Yesterday was the first day of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and per usual I’m posting every day this week. For this NEDA Week I’m focusing on body positivity, and so each post this week will in some way have to do with learning to love your body. The first post this year is all about why body-shaming needs to stop, and I’ve teamed up with Amy (recent guest post) for this post as well.
Body-shaming is that one thing, that almost everyone can say they’ve either experienced it, or they’ve seen it happen to someone else. Which in my opinion needs to be changed to where it’s something that almost no one has to deal with.
Body-shaming starts at a young age. I’m sure you can recall the kids in elementary school picking on one student because they were chubbier than everyone else because I can. It starts in kindergarten, continues to high school and college, and doesn’t stop once you become an adult. And for what reason…? A difference in body composition.
We’re all built differently, and naturally, we’re all going to look different.
It’s because of this difference that things such as fat-shaming, and skinny-shaming exist. Meaning that the body-shaming movement has gotten so much traction that it’s divided people on the issue.
With one side attacking thin people for “skinny-privilege,” and the opposite side attacking the “all women have curves” saying.
In my opinion, we need to quit being divided on this issue and come together and stop attacking each other on how our bodies look.
Especially since one of the latest developments of the body-shaming movement is that attacking thin people is okay. Because it’s not. It’s not okay telling a thin person to “go and eat a cheeseburger,” or to “put some meat on those bones.”
However it’s almost deemed by society as okay to make those remarks, but the second a thin person says something like “should you be eating that” to someone who appears overweight…. It’s seen as rude, and sometimes even as bullying.
It’s due to this mentality in society that saying a remark like those to someone on one end of the spectrum is completely okay…. is insane. Because saying those comments to anyone, shouldn’t be okay. But the only way it’s going to change… Is with us.
It’s only going to change once we start to make it change. How do we do this? It’s simple, quit judging each other, and spread more #GirlLove. Because we as females tend to be way too rude to other women, and instead of taking the time to hate on each other and tearing each other down, we need to be building each other up.
A couple of days ago, I was walking behind two teenage girls and overheard one of them saying, “Who cares what she thinks, she’s fat.” At first, I was shocked by this kind of negative attitude towards someone just because of their weight, but then I was even more shocked when I realized that it is a pretty common occurrence nowadays. We are constantly criticizing others and ourselves based on the appearance. This is called body shaming. It is particularly pronounced among girls (especially when it comes to shaming themselves), but young men are also taking part in it. Regardless of the age and gender, body shaming is wrong.
So why do we do it?
Newspapers and magazines continually offer tips about improving our physical appearance instantly or within days. From losing weight to appearing slimmer using “tricks.” Comedy movies and sitcoms so frequently revolve around making fun of an overweight/pimpled/short character. Fitness bloggers post their running images all over the web, setting unattainable standards for others who have just started doing their workouts or are planning to start. Media sends us a message every day that if we do not feel body-shame and if we do not work to have “perfect” abs, tans, hairs… perfect everything, we will become the target of someone else’s body-shaming.
Where does it lead us?
It ‘s okay to feel out of place sometimes. But if we constantly obsess about not being good enough, it can have serious health repercussions. The most common problem is falling into unhealthy eating habits. From anorexia and bulimia to obesity, it is clear that repeated body-shaming is present in our society. So, if you do not like your body and you constantly beat yourself up for that, you are more likely to end up with a body you will like even less. Not to mention that our confidence levels depend on how comfortable we feel in our own skin. Dissatisfaction only creates more insecurities, and it becomes a vicious circle, in the centre of which very often is depression.
How do we fight it?
It is hard to think differently. The media and society have taught us that physical appearance matters the most. But we need to remind ourselves that discrimination and shaming for any reason is wrong. No one is perfect. What is perfect anyway? You do not need a perfect body to be happy. You need to love your body just as it is and be happy in a healthy body.
Thank you lovelies for reading, and I hope this helps open your eyes and maybe think a bit more about how we judge not only others but also ourselves.
What should we do to help end body-shaming?
More about Amy:
Check out the rest of the posts in the body positivity series:
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.