Body Shaming

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This is a topic I have quite a few opinions about. I also think that it’s quite an important topic, and quite a sensitive one. I’ve thought about writing something like this pretty much since I started my blog. I wanted to talk about important topics that I knew I had opinions on. Recently there was a Protein World campaign which featured a lot of posters, especially on the London Underground, showing a picture of a conventionally slim size 6/ 8* woman with the slogan “Are you beach body ready?” The implication that to be beach body ready you have to be a size 6/ 8*, toned white woman and consume lots of Protein World’s expensive pills and powders sparked a lot of anger, and rightly so in my opinion. It got me thinking about this topic again. This is a really sensitive subject, and opinions on it are so divided. I’m quite worried I might word something wrong, or not get my thoughts across in the way I want to, so bear with me. Quick disclaimer just in case I don’t manage to get this across during this post, which is very likely as I’m not the best at turning what goes on in my brain into words: I think everyone’s great and everyone should be able to choose how they want to look. Happiness and healthiness are more important than appearance, and don’t correlate directly to body size. Everyone’s lovely.

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Firstly, and this is an opinion I’m not too worried about sharing, I think it’s completely wrong to ever judge a person solely on their appearance.

A thing that bothers me quite a lot is when assumptions about a person’s lifestyle/eating habits/personal life are made on the basis of their size. It’s impossible to accurately guess just by looking at someone. I’m an average size, and I guess if someone looked at me they’d think I was a pretty normal, healthy-ish person. But I know there are probably thousands, millions of people who are several sizes larger than me who are healthier than I am. I’m ashamed to say I eat unhealthy food all the time, do not a lot (who are we kidding no) exercise and don’t often manage to eat my 5 a day. People absorb and store food in different ways, some people put on weight quickly and some people’s bodies just don’t.

An opinion which I’m slightly worried about sharing, maybe, is that I think it’s wrong to shame one body type in order to promote another. We all look great. Why be mean? The reason I’m slightly cautious about talking about this is that I can see (maybe not agree but see) the justification behind this.

For example we’ve all heard the Meghan Trainor song All About That Bass (sigh I know.) The song has lyrics which sing lines such as “boys like a little more booty to hold at night,” “I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll.” There was lots of annoyance and opinions being thrown about discussing how bad it was that, in trying to sing a body confident song, Meghan Trainor possibly shamed “skinny bitches” in order to promote larger body sizes. A lot of people argued that this was fine, and in fact completely justified as people of a larger size are disregarded and shamed on a daily basis by people on the street, tv adverts, magazines showing conventionally slim women, retailers selling limited sizes etc. The reason I’m not entirely sure of my stance on this subject is because I can completely see this point of view, and the anger of having one of few popular figures saying “larger sizes are great!” being criticised. If I was a larger size I can see how annoying it would be that people were arguing this song was body shaming slimmer people, when we live in a world which, if we’re being honest, is largely built for slimmer people. I don’t think in general that I agree with shaming larger people to make smaller people feel body confident and vice versa. In a perfect world we would all be nice to everyone (ahh what a perfect utopia.)

This vaguely leads onto my next point. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think when we as a society think of body shaming, we offer think of people who are a larger size being criticised. This is completely true, however I think everyone has things about themselves which they aren’t confident about because at some point along the way it was decided that’s not an attractive feature. We all know about the Nash Grier video, and when there are people like that in the world who feel fine about voicing every physical feature they think is a flaw, who can blame people for getting a little self conscious? I guess this point is saying that body shaming is such a bigger issue than just shaming larger sizes (which is obviously still a really important issue, and arguably one of the most important due to the narrow mindedness in a lot of our society.) Body shaming affects people at the extreme ends of the spectrum and everywhere in between. I’m going to focus on women for this bit, just because I am female and I think body shaming is projected onto women a lot of the time. Women are body shamed for more than just their size. Women are body shamed for their weight, body hair, height, not having a thigh gap, revealing too much skin, not revealing enough skin, cosmetic surgery, women are even objectified for eating in public.

I just wanted to discuss some of my opinions on this whole topic because I think it’s really relevant right now. Lots of people are talking about it, especially since blogging’s taken off and their are lots of fashion and beauty bloggers discussing body positivity. I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this and whether there was anything that you disagreed with me on in this post or had a different opinion on!

Nicole x

*I’m going by UK sizes

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