Body Shaming – Why It Needs To End
A couple of weeks ago I was alerted to a video made by a young lady named Cassie Ho. She’s a fitness authority who’s made a lot of videos on YouTube helping people get healthier.
One of the strangest things, at least to me, is that there are a lot of people shaming her, or body shaming her, for not being thinner than she is. Frankly, I think she’s pretty close to perfect as far as health goes, but some folks think only ultra thin is healthy. So, Ho put this intriguing video together:
Wow, pretty amazing right? Well, another strange thing is that many people felt that when she showed the really skinny version of her that suddenly she was perfect; are you kidding me?
As someone who’s been overweight for most of my life, I have to say that I’ve been lucky to almost never have anyone say anything about it. Actually, the most I ever heard was when I’d actually dropped 26 pounds my freshman year of college because I couldn’t get used to the food, and having one of my friends always referring to me as a “skinny little thing”; at 6′, being called “little” anything was intriguing. When I was at my first job in a hospital this one Italian lady used to pinch my cheeks all the time calling me “pudgy”, and she was actually bigger than me. 🙂
Let’s be truthful here. We all notice what other people look like. We’re not always either so kind or so observant when it comes to ourselves. I remember as a kid we’d call each other things like “pumpkin head” and “big tomato nose”, but no one actually looked like those things. We did pick on the heavier kids sometimes, but one thing my group never did was pick on someone because they had skin issues. Since I heard that happened at other schools I’m not sure if we were just nicer because we were military kids or if we didn’t dare because it could have been us.
Anyway, we notice when someone is too heavy or too thin or bald or tall or short or whatever. Those folks know what they are also; some are good with it, some aren’t. Like most things, no matter what we notice and what we might think at the time, it’s none of our business to go out of our way to say negative things to these people. I mean, what kind of society are we anyway?
Actually, we stink as a society, especially in this day and age where people can adopt secret personas and say stuff from afar, believing they’ll never get caught. Funny enough, people sometimes do get caught, and when they do they fall back on “I was just joking” or “I didn’t mean anything by it”. That’s our society these days; be stupid without thought and apologize later without really meaning it.
Sometimes I’ve been doing a lot lately is walking. I track my steps via Fitbit, and I’ve lost a little bit of weight. I’ve lost way more inches, to the effect that my clothes are fitting much looser. However, when I look in a mirror, I still see the same guy I’ve always seen. My wife says she sees a big difference but I don’t see it; am I body shaming myself?
Possibly. I never really started looking in a mirror until the selfie revolution came. I shaved in the shower and based my clothing choices on what colors I thought matched each other. Once I got a smartphone and learned how to take pictures, I became more open to taking pictures of myself, as there aren’t a lot before that period.
I can’t say I think I look great; not by any means. What I am is confident, for the most part, that I am what I am and that my body doesn’t define me. I’m obviously healthy because of the walking and having clothes loose shows me I’m doing better. But people who meet me for the first time have no idea I’ve lost weight, so to them I’m probably a big, overweight guy.
Personally I don’t care because almost no one will ever say anything to me about it, in person or online. Well, it might happen online, but anyone who knows me even a little bit might worry that I could find them; I’ve done it before. lol However, I’d probably just eliminate their comment and block them; I have no time to deal with insensitive people.
Not everyone can do this though, which is why I’m imploring people to be kinder and gentler and more encouraging. One of my online friends has lost 187 pounds and is proud of what she’s done; you can easily see the difference. Another of my friends has lost 125 pounds, which is fantastic, though I’d have to admit I can’t see it. However, for each person what I think and see doesn’t matter; it’s what they see and what they’ve done and my being proud of them for doing it that counts.
Who’s with me on this topic? What did the video above show you about society’s beliefs in what a proper female body should look like?