• Isa

Body Image In UK Urban Culture

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

"Big batty make the Mandem say, jheeze." -Skepta, 2019



In my opinion, the UK is one of the most inclusive countries in the world, in general, and when you focus on our emerging Urban Cities you see the diversity expanding at a rapid rate. Immigrants have settled in all parts of the United Kingdom, allowing their traditions to settle alongside. That's what makes the UK so special, our heritage that isn't just British but a medley of all different cultures.


Today I'm talking about Body Image. However, this isn't an article that says that we aren't inclusive; I'm not going to attack Topshop for lack of Plus Size models, and I won't be addressing Victoria's Secret. I'm focusing on the UK, and more specifically in the UK music scene. I would just like to give our music artists the award for being influencers in leading the public away from the stick-thin supermodel 'dream figure', did anyone see Keisha and Becky in the music video?


We embrace curves in this country, and I'm here for it, so should everyone else. I'm not saying that looking like Kendall Jenner is a bad thing, because don't get me wrong she is beautiful, but I personally find that the fuller figure is much more popular in the UK, especially in music videos and in lyrics too. Alas, there is always a negative side to things, and it seems that if a woman has no 'back', they get spoken about negatively. For example:


"And that girl dead, she got no breast, she's hitting the gym tryna find her ass." -KO, 9er Ting


"Girl, if you've got no arse then you better go gym and do some squats." "Small batty gyal in my DM, that's a instant decline, every ting lock 'arff." -Morrison, Shots


"Small batty gyal in my DM, catty, no, she ain't making me happy." -Bandokay, Shots Remix


So, is it understandable why one could have a slightly disappointed outlook and judgement over the music scene in the UK when it comes to the portrayal and requirements of women? These lyrics aren't even a scratch on a sand surface. It could be seen that women are ridiculed for not having a certain asset in the UK, but if you have a more 'curvaceous' figure in other countries and environment then that isn't seen as the ideal. It's tricky. It seems to be that the figure ideals are either based on one end of the scale or on the other, you either have the hourglass figure and something 'to grab', or you have a washboard toned stomach and a petite frame.


But this is what I want to say: SCREW THAT.


As I said before, the UK is one of the most inclusive communities and countries in the world, from North to South, East to West; regardless of where you are, we are all loved and accepted no matter where we come from or what we look like. Sure, we have our exceptions, but what country doesn't? I am confident that if the music scene stopped objectifying the female figure, classifying it, then we could have the proudest, most confident women worldwide. IT'S A HOT GIRL AND CITY GIRL SUMMER LADIES! We have this in the bag, let me tell you.


Gentlemen, lads, mandem, whatever you want to be referred to as; this is not on you, I would like to make this clear. This is on social global standards that have been built up over time, and although they vary from era to era, there has always been a demand for female figures to replicate what the current era wants.


This is an example of what I'm trying to say. The way the 'perfect body' has changed for women over decades, difficult to keep up in my opinion.


But, now more than ever women are not the only ones who experience social pressures when it comes to their figures. Social media has most definitely made things harder, we should give mum and dad that one. It wasn't like this in their day, and it was easier then, I think we would all be able to agree on that. Men, boys, they come under pressure too nowadays, but the reason as to why this isn't as spoken about is due to the lack of presence that women give it in their publications.


You do not hear Stefflon Don talking about how she won't be caught linking an overweight guy, same with Ms Banks! They have better things to talk about, they rap about their hustle and they do it well, may I just add. But, social media comes into play and we feel the need to give into the ridiculous demands of western culture; men aim to be 'built' and tall, and that will get them all the girls, BUT WE CANNOT LIVE LIKE THIS ANYMORE.


Not to be cheesy (I know I said that last time) but we are cool people, if your personality bangs then it bangs, regardless of gender, and you'll find the person for you. As a generation we have to to stop focusing on figure, finance, and bodycount; come on everyone, we have better things to do with our time!


It might be easy for me to write it, but it might make more sense for me to open up if you're all going to read this blog. I used to really dislike myself, hated what my figure looked like, I didn't like mon derriere (I'm too awkward to write that in English, I'm so sure my family will read this), and I hated everything else, but then someone said to me it's from within. LOVE YOURSELF FROM WITHIN. That was the best thing anyone has ever said to me, and hats off to my sister Liliana for being the one to say it. (shoutout to my main)


So, this is what I have left to say. If you want to change yourself then do it, no one will shame you for that; you have made an executive decision in your own life, you control what you do, but please, do not change for the feeling of fitting into social regulations and ideals, NO. CHANGE FOR YOU! Be how you want to be, you'll be a better person in and out if that is the case.




I'm signing off.

I hope I was Positively Unhelpful


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