Ever since the Biggest Loser controversy, body shaming has constantly been on my mind. I knew from a young age what “society’s” and the “medias” version of the “perfect” body looked like – skinny, flawless skin, the perfect hair, spot on make up, hip bones and collarbones prominent, wearing the latest trends, etc. Every day we are bombarded with ads that have been photo shopped telling us what to buy to look beautiful and to lose weight.
The media, especially Tumblr, has been filled with images of the “ever-so-glorious” thigh gap, a flat stomach, quotes strongly implying that skinny is better than having some extra pounds. It’s filled with messages promoting all the new ways to lose weight and “feel better than ever.” Well, what if people are happy with their body?
The other day, I was in class and I kid you not, I heard a girl say “I’m fat. Look, I don’t have a thigh gap!” Oh, I didn’t know that just because you don’t have a thigh gap that you’re automatically fat. I was speechless after hearing that. My teachers reply, however, was spot on. “Just because you don’t have a thigh gap doesn’t mean your fat. Their are all different body types, and some just aren’t made to have a thigh gap. I don’t get what all the rave is all about. You have skinny legs. Big deal. Your mentality and personality is more important to be concerned about, not how little fat you have.” I agree with him 100%. Not all body are made to have the “thigh gap” or “bikini bridge.” They are just not structured that way. The reason some girls are able too, is because they have a wider hip bone structure.
On social media, I always see those tweets or posts glorifying a small waist, a big bust, a big butt, and “a pretty face.” I’ve seem posts making fun of people saying “Eww, she’s so fat,” “I’ll never date someone who’s fat,” “Where them skinny girls at?,” “I’ll only date a dime.” Honestly, that infuriates me and saddens me at the same time. What’s wrong with the girls who don’t have all of those physical qualities? Why are you only limiting yourself to those girls? Why are looks so important to you? What about the personality? This is not just about guys shaming girls, I’ve seen it vice-versa as well. “I’ll only date an athlete,” “my man has got to be in shape,” “I’ll only date someone who looks good and wears x type of clothing,” etc. What about the guys who don’t fit your physical standards? Why are you limiting yourself based on their looks? Why aren’t you expanding your horizon past looks?
I’ve witnessed people get shut down because of how they looked. They are some of the sweetest and most caring individuals I have come to interact with. They have a beautiful heart, and in my eyes, they are all beautiful and handsome. Just because someone doesn’t look like your “ideal” person, that has probably been influenced by the media, doesn’t mean you should make fun of them. Everyone is beautiful. Everyone has unique qualities about themselves. Look past what is glorified as what is “beauty.” I am tired of the body shaming. Nobody should be made fun of or discouraged just because of how they look and how much they weigh. Nobody’s worth is determined by the number on the scale or the size of clothing they wear.
I love the Aerie campaign, because they aren’t photoshopping their images. They are promoting love for all body types. If only more people would realize that it is not all about looks and what the media portrays. You are beautiful. You are handsome. You are not defined based on your weight. You are worth it. You are amazing. Embrace your body and who you are. Nothing is wrong with you. It’s the media. Love yourself.
-What are your thoughts on body shaming?
-What advice do you have on loving yourself?
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