When Mekayla Diehl took the stage in last night’s Miss USA pageant, we were blown away by her confidence, poise, and perfectly wavy hair. We were also pleased to see that her body– while still very much thin, athletic, and well within the confines of what our society deems beautiful— stood out among her fellow contestants. Mekayla is lightyears away from fat, but her soft curves added the tiniest bit of body diversity to the crowd of famously thin women. Unfortunately, many of the Twitter responses to her only-barely-outside-the-pageant-norm figure seemed to miss the point, and instead of praising Miss USA for inching towards a more diverse pageant, they resorted to thin shaming. To give you a taste of the conversation, here are 25 tweets about Miss Indiana‘s shape– the good, the bad, and the ugly.
1. True, but I think it’s important to remember that while all women with curves are sexy, not all sexy women have curves. Didn’t we learn that in tenth grade geometry?
2. It’s very cool that pageants are starting to make room for women whose body types exist outside the old rigid standards (even if this particular body only barely counts), but we don’t need to criticize everyone else in order to make that point.
3. She totally did!
4. While I’m always confused about what “looking healthy” means (and why we consider that a virtue), she absolutely did look beautiful.
5. I’m not positive that what you look like in a bikini dictates how good of a role model you are, but Mekayla seems like someone women can look up to for other reasons!
6. Saying she has a “realistic body” kind of sounds like the other women are cartoon characters.
7. Totally! But maybe we shouldn’t compare thin women’s bodies to twigs.
8. Once again.
9. And maybe we shouldn’t compare people to toothpicks, either.
10. Were the rest of them robots? Please tell me the rest of them were robots. That’s a pageant I could really get behind.
11. She’s the only animatronic robot contestant who was able to borrow a body from a real human woman? That’s really going above and beyond.
12. I wasn’t aware that one person’s body could be an insult to another person’s.
13. It definitely sucks when people try to create standards for what’s a “normal” body and what’s not.
14. Yep. You don’t need to pass any kind of test before you can be called beautiful.
15. Not a bad point, considering the actual average pants size for an American woman is about a 14– but it’s weird to blame one individual for perpetuating misinformation about bodies.
16. I didn’t realize that women who wear a size 2 are exempt from having full thighs or large breasts or beautiful bodies.
17. Swagmaster doesn’t hold anything back.
18. It’s pretty weird that we try to create an arbitrary “nornam” or “average” for human bodies in the first place.
19. Not a bad point!
20. Not a bad point!
21. I don’t know what to tell you, Lindsay.
22. The standards are pretty ridiculous and harmful, yes.
23. Speaking of ridiculous and harmful…
24. Hell yeah. Alison tells it like it is.
25. It’s really cool that she’s proud of her body– and that she’s able to say so without body shaming anyone else. (Here’s the article she’s linking to, BTW.)
Featured photo via Getty Images