Are people still slut shaming me because of my nipples

If Bella Hadid Can Embrace The Right To Show Her Body, Other Women Shouldn't Be Shamed For Freeing The Nipple

What's wrong with a bit of nip?

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Today it's all about embracing your body. Showing the world your curves, scars, your so-called "imperfections" and being proud of what you've got. Honestly, it's freaking amazing. So, why is it that even with all of this body positivity going on, in normal non-celeb life, showing your nipples is still considered slutty?

Right now I am scrolling through my insta feed, and if you're like me, you are following women in fashion who are setting trends for everyday life. Well excluding the whole drippings in diamonds and jumping on jets every other day, but the typical things, clothes, hair, makeup, even different foods to try out. So when women like Bella Hadid post a picture from one of her shoots or red carpet events where she is wearing a sheer dress or something that exposes her body, everyone is quick to comment on how amazing she looks (duh, she's a supermodel) and how it's so empowering to see her taking such a major risk. Don't get me wrong, I am right there with everyone else cheering her on and just cheering on other celebs in general who are dressing the way they want. But what about the everyday girl, are we cheering for her?

When I go out downtown or just out in general, and I see girls, women who are wearing those similar outfits one of two things happen. She is sexualized because she is dressed like she "wants some" or she is judged by those around her and call her outfit slutty. I've unfortunately fallen victim, like I am sure many of you have, to those who I called friends telling me I needed to cover up but then a few minutes later they are fawning over Kim K's latest nude selfie.

I think this mentality comes from the idea that the average woman is just that, average. We idolize those women we see on Instagram or in magazines and think because they are stars they can push the limits and show a bit of skin because that's what we expect them to do. As opposed to a woman like me. No, I am not trying to put myself down here, or anyone else for that matter. I am not saying that I, or we are not special in the eyes of other people, but I am not famous. So when I walk out those doors wearing a sheer top with a cute bralette I am not going to be seen in the same light, I am going to be slut-shamed and it sucks.

Why isn't it empowering to see me, a woman who is comfortable in her body, wear something that makes me feel amazing, even if it means a bit of my nip is showing? What is the difference between me and the girl you see on your feed? Even then, why does it matter to you what one woman is wearing?

The movement to free the nipple, originally was for the de-sexualization of the woman body, though in that event many people saw that as just the liberal side trying to get attention, and eventually for the meaning behind it was obscured by those who sought to eradicate the movement as a whole.

Now, as time has passed and the idea of a woman's nipple has grown into just another part of the human body on social media, but in the average world, we are still struggling with the idea that a breast is just a breast. And that is troubling for those women who are coming into their own bodies. They are growing up in a world where the idea that only certain women are seen as beautiful for showing their bodies while others are shammed.

It's horrifying to think that It's these guidelines and social norms are what cause so many women and young girls to have severe body image issues. No one should feel ashamed of their bodies or feel like they need to change because they do not look a certain way. Every woman is beautiful and should feel confident to show themselves to the world without being judged or slut-shamed.

Even if you're uncomfortable with the idea, remember, we are not asking you to show your bodies, we are asking you to not shame ours.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Eating Disorders Are Not Exclusive To One Body Type

Body image and eating disorders can affect people that are skinny.

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With the start of summer vacation, the issue of eating disorders often flares up. Because more people begin worrying about their size due to fitting into bathing suits or going to public pools during the summer, there is an overall increase in eating disorders. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, there are at least 30 million people in the U.S. of all genders and ages that suffer from an eating disorder, and every 62 minutes, someone dies from the direct result of an eating disorder.

In addition, body image has been known to have a connection with eating disorders. According to Eating Disorder Hope, body image has been shown to be a protective factor, and having a good body image can reduce the vulnerability for someone to develop an eating disorder. There are some people who think that the only people who worry about their body image or who develop eating disorders tend to be people who are overweight. But as they've forgotten, cases with anorexia and other eating disorders are often focused on people who are skinny.

You're probably thinking, how does someone who is skinny have issues with their body image? Especially since the overall media portrayal of the perfect body size is someone who is skinny? However, what most people don't realize is that people who are skinny are constantly worrying about gaining weight or not being fit. Being skinny is often associated with someone who is fit and healthy. Therefore, you constantly have to worry about maintaining these traits.

In addition, just because you may be skinny does not mean that you are fit or healthy. People who have a fast metabolism, like me, for example, are not always fit. With my fast metabolism, I'm always around the same size no matter what I eat. However, when you have a fast metabolism, it doesn't mean you'll have abs or have toned muscles. And when you have a fast metabolism, it's harder to build up muscle since your body metabolizes quickly.

You also find yourself comparing how fit you are with other women who are skinny, such as models and judging how you look based on others. For example, if you go to the beach wearing a bikini that you felt confident about and then you see someone else who is wearing the same one but appears to have a flatter stomach or more toned muscles then you, you suddenly lose whatever confidence you had built about your body image. Because of this, there are many women who are skinny and can develop eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.

On top of that, in society, there's an overall fear of being overweight. Even when you're already skinny, this fear can still affect you by making you worry about one day losing the status of being skinny. And if you are thin because you lost weight, the fear of gaining the weight back isn't simply going to go away.

And believe it or not, society's perception of the perfect body image is changing. According to The Self Improvement Blog, in recent years curvy hourglass figures are becoming a more popular body image to have rather than being slender. So instead women who are slender will likely encounter issues with their body image due to trying to match the body image that the media portrays as perfect.

The worst part is that there are a lot of people who believe that problems with body image only center around people who are overweight. Some people tell skinny women to "get over it." This, in turn, causes women to feel that they have no one to confide to about their problems with their body image because the media tells them that they don't have a problem. The women may decide to ignore their problem instead of seeking help, which then causes it to worsen and may go from a lack of confidence in their self-image to an eating disorder.

Most people who are dieting to become skinny think that once they reach a certain size, they no longer will worry about their body image. But as discussed earlier, every woman, regardless of what size they are, faces issues with feeling confident about their body image. And the sooner we come to terms with this as a society, the better we will be able to understand the issues with body image and eating disorders.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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