Ladies, we really need to stop with the weight shaming.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a big woman, or a small; short, or tall. No one deserves to be made fun of, or to receive negative comments about their appearance.
Yes, the media and society has it’s standards of beauty, that we see plastered on billboards and every form of advertising. ‘This is what’s in’, and ‘This is what’s hot’, and as a woman, it can be pretty intimidating. The pressure felt by women (and men!) to be perfect by society’s standards, are very real.
In my lifetime, I have seen fair share of body shaming in the attempt to advertise – everything from fashion, to weight loss, to body definition, to even tanning booths. As did everyone else. Then a movement happened of body acceptance, to combat the eating disorders and self-esteem issues that the women of today face daily, fueled by bad advertising strategies. Some retailers and agencies started featuring more full figured women. The “heroin chic” look of underweight models became used less and less in the fashion industry. The ‘Dad Bod’ was born! And mother’s began proudly showing off their tiger stripe stretch marks on the beach without fear of remorse and bullying.
But then I noticed something else along with these progressive changes for body image. Known as ‘skinny-shaming’.
I’ve always been a small girl, from the time I was a kid. It’s in my family genes. On my father’s side, everyone is very tall, and very skinny. growing up, while I can’t imagine what’s it’s like being a young, adolescent girl dealing with overweight issues – I DO know what it’s like to be 14, naturally rail thin (not quite hitting puberty and the blessing of boobs yet), and accused of being anorexic by grown women. I was eating times a day, couldn’t gain weight, and enduring the rudest of comments by women who should know better than to pick on a child because the child is skinnier than the adult. My aunt once tried consoling me by saying, “Enjoy it. Most women have to starve themselves to look like you.”
I thought once I grew into my body it would get easier, but unfortunately not. My adult life I would have strangers stop me in public, my job, and other random opportunities, to either say something rude (“You look like a crackhead, don’t you eat?”) or urge me to get help (“Are you anorexic? You are too skinny”) without ever questioning the true situation. I just couldn’t ever gain weight! I still can’t, even after having a child! (and a very healthy pregnancy)
Other than during pregnancy, always weighing 105lbs is the bane of my existence. Most call that a blessing – but when you’ve literally been hated for it your whole life, and can’t fix it, then it is a real cross to bear. I don’t hate going to the pool because of my body-I hate going because of what other women have to say about it.