The term fat-shaming gets tossed around a lot these days, be it on viral fitness Instagram pages who reveal the reality behind before and after pictures, or on the photos of women who are deemed "brave" for showcasing a body fits in clothes with a label featuring double digits.
Fat-shaming, for those not in the know, is a term which refers to the action of humiliating someone by mocking them or making critical comments about their size. At least, that's the dictionary definition.
If you're anything like me and have never really existed in a lean, mean, fat-fighting machine of a body, then you may relate a little bit to what I'm about to say.
fat shaming isn't cute. sasha pieterse is beautiful the way she is. pic.twitter.com/WOaxYDnk1u
— becca (@LElGHMANl) March 28, 2017
Fat-shaming happens on the daily, it's simply ingrained in our language and the way we describe things.
People say "oh nooo I feel so fat today," to refer to bloating, proving once more that being seen as fat is inherently bad.
Celebrities are praised for shedding the pounds, no matter how dangerous a diet they follow to do so (Beyonce's cayenne pepper and lemon juice, anyone?) while women who gain weight, be it a little or a lot, are often encouraged to see this weight gain as a temporary state, something they must suffer through until they "fit back into their jeans."
I don't mind admitting that I'm a size 12, which is by no means on the higher end of the clothing size scale.
And yet, I have still had moments where I have been made to feel ashamed for not prescribing to the new decree of a beautiful body.
It was only recently that I was unceremoniously insulted by a guy at a gig, who, after I joined my friends dancing on the stage, told me that the stage was no place for fat girls.
Skinny is cute. Fat is cute. Body shaming is ugly.
— annika (@annika_suzanne) March 29, 2017
Obviously this was upsetting, so I couldn't let it slide by.
Because, as a perceived fatty, I'm hungry for justice, right?
This incident got me thinking that, whatever amount of humiliation I endured due to this one man's opinion of my physique, to feel that way on a regular basis must be unbearable.
I don't mean to rant but I'm just a lil angry at the constant fat shaming and policing of women's bodies. Soz lol
— Gracie (@GraceFVictory) March 29, 2017
There are entire Instagram pages dedicated to shaming and policing women's bodies, encouraging them to take up less space, even when they are already at healthy sizes.
Just because their bodies may not necessarily match up with that of a Victoria's Secret model, they are somehow less worthy than their thin and toned counterparts.
Placing such a high value on a woman's weight completely demeans her as a person.
When that asshat (who I can only assume had gone mad with power) attempted to fat-shame me out of the gig, he wasn't considering who I was as a person, he only cared about my attractiveness, specifically the attractiveness of my body alone.
Skinny shaming and Fat shaming are the same exact thing. They both make girls feel insecure about how they look, and it's just wrong.
— Belle. (@bellaarellaa) March 22, 2017
The same goes for thin women, who are made to feel like they are "less than a woman" because "real men like curves."
Body-shaming works both ways, and the obsession with weight dehumanises people and their worth.
Personally, I'm choosing to practice self love rather than dwelling on the cruel words of strangers, but it's easier said than done.
How about,instead of "fat" shaming or "skinny" shaming,we just don't shame anyone for what they look like at all? You know,spread more love?
— Deseray bowman (@DezzyDraws) March 20, 2017
Until people realise that fat-shaming is even closer than an Instagram comment away, the issue will probably never be rectified.
Seeing people as less than deserving of basic human kindness on the basis of their numeric relationship with gravity seems pretty juvenile, and yet it happens every day, in real life, among adults.
Skinny, fat or in-between, people seem to think that they have some kind right to comment on unsuspecting bodies in a negative manner, and until we all take a stand against body-shaming, it's probably going to continue.
Feature image: Instagram/any.body_co