with a woman who 'fills out every inch of her jeans' and 'won't be the one on the cover of Cosmopolitan'.
Well done Robbie. Someone give him a pat on the back.
This letter isn't 'cute' or 'adorable'. Sarah isn't 'lucky' to be married to a guy like this
No doubt Robbie loves his wife very much. No doubt Robbie thinks he is the world's best husband right now. As do the 20,436 people who inexplicably liked his post.
There's just one problem. Women don't exist purely for the pleasure of men (I know, shocking isn't it?). To have their bodies appraised by men and talked about on the internet by men - even if that man is married to them.
Robbie is what you might call a 'nice guy misogynist'. Sure, he likes women. He's nice to his female colleagues, he cherishes his wife and loves his mother and sister. His bias is tricky to spot - he probably doesn't even realise it exists - the outdated views he holds about women, deep down. That it is his role to protect them. That by saying he finds his wife's body shape 'sexy' that somehow solves centuries of sexism.
Mansplaining on Instagram does not make you a male feminist: 'A real woman is not a porn star or a bikini mannequin or a movie character. She's real.' Thanks for that one Robbie.
This letter isn't 'cute' or 'adorable'. Sarah isn't 'lucky' to be married to a guy like this (as numerous commenters have told her on Instagram).
It's belittling and patronising. The subtext is: 'most men would be repulsed by your perfectly nice and normal body but don't worry, I'm prepared to overlook your 'thick thighs' because I've read all about feminism.'
Robbie thinks he is a pioneer - paving the way for all those men who also like 'girls on the thicker side' (his ACTUAL words). Like he's a hero to all those women who don't meet every single western beauty standard. His starting point is the assumption that we shouldn't find curvy women attractive. If that's body positivity, count me out.
Dating a woman who isn't supermodel thin does not make you a feminist, chivalrous or a hero
Perhaps the most galling thing, is that Sarah - who is stunning - is a body positive fashion blogger. She already has a nice line in self-esteem and helping other women feel good about themselves, which is admirable. She doesn't need public validation from Robbie.
She doesn't need to be told that she is 'fooling herself' into thinking she has to 'fit a certain mold to be loved and appreciated'. Because, obviously, the problem is us ladies filling our silly little heads with this nonsense, not an entire misogynistic culture - which you are part of Robbie - feeding women crap like this.
Dating a woman who isn't supermodel thin does not make you a feminist, chivalrous or a hero.
If I were Sarah, I'd be sharpening my pen for an open letter in reply. 'As a teenager, I was often teased for my attraction to less well-endowed men...'
The letter in full:
'I love this woman and her curvy body. As a teenager, I was often teased by my friends for my attraction to girls on the thicker side, ones who were shorter and curvier, girls that the average (basic) bro might refer to as ‘chubby’ or even ‘fat.’
Then, as I became a man and started to educate myself on issues such as feminism and how the media marginalizes women by portraying a very narrow and very specific standard of beauty (thin, tall, lean) I realized how many men have bought into that lie.
For me, there is nothing sexier than this woman right here: thick thighs, big booty, cute little side roll, etc.
Her shape and size won't be the one featured on the cover of Cosmopolitan but it's the one featured in my life and in my heart.
There's nothing sexier to me than a woman who is both curvy and confident; this gorgeous girl I married fills out every inch of her jeans and is still the most beautiful one in the room. Guys, rethink what society has told you that you should desire.
A real woman is not a porn star or a bikini mannequin or a movie character.
She has beautiful stretch marks on her hips and cute little dimples on her booty.
Girls, don't ever fool yourself by thinking you have to fit a certain mold to be loved and appreciated.
There is a guy out there who is going to celebrate you for exactly who you are, someone who will love you like I love my Sarah.'