Kelsey Williams is an NBA cheerleader for the Oklahoma Thunder. Earlier this week a blogger decided to take it upon herself to ask her readers if they thought the vivacious blonde (or "chick" as the blogger called her) is "too chunky" to be a cheerleader.
The CBS Houston blogger, Claire Crawford (a pen name reportedly used by a woman named Anna-Megan Raley) wrote: "[Williams] has been criticized by some folks in [Oklahoma] for having 'pudginess' around her waistline. Is this chick 'too chunky' to be a cheerleader?"
What's even worse is that she then asked people to vote.
The choices were:
"She has the perfect look to be an NBA cheerleader"
"She could use some tightening up in her midsection"
"She has no business wearing that outfit in front of people.
Is this really all she could come up with to write about? If there was a buzz about this woman's weight, there were plenty of other, more intelligent ways to address it than to go for the lowest angle she could. While it would have been equally despicable coming from a man, it feels more hurtful that a woman would do this to another woman.
Yes, cheerleaders put themselves out there, and a big part of their job is too look good. If teams have weight or size limits, that's one thing, but for a blogger to draw the focus of the world to one cheerleader's waist is just irresponsible at best.
This is why so many women loathe themselves and their bodies -- because they imagine everyone judging them like this, and this just reinforces that people do. As much as we say we should love ourselves just the way we are, how difficult it is when crap like this is put out there.
To her credit, the blogger did soften the blow a bit saying:
But if she's comfortable wearing that tiny outfit and dancing for NBA fans, then good for her. Besides . . . not every man likes women to be toothpick skinny. I'd say most men prefer a little extra meat on her bones.
Still, that doesn't take away the fact that she offered this woman up to be judged for something so superficial and potentially painful. The article has been removed from its original site, but you can still read a cached version of it in its entirety to see what you think.
Williams herself has stayed positive in the wake of the backlash. After the post, she tweeted: "To be womanly always, discouraged never." That was followed by another that read:
We wouldn't know what blessings were if we didn't go through trials. Thank you to EVERYONE for the compassion and love today. I'm in awe.
Good for her, but I still have to imagine she's been hurt by this no matter what kind of a smile she puts on.
The fact is that women being judged for their weight by men and women alike isn't going to go away in our society any time soon It's just not. So there's part of us that just has to try to toughen up and love ourselves regardless of what anyone thinks, but there's also part of us all that should be committed to not making it tougher for all women to accept themselves.
Was this blogger wrong to ask if Williams is too chunky to cheer?
Image via NBA