I have been reading more and more about how celebrities, models, singers, actors and just plain regular non-famous people are getting body-shamed for not fitting the size 0 – size 2 “standard.” It saddens and infuriates me. Body-shaming, that is, being called out for not being stick-skinny, has become a horrible and hurtful practice. Worst of all, it always seems to be directed toward women.
Here are some of the *fabulous women who have been and are being body-shamed. Take a good look at them; are they not gorgeous, unique, and stunning? Not to mention vastly talented?
Christina Schmidt, model
Melissa McCarthy, actress, comedian
Queen Latifah, singer, actress
Leah Gilbert, Fitness Instructor
Sheryl Underwood, comedian, talk show host
These women have talents that most of us only dream of having; what in the world does it matter what SIZE they are? Who is anyone to judge these amazing and beautiful women, or any other woman who doesn’t fit the warped and prejudiced idea of having the “perfect” human body?
I’m not going to touch the subject of health and fitness. Suffice it to say that we all should be taking good care of ourselves in the best ways that we can. That’s a personal decision and no one else’s business. And our body shapes are our body shapes; we are who we are.
How is it anyone’s business what shape, size or weight someone is? It hurts my heart to think of the mean spiritedness of some people who feel they need to drag someone else down to make themselves feel better. Body-shaming is one of the worst kinds of bullying; I don’t care if you are the greatest star in the world or a cashier at WalMart–NO ONE deserves to be body-shamed.
It’s bad enough for adults, but just imagine the devastation it does to children and teens. They begin to hate themselves because they don’t fit the ridiculous “standard.” How sad, and how terribly unnecessary.
Here are some of what I call “faux helpful” comments some people offer (without being asked) non-size 2 folks:
- “Oh, we don’t carry your size here. Why don’t you try Lane Bryant?”
- “You know, you would be so pretty if you just lost 30-50 lbs.”
- “It’s such a shame that you’ve let yourself go–you have such a pretty face!”
- “My sister went on the <insert useless diet plan of choice here> and she lost soooooo much weight! You should try it!”
- “Should you be eating that?”
Then there are these charming comments that too many people use without thinking:
- “fat cow”
- “fat pig”
- “fat a**”
- “wide load”
- “tons of fun”
- “disgusting fat hog”
I don’t care how self-confident you are, these comments are cruel, hurtful and nasty, and it’s hard to ignore them. Even the most evolved woman, upon hearing any or all of these comments, knows that deep down, deep below all the self-confidence she has worked so hard for, all the positive thinking she has done, and all the wonderful compliments she has received—there is still that persistent little worm of doubt that burrows in the heart and mind and asks, ‘is this true?’
I would encourage you to check out the magnificent Jes Baker’s blog, “The Militant Baker” at http://www.themilitantbaker.com. She has been a major advocate of positive body image, and her blog is inspiring, amazing, funny, provocative and bold. Her blog is all about being yourself, loving yourself as you are, and being the most authentic YOU possible. Her posts are funny, touching, uplifting, and in-your-face positive.
The fashion industry, celebrities, movies, TV shows and so on seem to constantly scream at us: “THIS is how you are supposed to look! You are supposed to be thin and beautiful and do all you can to stay that way. If you don’t, no one will like or love you!”
What a complete load of lying crap, poppycock, bushwah, rubbish, codswallop, trash, tosh, bull, and absolute garbage! Speaking only for myself, I like to look as good as I can for my age and my own particular type of beauty. I am not the unlined, slim, pretty teenager I used to be, and why would I want to be? I have grown and changed and lived; I’ve experienced love and loss, joy and sorrow, laughter and tears, hope and helplessness and all things we humans call life. Does it make me any less a person if I have gained weight, wrinkles and silver hairs throughout my journey? No, no, and positively NO.
I say that we call out these body-shaming bullies for what they are: pathetic losers who have nothing better to do than try to bring someone else down. It’s such a waste of life, love and energy. We don’t know how long or short our stay on Earth will be, but why not live it the best we can? Let’s lift up, not put down!
*I wanted a man’s opinion of these lovely women, and asked the Crankee Yankee for his take on them. When he stopped drooling, he said, “gorgeous,” “beautiful, “hot,” and my personal favorite: “if I weren’t married to you…..”