So I wrote this post a while ago, before I made my other blog private. I wanted to share it on here again with a but if editing because I still feel very passionate about this issue and want to make others aware of how body shaming effects many – too many – people in a daily basis. I understand that this could be considered to be a controversial topic and I am sorry if my opinions offend anyone. Just remember these are my opinions though, I’m just sharing them, not trying to enforce them on to you.
The media plays a huge part in body shaming and creating the idea of what a ‘perfect’ body looks like. They portray models as being extremely skinny and claim that this is the type of body that is considered attractive and what everyone should aim to look like. I personally think this is extremely wrong and messed up.
There is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ body – everyone of all shapes and sizes are attractive and shouldn’t feel pressured to change the way they look to suit societies deluded interpretations of beauty.
In recent years the media has come under attack for presenting the ideal image of people – particularly women – in such a way that suggests only women who are thin can be attractive. Obviously this is not right and many people have spoken out against this. You don’t have to be thin to be attractive. As I said earlier, no matter what shape or size you are, you are unique and beautiful the way you are.
Although I agree with this opinion that models should be a range of sizes and that beauty has no set guidelines or criteria, there are lots of things I disagree with too.
Take a look at these pictures:
All of these pictures are designed to make people who have experienced discrimination for being ‘too large’ feel more comfortable about themselves. They fight back at the media’s image of what a ‘perfect’ women should look like.
But to me, they don’t say this at all. They don’t say that it’s alright to be whatever size. They don’t say that discriminating against anyone because of their size is wrong, no matter what size they are. They simply put down and discriminate against skinnier people to make others feel better about themselves. It is disgusting.
When people think of body shaming, they generally think of people being labelled as ‘obese’ and ‘overweight’ and ‘ugly’ because of the way they look. The majority of people would agree that this is wrong, that it is perfectly fine to be a different size to that portrayed by the media as an ‘ideal skinny woman’ and that if I posted some pictures that discriminate against larger people, they would be disgusted.
However, some people would look at the pictures I posted above and say that they are ok. That it is fine to call skinny women ’12 year olds’, ‘ugly’ and ‘only attractive to dogs’. Some people would say that being skinny is healthy and fine and that thin people have nothing to worry about. They would say that it doesn’t matter if they are discriminated against because they already possess the ‘ideal’ body image. Some people can’t see that this is just as bad as discriminating against larger people and any other form of discrimination.
It is sickening that people discriminate against others to make themselves feel better, it really is and it needs to stop.
Here is another photo that I would like you to think about:
How do you think this makes thin people feel? To be told they are not ‘real women’ and to be told to ‘get over’ their insecurities and be called all manner of names just to make other women feel better about themselves.
Also, how do you think the photo’s I posted before make ‘skinny’ people feel?
I myself am considered ‘skinny’ and have been called anorexic countless times. I have been told to ‘just eat more’ and asked ‘do you actually eat anything’ and told ‘you have twig arms’.
And yeah, I may be so used to these comments that I’ve learnt to just laugh it off and accept people’s ignorance, but that doesn’t mean those comments don’t hurt me. They do. They really do.
But people don’t see that this is wrong. To be called anorexic makes me feel so upset and so bad about myself because of all of the negative connotations of the word. I know I am underweight. I know I am flat-chested and have no curves whatsoever but I don’t need to be told this every single day.
It seems whenever I confide in anyone, including my closest friends, about how I have been bullied for my weight and told I am ‘too ugly’ to ever have a relationship, they just tell me that being called all these things is not the same as being called ‘fat’ and that I shouldn’t worry about my body because I am already thin and meet societies standards. They tell me to ‘just eat more’ and that it is much easier to put on weight than to loose weight. It makes me sad because I thought my friends understood, I thought they were different but unfortunately it is evident in the way they look at me when I wear size 8 skinny jeans that are still too big for me or when they say ‘I’d rather me fat and happy than skinny and sad’ on a regular basis as if my presence is offending them in some way and they think I am ‘fat shaming’ them just by being skinny, that they are not different.
In reality, most women that are considered thin have fast metabolisms, like me, and we cannot simply ‘eat more’ to put on weight. It doesn’t work like that. People often tell me they are jealous of me because I can eat ‘whatever I want’ and not put on weight, that whenever they even look at a cake or chocolate or anything for that matter, they put on weight. This simply not true. I can’t eat whatever I want. I still need to eat a balanced diet like everyone else and it is no good telling me to eat more because I already eat lots of food and can’t seem to put on any weight. I don’t want to be skinny but people can’t see that I am trying to put on weight and that it really upsets me when people call me anorexic and say I should stop starving myself because it is not true.
I found these pictures which sort of sum up some of the things that have been said to me regarding my weight and how I look. The sad truth is there will be many other men and women around the world who have had these things said to them too.
Finally I would like to say that any form of body shaming is wrong and that even though this post as been mainly based around skinny shaming, it does not mean I don’t think any other type of body shaming is wrong. Skinny shaming is something I have had personal experience with so that is what I wanted to talk about but please don’t think I am trying to say any other type of body shaming and discrimination isn’t as harmful and wrong as skinny shaming because that is not what I believe at all.
This is what I believe:
Although I know no amount of raising awareness of body shaming is going to completely eradicate it’s presence in our society, I can’t just sit back and watch it happen to others as it has to me in the past and still does now. It’s just one of many problems in the world – along with sexism, racism and ageism to name but a few forms of discrimination – that in an ideal world can be tackled by uniting as people. But this isn’t an ‘ideal world’ so for now all we can do is spread the message and share our stories.