I am sad to say that Body Shaming is becoming a very real phenomena in the society we live in today.
It seems that no matter who you are, what shape you are and what size you are, people will always find something to complain about.
Magazines in particular tend to be prominent culprits with glossy front pages plastered with celebrities caught at unfortunate angles complete with a horrible caption in case the reader didn’t quite get the jist of the perceived body ‘problem’.
Now I’m sure you are wondering exactly where I am going with this particular topic considering I would probably be regarded as quite petite by the majority. Nothing too offensive about that surely?
I would probably say that when I was younger I was a little bit bigger then I am now. Nothing to particularly comment on and certainly nothing to be ashamed of. It was the traditional Uni weight gain when you are learning how to feed yourself and consuming more alcohol then you ever thought possible. Most of my friends I’m sure went through that stage and I’m sure a lot of people reading now would nod and agree. It happens, it’s a rite of passage and just a normal part of growing up.
A couple of years after I left University I experienced a pretty stressful situation and I found that when I hit periods of extreme pressure my weight naturally starts to dip.
Of course I received the worried glances and comments from people who had noticed my rapid weight loss and were genuinely concerned.
I never truly regained the weight and if anything, it continued to drop. The smaller I became, the less appetite I had and the cycle went round and round. Sickness also seems to affect me quite substantially, presumably because there isn’t very much of me to fall back on.
Now, I know all of this and I know that this is not a particularly healthy way to be. However, in my defense, to get to this stage I never actively worked towards the weight loss. It just happened to me because that is how my body works. My metabolism is fast and seems to increase during stressful points in my life. It probably also contributes towards my occasionally low energy levels which I blogged about a couple of days ago.
What I most certainly was not prepared for, however, was the gradual U-turn from concern to cruel criticism. You would assume that my body was my business, but no. It seems that my body is a fascinating topic of discussion and receives just as many negative comments as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.
The following words and phrases have been used to describe me:
- Disgusting (yes, really!)
- A wisp
- Stick insect
And all of the above was to my face so goodness knows how I am described behind my back when people really decide to let loose.
And what is even more absurd is that they genuinely think that to say all of this to me is okay and that it doesn’t make me feel self-conscious or anxious about the way I look.
I was once told by someone that they wouldn’t want to look like me because real women have curves. What I am then? A fake woman? And who says I don’t have curves?
In a survey conducted by the Mental Health Foundation in March of this year it was discovered that 1 in 5 UK adults felt shame because of their body image in the last year.
This statistic made me incredibly sad because at one point I was probably one of those people. And why should anyone feel shame about their bodies? We should be out there, doing what we want to do without a second thought about our bodies and how they are perceived by anyone else.
We are so much more then just our bodies and we are all completely unique. No one is ever going to measure up to everyone’s idea of perfect. The world would be a pretty boring place if we all looked the same.
We should stop body-shaming, fat-shaming, skinny-shaming and any other kind of shaming you can think of. We should support each other, lift each other up and do the very best that we can in the time that we have.
If you have ever been the victim of any kind of body shaming, or any other kind of bullying for that matter (because that’s what this is) be proud of who you are. Rise above it and remember, you are worth so much more then the opinion of others!