Right now you likely haven’t heard of Emily Cain. But after the bold stance she took on body shaming today, you’re likely to know her soon. But let’s back up a second. First beauty pageant contestants spoke out against body shaming. Then models and actresses made their voices heard. Now Emily Cain, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Maine’s 2nd congressional district is taking the issue head on in a deeply personal new ad.
It started last week when the National Republican Campaign Committee, a group supporting Cain’s opponent, Congressman Bruce Poliquin, launched an ad characterizing her support of a bill aimed at ending childhood obesity as a “violation of [children’s] privacy.” A clause in the bipartisan bill, which did not pass, would have required schools to weigh students regularly as a means of tracking progress. The Portland Press Herald clarified that “weight reporting would [have been] confidential and…parents would have [had] the option to opt out.” Moved by the inaccuracies, Cain was quick to take action, launching her own ad this morning. “Like a lot of women I’ve struggled with my weight. It’s hard. It’s very personal,” she says in the ad.
“As the oldest of three sisters I know how important it is to be a good role model for young women,” Cain told Allure. “Speaking up quickly was important because the ad is false and hurtful.” And as she sees it, the issue is broader than just the campaign she is a part of now. “Women seeking to lead in our society should be judged on their experience, values, and plans—not looks, dress size, or BMI. We need women from all backgrounds to feel empowered and valued, not demeaned and judged.” Today, Cain is taking a stance every woman can feel inspired by.
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