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Body Shaming - The shame within our society

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Body Shaming. It's a term most of us have heard about and the majority of us have experienced at some point in our lives yet it is still something that continues to plague society. Whether it be the hurtful comment left on a picture shared via social media or a derogatory comment shouted at someone in the street, the issue is still very much the same.

 

Over the years, I've come into contact with people from all walks of life. Some successful, some not. However, everyone I have met has an insecurity in one form or another and for them, a flippant comment can mean a lifetime of mental torment. For some, this torment becomes too much and leads to suicidal thoughts and self-harming - all because of the comments from others. At some point in time, society said it was ok to call others out on their personal flaws. Abuse became acceptable and it was fine to turn the other way, or even worse, join in,  when someone was being mocked and called fat, ugly, skinny or the size of their manhood or breasts commented on. Let me tell you, no matter what society says, this is not OK and it should not be acceptable.

Negativity towards others has been able to grow because people fear standing up and saying enough is enough. They fear the backlash and the possibility that they too will become the subject of abuse. I too used to fear doing this but one day, I stood up and fought back. I embraced my body and its flaws and I looked in the eyes of those that gave me abuse, telling them 'This is me'. I owned who I was and no one could touch that. No matter what people said, they couldn't break down that barrier because I wouldn't allow them to and I became happier, happier because I accepted what I had.

Over the last week, Wentworth Miller (an American actor) became the target of an internet meme because he had gained some weight - something we all do over time. However, it became vicious with people believing they had the right to further fuel this by posting cruel comments. A public apology was issued from the creators of the meme but only after Wentworth shared his personal story of how that weight gain came to be. This shouldn't have been necessary and his struggles shouldn't have had to be shared for the world to see, that was his battle and it's now become public knowledge all because of the hate from others.  

We can all learn something from this. Regardless of how confident someone appears to be, no one knows how that person is on the inside. No one knows the struggles they face on a daily basis and no one knows that persons mental state. By body shaming, we not only highlight existing insecurities, we also fuel mental health issues and for some, push them to the point where they can't see a way out.

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