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Topical Tuesday: Body Shaming

These are just my opinions I don't mean to cause offence to anyone if I accidently do.

Body Shaming happens a lot in the media and online. In today's current society we are constantly judged on our weight. The media especially seem to forget that people have feelings. When you make a comment about someones body you have no idea how that will make them feel. We are constantly bombarded with what the 'perfect' body looks like but is there really a 'perfect' body? I think not. What is important is the person is happy and healthy. Who cares if you have a few lumps and bumps? Or weather you don't have any curves? Apparently society and others do, which in my opinion is totally wrong.

Body shaming is others making negative or inappropriate comments about your body e.g weight. Others tend to make these comments as they think it's 'helpful' or the person is unaware of what they look like. But who are the people that actually body shame? Is it men body shaming girls or is it females body shaming other females. Also it's not just women that get body shamed, men are body shamed aswell. But somehow it's more acceptable especially in the media for a women to be judged on her weight. Whereas men can get away with looking however they wish without barely getting any comments.


Body shaming women
This is the most typical body shaming. I'm sure at some point in your life you will have heard 'Does my bum look big in this' or maybe you have actually said that yourself. We are all guilty of disliking certain aspects of our body. That is normal but what isn't normal is society expecting you to change areas of yourself. I am not against surgery etc.
I've had 2 Rhinoplasty surgery in the past, so who am I to judge? But surgery is only ideal if you are making that decision yourself without any added pressure.

Women can be body shamed for either being really slim, really large, really curvy etc. The list is absolutely endless. These are just labels that we can either let define us or rise above them. Yes it's easier said then done and I myself hate things about myself. That if other people notice about me I feel self conscious (that's part of the reason why I had Rhinoplasty)  Society body shames us for having either really big boobs or really small boobs or a really big bum or a really small bum. There is just no 'winning' so what's the point in trying to achieve 'perfection' when in reality 'perfection' doesn't exist. It's all about self love and self confidence.

When you think of the phrase 'Body Shaming' what do you think of? Having a quick search online its mainly the larger figures that are body shamed. People tend to forget that during the era Marilyn Monroe was popular she was a size 14, everyone wanted her figure. They wanted to look like her and she was idolised for her figure. Fast forward into 2016 that is now deemed as plus size.  On some website's a size 12 is plus size...how is that even possible? To me that is a 'normal' size whatever 'normal' is. It's certainly not plus size.
When people body shame plus size girls they can be very stereotypical by saying 'its your own fault if you are fat', 'you are costing the NHS thousands', 'you eat too much', 'you have low self esteem', 'you are lazy'. In my opinion these stereotypical views are atrocious and something I 100% don't agree with. Whoever thinks these views are obviously heavily influenced by the media. Plus size girls can look this way for many reasons. They may be 100% comfortable and body confident with the way they look, they may be really healthy and stick to a healthy diet, to be a plus size girl in todays society you need to be extremely confident especially with the attitude of some people and just because you are plus size does not make you lazy. Also some girls may be plus size due to medical reasons and the medication they take. Don't judge people without knowing the full story and all the facts first.
People are starting to fight back against these negative stereotypes and creating positivity. All body shapes, sizes etc should be embraced.
On Twitter I asked a blogger what thinks about this stereotype and this is her response :
"I think it's improved but there is still a lot of negativity. Certain newspapers and magazines seem to thrive on body shaming. It's been more recognised in the last few years that they are being negative and it's encouraged people to strike back and promote positivity" - Zoe from zjsunflowersbooksandcrafts

The opposite to this is Body shaming girls for being really slim. People think slim girls can't get body shamed purely for the fact they are slim, this is not the case. I can identify with this  myself as I am a size 6/8 and have comments made towards my weight.  People think just because you are slim then its acceptable to make comments about your weight. For some reason people tend to think it's not offensive when they say you are 'too slim' or you need to 'put on more weight'. For some people (myself included) I find it hard to put on weight no matter what I eat. There are also 'stereotypes' of slim girls 'you don't eat', 'you are constantly on a diet' 'you are healthy' etc. For me and I'm sure many other girls this is untrue. I eat a lot of food and I'm not that healthy. I openly admit my diet isn't the best. I eat junk food as I dislike healthy food. Yet just because I am 'slim' people think I am really healthy and fit (how wrong are they) . Some slim girls wish that they could put on more weight and be more curvy. Sometimes this just isn't possible and you shouldn't be body shamed because of it.
On Twitter I asked a blogger what she thinks about this and this is her response:
"It doesn't matter what size you are someone always has something to say. I get told at least 3 or 4 times a day I need to put on weight if I want to look healthy. They have no clue the amount of things I've done to try and put on weight. I think it's more that people think its okay to tell someone they are skinny and that we won't be effected by it" - Melissa from thegirlandthetreadmill

The phrase 'Are you Bikini ready' I'm sure you all are aware of it especially during the summer time. Anyone can be bikini ready as all you have to do is put on your bikini to be bikini ready.
But society doesn't see it this simple instead the idea they have is this 'perfectly' tanned, slim beach body. With no lumps, bumps, cellulite or fat. When you go on holiday you want to relax and be carefree not worry about something trivial like a bikini. There is nothing 'ready' about making yourself ill in order to achieve the 'perfect' body. In my opinion we should be embracing all figures and body shapes whatever they look like. As we don't want a society that is based purely on our image. Or young girls growing up with the constant pressure that they must look a certain way. This is not right and good on those people trying to combat this issue. Do I believe this attitude will ever completely go away? No but each and every one of us can try our best to spread positivity and embrace others.

Body Shaming men
This is something that is rarely discussed about. In newspapers and magazines men are barely body shamed with the way they look. I even tried to look further into this online but I couldn't really find anything on this. Which got me thinking. Is society more accepting of men's different body shapes? I think so as men have it 'easier' and less pressure compared to women. The pressure that they do have is because of themselves wanting to look good.

Body shaming men is not mentioned as often as body shaming women. You are not bombarded with images of men and whether they are 'beach body ready' or not. If a men isn't in the 'best' of shapes he is not as criticised as much compared to women. Instead it's acceptable to be labelled as a 'dads' body or the fact that some women like a larger man. The media doesn't shame or focus on men's body as much.

Men who have a six pack or take care with the way they look have more comments made about them in the media. The good and the bad comments.
Some women prefer a man to have a nice body, well groomed and take care of himself. Sometimes the media can body shame men for this and they can be labelled as 'vain' but what is wrong with wanting to take care of yourself? Nothing. If you enjoy doing that then good for you, don't let anyone stop you!
I asked a male blogger what his thoughts are about whether the media body shames men to look a certain way. This is his response:
"Yes and no. Body shaming isn't as strong for men as it is for women, but with the 'six pack' figure always being on TV, men are going to be conscious about the way they look and take supplements to reach this ideal body type" - John

In conclusion Body Shaming sadly does exist and I think it always will exist. But what we can do is try and overcome it with positivity. We should be embracing everyone's figure, who cares if it's not the 'perfect' body. Does the 'perfect' body even exist. Polls from around the country proves that each country has it's own ideal body shape. So you embrace your body and be proud of it! After all we only have one body therefore we should treat it right. Yes you may dislike things about yourself but that is what makes you unique. The main thing is to embrace what you have and to be happy within yourself. Happiness is the most important thing in life. If you really want to change something about your body purely for yourself you do that but don't let the media or anyone else influence you.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. I enjoy writing them. All of these opinions are my own so if you disagree with me please be nice and respectful. What's your opinion on this topic? Also if you enjoy the 'Topical' Tuesday' series on my blog then please leave a comment ,or contact me on social media with any more topics you would like me to talk about.


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Comments

  1. Hi Chloe,

    This was really well-written. Love your thoughts. My belief has always been that beauty and perfection are two totally separate concepts. To be perfect, which everyone in this Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube world we live in currently, you have to sacrifice your true beauty in some way. To be completely flawless, you have to give up what makes you truly unique, your beauty. So I just wish we could shift our minds from wanting to achieve perfection and instead striving to be our most beautiful.

    -AB | www.thegococollective.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I totally agree with you. Social media can make people think differently about the way they should look. Everyone is unique and that should be celebrated.

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