Women on Film: Body Snark as Universal Women Speak

Body snark is the universal language of women, translating across all cultures.

Getting a professional manicure is like sitting in on a group therapy session, but with acetate fumes. Everyone is over-sharing, and it’s often to people whose mother tongue is way more complicated than yours. “His mother is staying with us for two weeks. She leaves the bathroom door open all the time,” shares the newlywed with the freaked out eyes and the French manicure. “It’s about crossing the line. I told him that I didn’t want to have this conversation again, especially when I’m in Happy Baby pose,” sighs the women with the bitten down cuticles. “Những người này là idiots,” says one manicurist to another.

But it seems there’s one universal topic on which everyone can chime in, and that is body image. “I am disgusting right now,” says a woman rocking a newborn in baby stroller. “You should see my stretch marks.” “My arms are so flabby they should be rigged to a sailboat at first wind,” says a slim woman pulling on her shirt sleeves. “Fat feet,” says a manicurist, pointing at her sandal. Suddenly, everyone is putting their freshly-polished toes on display, pointing out imaginary pockets on flesh on their heels and ankles. Body snark is the universal language of women, translating across all cultures.

So it’s refreshing to see women taking a stand against the seemingly endless walls of assault we rage against our own bodies. Here’s America Ferrera as Ana, a Mexican-American teenager fed up with the status quo.

“Real Women Have Curves,” which won the Sundance Audience Award in 2002, resonated with audiences determined to see past the superficial. A young America Ferrera spoke out about the emphasis Americans place on their bodies. As she told SplicedWired, “It overshadows more important things in life like loving yourself, loving who you are and finding yourself on the inside.” Ultimately, we yearn to look like different people without really knowing much about our own selves. Except, of course, that we have fat feet, flabby arms, and stretch marks.

Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler is the Beauty Editor of EcoSalon and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.