When did the users of the internet decide it was perfectly acceptable to make judgmental, uninformed and completely rude comments to perfect strangers and/or public figures?
It may be because I live in a happy little bubble where I consciously edit my media so I do not see Body Shaming messages. I no longer buy gossip magazines, I try to avoid reading the comments on public figures social media posts and I am pretty selective about my viewing habits. I’m sure I sound like a boring bitch but it also means that my sanity is preserved, mostly and I am not bombarded with messages of how people “should” be, look, act, dress, weight etc.
However this weekend my shame free existence was smashed into a thousand pieces as the Body Shamers took over social media. It started innocently enough, a woman on a Plus Size forum I am a member of posted a comment regaling her opinion that Plus Size women should not wear tight or revealing clothing because it was “disgusting” and “not classy”. She felt that because she was a plus size woman herself it was completely ok for her to make such comments and continue on to make even more derogatory ones. There was a lively debate between us until I reached a point where I realised I was wasting my time even trying to discuss the matter.
As the quote goes
“Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
I had just about gotten over this little incident when a friend of mine posted her MND/ ALS ice bucket challenge video on Facebook. After watching the video I scrolled down to comment and I was greeted with this:
“There is no justifying all that fat…get rid of it beautiful woman…xxx”
I kid you not, on a charity challenge video somebody thought it appropriate to throw in some body shame wrapped in some affection. I mean she called her a beautiful woman and threw in some kisses so it’s all cool, right?
This Shit Needs To Stop!!!
I am sick and tired of people thinking it’s perfectly ok to comment on other peoples bodies, throw snark at them under the guise of “concern”
I want you all to stand with me and Stop the Shame!
Stop telling people what to wear!!
“Fat people shouldn’t wear crop tops it looks gross and disgusting, thin people shouldn’t wear shorts their legs look like matches.” Just stop it! People can wear whatever the heck they like in whatever size they feel like. If you don’t want to see it then don’t look. Peoples clothing choices shouldn’t be limited or impacted because of a fear that somebody will shame them! If you don’t want to see it look away, keep on scrolling, block it, hide it from your news feed. No human being is “Asking for it” by putting themselves out there! If you have nothing nice to say then kindly keep your mouth shut.
Stop giving out Health Advice that was not asked for!!
Unless you are a person’s physician and they have come to you for your medical opinion kindly keep your opinions to yourself. You are not nearly qualified enough to decide how healthy or unhealthy a person is by looking at a photograph. Why is it any of your concern anyway? “You won’t find it so attractive when she dies of a heart attack at age 35 cause she’s so fat” Right because only fat people die of heart attacks, right? And because you can totally tell someones cholesterol level by looking at them? Even if you could-Why do you care? What’s it to you? Why do you care if someone might get a heart attack or hiding an eating disorder? Unless they come to you specifically asking you to pay for their medical bills or your qualified opinion hush up.
Stop perpetuating what makes a woman real!!
All women are real women. Whether by birth, by choice, by design, by identification. All Women are real women. Size, shape, weight, body parts, hair, clothing do not determine what makes a woman real. Tired old lines like “Bones are for Dogs, Meat is for the Man”, “Men love Women with Curves” don’t help anybody! Since when did our bodies become about what others want. Are our life decisions/ body shape to be determined in order to meet with the desires of a group? I think not. All bodies are good bodies and all women’s bodies are Real Women’s bodies.
Stop the Shaming!!
Don’t engage with shame or perpetuate it!
I’m all for complimenting people to help them feel better. Tell someone they are gorgeous but do not cut yourself or anybody else down in the process. You won’t be able to rise higher if you use your self esteem as someone else’s step ladder. Give the compliment, mean it and leave it there.
Have some responses ready for the body shamers in your life!
Some times the body shamers aren’t a bully online, sometimes they are a well meaning friend or relative who thinks they have your best interests at heart and instead all they accomplish is perpetuating the shame. Have some responses ready for when they do strike.
“I’m sorry that you can’t love my/their/your body the way it is. I think I’m/ they’re/you’re beautiful and lovable the way I am/they/you are.”
“Why are we focusing on what’s bad about how we look? Let’s focus on what we love about ourselves!” This goes for clothes shopping, too: “Let’s focus on what makes us feel beautiful!” Remember in clothes shopping focus on the item of clothing not the body. “I like the dress but I don’t think it makes the most of your assets they way it could.”
“The way you are talking about yourself/ someone else makes me feel really bad about myself. I love you, but if our conversations continue to make me feel bad, we may have to spend less time
” I’d love to walk with you/work out with you/swim with you/work on getting more veggies into our food. But that’s a totally different conversation. That has nothing to do with loving how beautiful you are and I am. We are amazing with/ without those things.”
If you have experienced Body Shaming then take time out to build yourself back up again.
-Read an inspiring Body Positive Blog
-Look at pictures of people who are kick ass and confident in their own skin.
-Spend time with people who you love that make you feel incredible!
-Put on your favourite music and dance around in the privacy of your own home. Bonus points if you do it naked.
-Pamper yourself. Do something nice for yourself that will make you feel better.
-Do something physical. Remind yourself of what your amazing body can do. If you’re unhappy with how far you got with it remember you’re still outlapping everyone on the couch.
-Masturbate, orgasms = all the good feelings even if you don’t orgasm it’s an incredible way to get in touch with pleasurable feelings your body can give you.
-Fresh bed sheets and a shower. The ultimate in feel good at bed time.
I want you to stand with me & stop the shaming. Say no to all forms of Body Shaming! Say no to the Bullies! Say no to those who perpetuate the negative! Say No!
Like it, share it, make it your cover photo, tweet it, pin it, instagram it. Let the Body Shamers know we aren’t going to stand for it any more. Stand strong beside those on the receiving end of the shaming and help build them back up. We can only build and grow by working together! So lets kick ass and