Raise your hand if you go through a tough selfie-editing process before picking the perfect photo to post on Instagram. Most people wouldn’t put up a picture that makes them feel less than beautiful. Being an eighteen-year-old teenager I know my angles, just like we all know our favourite filters, lighting and our good sides; I pick the photos I like the best.
Body shaming is one of the biggest problems in today’s generation. It has become a problem for both genders. People take their own insecurities and aim them at other people to make themselves feel better about their own body.
Today’s generation, undoubtedly, does not see wrong in expressing their opinion. That is true, but shutting out anyone with a different body type than them is not okay. I read an article on the internet about body shaming that said between one third and half of young girls fear becoming fat and engage in dieting or binge eating. It also said that girls as young as five years old are worried about the way they look and their size, and one in four seven-year-old girls have tried to lose weight at least once.
Also, one third of young boys aged 8-12 are dieting to lose weight. These statistics on both men and women indicate that body shaming has the power of negative effects on someone. People, with pure intentions of insulting someone, constantly keep saying “her body is so fat,” and “ that makes her so ugly,” and “you need to lose weight’’ etc. Nobody chooses the body they have. Everyone is born into that body without a choice. If someone is healthy then it should not matter what they look like to anyone but themselves. And anyway, if I did want to lose weight, it would be no one’s decision but my own.
Recently an ad campaign sparked an outrage among women. The ad, featured a set of supermodels with the slogan “The Perfect ‘Body.'” Is this a problem? Yes, because all those women look precisely identical: tall, thin, with long hair, and fair skin. Since women are naturally made in a variation of heights, weights, and skin tones, forcing the idea that there is only one prototype of beauty is unreasonable. Why are these impossible standards of beauty being imposed on women by presenting a physical appearance that is difficult to achieve and maintain?
I refuse to live in this world of shame and silent apologies. To some I’m too curvy. To others I’m too dark, busty, loud, fat arms, thick thighs, a fat belly — too much, but at the same time not enough. But you know what? Life cannot be dictated by the perceptions of others, and I wish the world had made it clear to me that people’s reactions to my body were not my problems, they were theirs.
No matter how many empowerment conferences, TED talks, and blog posts are out there, women keep tearing each other down over physical appearance. Body shaming isn’t just telling the big girl to cover up. It’s trying to shame me for working out. It’s giving “skinny” a negative connotation. What type of example are we setting for young girls and their self-esteem if grown adults are on Instagram calling other women “cowards” for losing weight, or “ugly” for being overweight?
We should stop body shaming. We should be motivating, supporting, and encouraging each other. Until everyone realizes that, body shaming will continue to be an issue. Body shaming is an issue that will not be solved unless everyone learns how to accept their own body, to feel confident even in their thick skin and until magazines quit perpetuating this myth of a perfect body.