Everyday there seems to be another celebrity under the ‘size spotlight’. From shaming pregnant women who have swollen ankles to those who have lost some weight in recent months, it seems that passing comments on the shape and size of people is the new ‘norm’.
Today I seem to be facing body shaming on every platform I visit. It started with a radio station turning a conversation about Cheryl V-F’s divorce into a conversation about her current weight and image. Yes, it is true that Cheryl has recently gone through a tough time in her life and perhaps she has lost weight but does that mean that society has the right to pass their judgement on her?
I typed out my reply but didn’t press send. I chose not to get involved in a Facebook feud where my point would get dissolved in peoples views and emotions, so I decided to use my platform to share my views.
Here is what I typed…
”Paula, while I see your point, it is not the individual women who cause these body image issues. It is the media, brands and other platforms who have created the idea that being a size 0 is the average or normal body size. It is those who have women and young girls trying to reach an almost unachievable goal thus leading to them being unhappy with their appearance. That does not mean that being a size 0 is wrong, in the same way it is not wrong to be a size 20, once each individual is happy and healthy in their own skin. Body shaming of any sort needs to stop – what makes it ok to say ‘she needs to eat a burger’ but not ‘she has eaten too many burgers’?
My point – instead of tearing down someone for being skinny or fat empower the individuals in your life to be comfortable in their own skin. It is not the responsibility of any skinny celebrity for the insecurities of a teenage girl, it is the platforms that support the unhealthy, highly edited images. It is the fact that people now feel like these photoshopped images are how real life men and women look – which is of course not true. But, by tearing down and body shaming skinny or fat celebrities you only give one more skinny or overweight girl at home, who also reads your opinion, another comment that she feels is directed at her. So while your words fall on deaf celebrity ears, there are many ears a lot closer to home who might just hear how ‘she is so fat’ or ‘she needs to eat a good dinner’.
This photo appeared on my Facebook timeline a while ago and it is one of the most powerful things I have seen in relation to body shaming.
When we limit what is allowed to be called beautiful, we also limit who is allowed to feel confident, empowered, important, sexy, brave and proud.