We need to put an end to body shaming

Society is always changing and as it does, so do our perceptions of each and every aspect, including the way we view others. You cannot deny that you have, either internally or vocally, noted a ‘negative’ aspect of another’s appearance be it that of a stranger, a friend, or even a loved one.

Shaming someone because of the size of their bodies is just completely wrong. Whether someone is underweight, skinny, curvy, over weight or of average size is none of your business. Nobody has the right to comment on someone else’s body image, but yet there are many people who still do this. Phrases such as “She shouldn’t be eating all that, she’s so fat”, or “She needs a good dinner, I can see her bones” are often casually thrown into conversation.

What people tend to forget is that the person you and your friends are constantly talking about and judging may have their own body confidence issues. Perhaps medical problems are the reason for them having such a slim frame or gaining some weight. Whatever the reason is, there is no reason to make them feel worse about themselves.

We’re in 2015, we shouldn’t still have a world or a generation of young people so obsessed with body image. Young people should be able to enjoy their lives without having to worry about what someone else thinks about them.

But unfortunately, they are often fixated on other people’s opinions of them, and it is clear that this is having a majorly negative effect on their mental health. I recently searched the ‘thinspiration’ hashtag ‘anamia’ on Instagram, and I was truly shocked by the results I found. So many girls and boys put up posts about wanting to skip meals, try out unhealthy diets which include starving themselves, or purging after meals so they wouldn’t gain weight. With anorexia and bulimia diagnoses on the rise, I am astounded that nothing has been done to stop these posts or to help these people. If their minds are already set like this, when they’re saying they’re depressed and desperately trying to be thin, imagine what effect comments about their bodies could have on them? One comment could push them further, making them purge once more or skip another meal.

Even celebrities have felt the effects of body shaming, with singer Cheryl Fernandez-Versini recently being forced to defend her dramatic weight loss after receiving body shaming abuse online.

Why can’t we live in a society where everybody is accepted, not just race, gender, sexuality, but by the way we look too? We’re forgetting to celebrate the fact that everybody has something that makes them different, something that makes us us, something that sets us aside from everyone else. It needs to be loved, and embraced, not shamed.


Kayla Gaffney

Image Credit: Teluguone

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