July 2, 2013 by maddieswab
I’m going to stray from my usual topics today to talk about something that I have been noticing more and more lately and is a huge problem to me. This phenomena is referred to as “body shaming” because that’s exactly what it is: shaming a woman for her body type.
I feel as if this problem might have been occurring for decades, but has grown even worse in the 20th and 21st centuries. In the 1980s and 1990s, women who weighed more represented beauty, attractiveness, and marriageability. In the early 2000s in Fiji, women tried to become thin to represent the individuality they saw in women on television. Now, no body type is accepted.
Models have been two thin in the past couple of years, celebrities have been too thick. But the problem has started becoming worse and it sickens me to know that no woman can be safe in her own body. I attribute this increase in body shaming and its severity to social media. Don’t get me wrong–I love social media and use it every day. But it provides a quicker, faster, more social outlet to body shame.
Today I was on Instagram and saw a photo of a model on a clothing company’s feed. The model was modeling a swimsuit and there was nothing wrong with her–she looked beautiful and confident. Then I happened to see a few of the comments on the photo. One Instagrammer called thigh gaps unhealthy. Another one commented that she was happy to see “real girls” being used by the company. How are thigh gaps unhealthy? What exactly is a “real” woman?
And the hate doesn’t stop at social media and the general public, either. Take Jourdan Dunn. She has modeled for Victoria’s Secret and Marchesa, just to name a few well-known brands.She was raised by a single mother, was discovered at only 14, was the first black model to walk for Prada in over a decade, and takes care of her three-year-old son with sickle cell disease whose father is currently in prison. This woman is amazing and has overcome so much, and she radiates strength and confidence. On July 1, she was fired from Dior’s high-profile fashion show for–brace yourselves–having boobs that are too big. And she’s a 32A cup size, which most women consider to be on the smaller side. Come on, now Dior. Apparently fashion brands have taken to body shaming as well.
Women thin and thick are being shamed for their bodies, which are often something they can’t help. Some women are born thinner and that’s how they stay. Some women are born thicker and that’s how they stay. What’s the matter with this? Are we evolving into a society who is going to try and take the “designer baby” to the next level and manipulate genetics to make a woman have a certain body type? Women are beautiful no matter what body they have–thick, thin, curvy, apple-shaped, ruler-shaped, pear-shaped. And you know what, some women wouldn’t change their size A breasts or Kim Kardashian butts for anything.
And this thing about “real” women? All women are real. If one woman’s body is considered “real,” then wouldn’t the opposite body type have to be considered fake? And this is not possible. I don’t care if people body shame about thin women or thick women and call one body type “real” and the other unhealthy–it’s all wrong.
Woman should love their bodies because each one is different and that in itself is beautiful. That the world can have so many shapes and sizes and colors is amazing and adds a bit of spice to what would otherwise be a dull world full of look-alikes.
All women are real and beautiful. And body shaming takes this beauty away and turns it into unconfident women who go to extreme lengths to conform to society’s ideal. It needs to stop. Stop the body shaming in comments on Instagram photos. Stop the body shaming on news shows (especially if you are a male anchor, and trust me, there are some male anchors who body shame women and I consider it ten times worse). Stop the body shaming in the fashion industry. Stop the body shaming behind closed doors. Stop the body shaming in whispers in public. Stop the body shaming once and for all.