Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Body Shaming - The Thin Version

Body shaming is something which seems to be hugely in the press at the moment. Again.

At the weekend, I watched several YouTube Videos about various examples of it. Plus there was all that palaver with the 'beach body ready' billboard campaign a few months ago. But what I have noticed within that whole explosion back in May and now, is that body shaming is always always centred around fat people. And how fat people are getting abused and being called names and made fun of. What I want to talk about is the other side of the story. And the amount of body shaming that is directed towards slimmer people, which somehow doesn't get a look in at all.

I have had my fair share of insults about my weight over the years. For example I have been called skinny, countless times, twig-like, flat-chested, boyish, anorexic...all of them are a little horrendous, especially for someone who is sensitive about their weight and body in general.

Now, these are probably not as bad as someone who has been insulted for being overweight. But the difference is, people think it is ok to comment on my weight ALL the time. Last year, back when I was working in a shop in Reading, I was once told 'you need to go and have some lunch' by a middle-aged (slightly plump) lady who really should have known better. Although that sentence may not seem obviously insulting, it was to me, who was in the depths of a pretty hard struggle against anorexia at the time. So mentioning that I didn't look my best, was not ideal for my recovery to say the least. But, even if I hadn't been particularly sensitive, why did they think it was ok to comment on my weight??? And what would they have said if I had turned round and retorted that they should lay off the burgers. Neither comment is acceptable, but I was the one who had to endure the insult and laugh it off because of her thoughtlessness.

And then there is the whole billboard campaign scandal that happened back in May. Now, don't get me wrong, that billboard was ridiculous and definitely shouldn't have been there. It was worded wrong and was horrendously hurtful to a huge amount of people.

HOWEVER, the graffiti that people displayed in retaliation was equally hurtful to those who are slightly slimmer. For instance the picture I have put here, which describes the displayed body (which has a similar figure to mine) as 'not ok.' Not okay? My body is not ok?? Do you realise that suddenly, whoever wrote this/agrees with this are doing exactly the same as this billboard is doing to those who are larger. You are telling another human being that they are not good enough and need to change themselves to conform. And THAT is what is not ok!

This type of thing happens over and over again. In an effort to make slightly larger people feel better about themselves, sometimes the backlash against a slimmer person is horrendous. I have read in more than one place that a curvy woman, is a 'real' woman. So what am I then? What is the slim woman who has a limited bust? Are you in fact saying she is a man?

What it comes down to, is people shouldn't comment on others' appearance AT ALL. Whether they are slightly larger than average, or slightly slimmer this is how that person is. And this is what they have to live with on a day to day basis. There is no such thing as a perfect woman with a perfect body. Everyone is different and that is what makes the world great. Nobody should feel rubbish because of how they are or how they look. And basically, I think you should remember the rule that all parents tend to tell their children - if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

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1 comment:

  1. This! ^^

    I was bullied at school because I was underweight. I was constantly called anorexic yet I didn't haven't an eating disorder - just a high metabolism.

    Making comments about people being underweight is just as bad as making comments about those who are overweight but I feel that so many people overlook this. Recently I've been made to feel bad about my weight thanks to comments from plus-size women who think that they are the true 'real' women and it's really starting to get to me.

    As I've always said, as long as we are happy and healthy with our weight then everyone else should be okay with that too.