If you follow Instagram power couple Robbie (@tripp) and Sarah Tripp (@sassyredlipstick) you know that Robbie just released a self-proclaimed summer anthem for plus-sized women called Chubby Sexy. I’ll let you watch the whole thing yourself, but it’s brought up some interesting questions for me about representation and who we’re ready to tell our stories.
Overall the reactions to the video have been super positive – the song and video are clearly light-heartened and fun and intended to celebrate the bodies of curvy women that aren’t typically celebrated in mainstream media. To me, this is part of the power of social media – counter cultures can be created and shared super easily. I also think it matters that the video has gotten a lot of support from the female, plus-size community because ultimately they are the ones who decide whether or not it is an anthem worth embracing.
But there are have been a few dissenting voices saying they disagree with the idea of a thin, white man creating a video intended to represent curvy women, which I think is also fair. Straight, thin, white men are often the arbiters of culture and get to decide what’s “cool” so does it make sense for a thin, white man to create an anthem for an identity he himself does not have?
My hot take: I think the video can definitely be seen as someone using their privilege to celebrate bodies that are not considered ‘conventionally attractive’ by the patriarchy but I also think the resources used to make the video could have been better put towards supporting a plus-sized female artist who probably could have made a more poignant anthem for herself. It’s great to see men stepping up and supporting women of all shapes and sizes, but I think the next step is making the narrative less about them and more about badass female artists. I also agree with one of the top comments on YouTube that Robbie should give Lizzo a listen.
Anyway, hope you’re all having a great long weekend and let me know if you have any thoughts on this because I’ve been wrestling with it for a while now. I can see both sides. I know it’s well meant in good fun (and I’ve had it stuck in my head all day), but I just think it would have been cool for Robbie to feature a plus-sized female rapper or singer on the track. Let me know in the comments below!