Is The Slender Man Setting Unrealistic Body Expectations For His Victims?
The average American is constantly subjected to unrealistic standards of beauty. Spend enough time online and you’re likely to come across #bodygoals announcing some poor soul’s desire to look like their favorite star, like Kim Kardashian’s butt or Emily Ratajkowski’s boobs. People look up to celebrities, and crave to look just like them. Unfortunately, fans often fail to realize what these stars do to attain such “perfect” bodies. Perhaps the most egregious example of this is the Slender Man.
We aren’t here to knock the Slender Man. In fact, we’re big fans. Nobody is killing kids with such originality and flair these days. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s thin as a rail and fails to talk about all the work that goes into maintaining his body. Love him or or hate him, that just isn’t right.
The truth is, Slender Man likely wouldn’t be so slender without top-tier trainers and nutritionists. When he isn’t stalking the woods and dark places of our world, devouring the young and turning our nightmares into reality, he’s in the gym getting after it. That’s the price you pay for perfection, whether he advertises it or not.
One look at the Slender Man’s Instagram feed shows that he’s all about his brand, pushing his image as a mysterious figure born of the shadows, craving the tender flesh of our children. Would it hurt him to throw in a picture or two of his plastic surgeon? There’s no judgements here. If he wants to look thin, and can afford the surgery to stay that way, more power to him. To each their own. But don’t let those who die by his hand perish thinking he stays slim eating whatever he wants. That’s not fair.
As fans, we should be holding Slender Man accountable. If we’re not questioning what kind of example he’s promoting for the kids he kills, who will? Children are bombarded with unrealistic bodies everywhere they look. Now they have to see it on the malevolent monster stalking them to death, too? Think about what getting eaten alive by an underweight walking phantasm will do to their self-image.
As actress and body-positive activist Jameela Jamil points out, “Slender Man’s victims should be worrying about how to survive, not about whether or not they have a thigh gap.” Preach.