Sunday, November 2, 2014

Body Shaming

     All my life I've been criticized, like a lot of people have. I've been criticized for my decisions, for my actions, for my sense of humor, but most of all, my weight. Even as a kid, I was told constantly that I was too skinny and too small and I never understood why people always noticed. I was told by adults all the time that I should eat a burger or have an extra plate of food. My friends used to make fun of me because we couldn't share clothes since none of their clothes fit me right. 

     As a teenager, it only got worse. My friends would say I wore child sized clothes and make fun of me when my jeans were size 0, but it was never my fault. I had always been a small person and for pretty much my whole life I've always eaten more than all of my friends. People have always commented on how much food I eat while simultaneously criticizing how small I am. You see how that's confusing? Getting criticized for eating too much and then getting criticized for being too skinny and being told I need to eat more doesn't make sense.

     Once college hit, so did the "freshman fifteen" and so did more criticism, of course. I came home from my first semester at college to numerous comments and observations about my weight gain. Some people told me I looked like I had been eating a lot, some people told me I had "filled out," and some people just told me I had gained a lot of weight or that I looked a lot bigger. I even had people tell me my thighs had gotten huge or that I had acquired a muffin top. 

     So what the hell is people's problem? First of all, I've never understood what people's big fixation on other people's weight is. Why have people always cared so much what I look like or what size I am? Why do people think it's okay to comment on how skinny someone is and tell them to go eat a burger? Like it's been pointed out many times by many people other than myself, if you wouldn't tell an overweight person they need to eat less then you shouldn't tell a skinny person they need to eat more. Shaming someone for their body, whether it's because you think they're too big or too small, is just wrong. Not only is your opinion of someone's body completely irrelevant to their actual state of health, but it's not your place to comment on it because you couldn't possibly know how it's going to affect them.

     I can tell you from personal experience that it is frustrating, annoying, and sometimes just plain infuriating being told I'm too skinny and then as soon as I gain weight, being told I'm not skinny enough. People need to learn that it's not their business to criticize anybody else's body, especially because our society has shaped this idea of perfection that is not achievable for everyone. People base their ideal body on the bodies of other people rather than their own. 

     The reality is that you'll never look like a model in a magazine because you are not the model in the magazine. You'll also never have the same body as someone who is bigger than you or more muscular than you simply because you are not them. You'll never look like anybody else because you aren't anybody else. We shouldn't be shaming people's bodies for being too skinny, too fat, too muscular, or whatever it is and making them uncomfortable and self conscious because it doesn't matter and it's nobody's business anyway. 

No comments:

Post a Comment