The Truth About Body Shaming

When did it become okay to put down our bodies to fit in or be accepted by people? We are a society that promotes hiding imperfections and feeling ashamed if our shape or size doesn’t match what is ideal. It wasn’t until I started researching the topic of body shaming that I realized that my friends and I have put down our bodies.

I’ve been out hanging with the girls and we will start talking about how we need to lose weight, eat low carb this, no taste that, less sodium whatever. We’ve discussed diets and cleanses that we’ve read about on Pinterest or Facebook that promise such-and-such results. Then we’ll say what public figure’s arms, legs, or stomach we wish we could have. No matter how the conversation starts or what’s shared it always ends with us saying that we don’t like our bodies and it’s imperfections.

“I completely understand. I wish I could lose these love handles because it’s so gross. I’ve started wearing black so no one will notice them.”

“My legs are so fat. If only I could switch them out for (insert celebrity’s name) legs from that picture in (insert magazine).”

151208120845-tia-mowry-large-169The Walden Eating Disorder Treatment center defines body-shaming as “criticizing yourself or others because of some aspect of physical appearance.” These critiques are especially harsh for celebrities. Recently, actress Tia Mowry-Hardrict was body-shamed because of pictures she posted on Instagram. A sea of comments flooded social media speculating about how she must be either pregnant or just getting fat.

In an interview with Huff Live she defended her appearance saying, “I’m not pregnant, I’m just happy. I’ve gained these extra whatever 10 or 15 pounds because of my cooking show. I eat my food.” She said that all the comments were a way of body-shamming and went on to say, “It’s pretty unfortunate, because we live in a society that’s obsessed with being perfect.”

The sad thing is that she’s not lying. Look at our magazines, movies, television shows, and even our commercials that promote being thinner, losing or hiding our imperfections, and having perfect looks. No wonder so many women believe that they don’t measure up to the ideal look for a woman and struggle with self-esteem. We are being bombarded with images and criticism that we are now tearing ourselves down too.

So what is it going to take for us to stop and appreciate our bodies and the appearance of those around us?

-Jenn (@IAmJennDiva)

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