Beyonce Knowles wrote a song called "Flawless," and it exposes some of the horrid body shaming society we have created."We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls,
You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful"
Throughout the past few years, I have noticed the immense growth within the body shaming acceptance realm. Every day we see advertisements, billboards, movies, etc., that reconnect the idea of being a certain body shape and how you are only beautiful/handsome if you conform to society’s idea of beautiful/handsome. It does not just stop there; we also see it within our schools, careers, friends and even family. Body shaming is becoming more relevant in our day-to-day lives without a blink of an eye. It is not just directly related to overweight women like we may think; it actually is relevant to every single type of body and shape, boy or girl. We are all fighting for acceptance within this realm of beauty, and it is decreasing our ambition, happiness, and success.
Here is what is wrong with this idea.
“He and/or she has put on a few extra pounds since the last time I saw him/her.”
No. Stop right there. It is not our place to decide whether or not they have gained a few pounds. It is not our right to discuss the excess of pounds when they are not in the conversation either. It can take years for someone to learn how to love themselves, it is not okay to break that down within one sentence.
"He/She looks very skinny. Do you think they have an eating disorder?"
It is alright to be concerned, but the concern should be directed to the person you are concerned about. No one else. And labeling anyone with an eating disorder without confirmation of said eating disorder is completely wrong. Concern for one another should be expressed with love, not belittling.
When something upsets us, we critique. “He/She isn’t even attractive”
Critiquing is cruel unless it is productive critiquing. As humans, when we are hurt, upset, mad, angry, etc., we tend to say things that we do not mean. Unfortunately, we hurt those around us when we are hurt too.
Sometimes, those who are in a healthy physique, critique instead of motivating. “You should really start working out. You might shave off that weight like I did”
It is not our body. Therefore, not our decision as to what needs to be “shaved off”. I am all for motivational speeches, or encouragement. But I find that most of the time it is less of motivational quotes and more looking down on others.
“Fat is nasty.”
Fat is essential to our bodies. Fat should not be connected to the idea of ugly. You can find beauty in everything and everyone.
“I am too heavy to go do (insert activity)."
Do not put your own body down. The more you say it, the more you believe it. You are never “too heavy”. Not all of us are Olympic gymnasts or NBA basketball stars. Society needs to put more attention on becoming healthy, and less on becoming the "ideal physique".
"They are too ripped. You can see their veins"
Again, it is not our body. Tearing people down because they chose a different lifestyle than you is mediocrely stupid.
Our society is hungry for reasons to critique. And now more than ever you can critique women, men, mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, children at the tip of our fingers. We do not hold ourselves to a higher standard of love, we hold ourselves to a standard of what we think to be the only route to happiness. To be completely frank, I find this issue to be more extreme than any political monstrosity going on in our world. The bold truth is that the next generations of today's society will learn to hate themselves. They will learn that they will never be truly "happy" unless they are a size 2. They will learn that it is okay to tear others down, without knowing their current circumstances. They will learn how to hate others more efficiently because of their physical appearance.
I encourage our generation to bring this issue to the table. It needs to be addressed and handled. If we continue to this extent, we will fail. We will fail ourselves and fail everyone around us. I dare today's society to admire the beauty around us without questioning our own.
Being skinny is okay. Not being skinny is okay. Having curves is okay. Not having curves is okay.