In the aftermath of the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s 29-point blowout over the Houston Rockets in the NBA Playoffs last week, a CBS Houston relationship columnist named Claire Crawford felt inclined to give sports blogging a shot.
Crawford’s first foray into this new medium was epic. She’s become a search bar staple, but not because of her prodigious basketball analysis. Here’s what she took away from the game: “The Rockets looked terrible in Game 1,”—obvious, but so far so good—”but some say they weren’t the only bad-looking people on the court.” The rest of the prose is a bit elementary, so I’ll sum it up for you. She more or less called Thunder cheerleader Kelsey Williams “too chunky” for her position. Queue the social media firestorm.
If Kelsey Williams is “too chunky”, then I’m a whale. twitter.com/BitterGirlRant…
— BitterGirlRants (@BitterGirlRants) April 28, 2013
Sorry, Anna Megan-Raley, but I would choose Kelsey Williams over you EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
— BlareSassyBare (@Blarebare) April 30, 2013
The passive aggressive jab at the beautiful and fit Williams has Claire Crawford—pen name of real life blogger Anna-Megan Raley—in some hot water. Disdain for Crawford/Raley has been universal, and support for Williams has poured in from all over the web. The reasoning behind Crawford’s criticism is all speculation, but one could assume she might have been trying to boost her own self-esteem. It’s also insane; Kelsey Williams is an athlete, and a gorgeous one at that. Maybe Crawford just wanted to get her 15 retweets of fame, or maybe it’s a reflection of our society’s sea change in perception of beauty.
In 1912, The New York Times dubbed a 171-pound 24-year-old woman as “the most nearly perfect physical specimen of womanhood.” That’s right, 5’7″ Elsie Scheel was the ideal, “perfect” woman. According to her measurements, Scheel’s BMI would have considered her obese. Her body type was similar to that of stone fox Venus de Milo and other depictions of women in classic works of art.
Forty years after Scheel was crowned as the ideal woman, a gal named Marilyn Monroe was the universal standard of beauty. Monroe, one of the world’s first and perhaps most famous sex symbols, was 5’5″ and weighed 140 pounds. That puts her BMI at a healthy range and her dress size in today’s standards at a 12.
When did we make it OK to define sexy, perfection, fit, beautiful, or otherwise for other women? Actually, when did the media get crowned this audacious responsibility? Kelsey Williams, as I mentioned, is an athlete. She’s fit, strong, and more active than most of the people in the stands. Should we post a photo of Anna-Megan Raley and let the world publically nit pick her flaws, small or otherwise?
Raley has since been relieved of her duties and is no longer employed thanks to this bit of bullying in the name of journalism.