Friday, April 10, 2015

the shaming scale tips both ways

If you use social media, you're very well aware of the negative and hurtful comments that are made all over the place. It's a foul behavior that so many seem to think is acceptable and have no fear of attacking with their keyboards, since they're protected by the psuedo-anonymity of a computer/phone screen. (I'll be writing more on the subject in a bullying post soon.) 

One of the topics we see hated on most is body image. You always hear about "fat-shaming" and how horribly wrong it is. Well yes, it is in fact unacceptable to ridicule someone about them being or appearing overweight. I completey agree it's disgusting to shame them. There are many people that are overweight, to an unhealthy point, and display unhealthy habits for us to see and admittedly judge. However, it is not our place to call them out on it. Especially in a public forum that comes across in a mean manner. If your intentions are truly to help people better themselves and their health, mocking them is not the way to do it. Do so by setting a good example of health and fitness, with encouraging words and hopes to inspire, not shut down. 

So, the verdict here is that fat-shaming is absolutely wrong. It's hurtful, it's uncalled for, and it needs to be stopped. 

But then there's the shaming, that doesn't get looked down upon anywhere near the same level. "Skinny-shaming" as I'll call it. Believe it or not, for all the people telling others to "Stop eating and drop the cheeseburger, you look unhealthy." there are an equal amount of people saying just the opposite to thinner people with remarks like "Quit starving yourself, eat a cheeseburger, you look sick!". For starters, if you don't have a medical degree or a background in fitness and nutrition you have zero foundation to form those statements on, even then you don't know someone's personal story or circumstances. I don't condone unhealthy eating or excerise habits on either end of the spectrum. However, I don't berate anyone for what I think they may or may not do either. 

There are so many variables that make up a person's body, fitness levels, habits, etcetera. There are health conditions that can cause people to gain weight, just as here are ones that cause people to have the inability to keep weight on. There are minor to severe disabitlies, illnesses, injuries, genes, and even medicines that can determine these things. So who are you to judge with out knowing someone's medical record? You're not, so put your finger back down. 

What bothers me (well, it all bothers me) is that we seem to discipline those who fat-shame, but no one sticks up for those who are skinny-shamed. Those under skinny fire have the same amount of feelings as those under the opposite. Body size doesn't reflect emotional heart size. Telling someone they look too thin, sick, or anorexic is just as vile as calling someone too fat, lazy, and gross. Slinging around words about eating disorders is no joking matter either. Whether someone has one or not, it certainly isn't going to help them to hear negativity about the matter. And even if they don't, your defamatory comments could inflict one. If someone is bragging about or seeking help from one, ridiculing isn't the way to go. Lift them up, offer them help, and be kind if you must get involved. But if you can't be positive and supportive, don't butt in. 

These passive-aggressive campaigns in the retail industry are only fueling this fire and certainly not helping anybody's cause. Did Victoria's Secret intend to tell the world that their models are the only idea of a "perfect body"? I personally don't think so, I believe they were trying to market their bra as fitting your body perfectly. Meaning the product is supposed to be perfect, not the girl wearing it. It obviously struck nerves with many though, who assumed it meant you had to look and measure like Candice Swanepoel to be deemed perfect. I don't believe that was their tactic. Regardless, for Lane Bryant to come back with their #imnoangel campaign was a low and immature blow. It 's a direct and derogatory slur at Victoria's Secret and their models implying that their image isn't ideal. More power to a company and it's following to want to embrace their size, curves, body and what have you, but shame on them for doing exactly what they feel has been done to them. Two wrongs don't make a right, and I'm not even sure the first wrong was an intentional wrong, though the second was deliberate. Just remember, the scale tips both ways. Don't be a hypocrite. 

Body type. Race. Orientation. Religion. Gender. These are all things we have the right to choose, and freely and proudly live and love them. No one should compromise that with their disagreeing words. 

"You can be the juiciest, ripest peach in the whole world, and there's still going to be someone that doesn't like peaches." We can't please everyone. There will always be people with opinions and tastes that vary from our own, and that's actually a beautiful thing. Diversity is an incredible thing and makes the world interesting. Discrimination, on the other hand, is not cool, it is not interesting and is definitely not a beautiful thing. So, let's respect eachother's rights to live our life the way we want and remember what your mother always told you "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." and I'll leave you with one more, "If you wouldn't say it OR type it in front  of your grandparents, don't do it." 

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