Friday, 22 July 2016

On Body Shaming, Celebrities, and Those Photos

 A flower for all the fucks I don't give about your opinion on my body
Image source: BuzzFeed Style
I'm pretty passionate about body positivity. I think it's vital that we all try and learn to love our bodies as they are, but that's not so easy when we live in a society where shaming people, but especially women, for their bodies is the norm.

But there's thoughtless, I-don't-realise-what-I'm-doing body shaming, where the shamer thinks they're doing the right thing, coming from a place of concern - "You're looking a little skinny, have you been eating?" or "Are you doing ok? I've noticed you've put on some weight, and I'm worried about you." - and then there's the worst kind of body shaming, the purposeful kind where insults and slurs are hurled at people for their own amusement.

With technology as it is right now, this can be a whole lot worse. Now, you don't have to step outside your front door to get abuse, you just have to go on the internet. Trolls seem to be everywhere, and they take great delight in ridiculing people for their bodies, and trying to upset them. We all know this is disgusting, but what's got me recently is seeing the lengths celebrities - or at least people who are "known" - will go to.

Actress Chloë Grace Moretz tweeted on Monday her thoughts on the whole Taylor Swift/Kim Kardashian/Kanye West debacle. Khloé Kardashian responded with "Is this the a hole you're referring to @ChloeGMoretz ???" along with two photos, one of Chloë from the waist up in a red bikini top next to another photo of a blonde girl in a red bikini whose back is to the camera, the guy who was carrying her having accidentally (hopefully) pulled her bikini bottoms to the side, showing her anus. Chloë responded  with "fact check: first photo is me filming my movie Neighbors 2, the second photo is some girl who was wrongfully photographed", with a follow up tweet of a photo of her wearing blue bikini bottoms with the red bikini top. (Read more here.)

And on 14th July, Playboy Model Dani Mathers took a photo of a naked woman in the locker room of a gym and posted it on Snapchat, with the words, "If I can't unsee this then you can't either." (Read more here.)

That we know the identity of the two women in those photos doesn't matter, we don't need to know. What matters is that these women were body shamed, photographs taken without their permission in at least one case, both photos that neither woman would want to be made public. It is absolutely horrifying to me that so called celebrities would do this. I don't give a damn who they are, they are in the public eye, they are sharing these photos online publicly; by doing this, not only are they humiliating those poor women in despicable ways, they are body shaming, and they are pretty much sending out a message to the world that shaming women about their bodies is perfectly ok.

It's absolutely bloody disgusting and I can't even begin to tell you how enraged and absolutely devastated it made me that these women would do such a thing. We don't have to all get along, we don't have to like each other, but Christ, aren't we dealing with enough from the media without adding to it? We should be celebrating each others' normal, real, human bodies. There is absolutely nothing wrong with how we look. Faye posted on Friday about how she finds it difficult to think positively about herself and how hard it is for her to believe her friends who compliment her. Faye isn't the only one, there are so many of us who really struggle with looking at ourselves in the mirror and loving what we see. We don't need the rich and famous ridiculing bodies like our own - in any way, let alone in such a despicable way.

What we need is to celebrate each others bodies. We need to compliment each other when those thoughts of "Wow, she looks stunning!" cross our minds. Tell each other, and mean it when you say it. And we have to, like Faye, slowly try and believe what people are telling us. To look in the mirror and instead of focusing on what we don't like, focus on what we do.

My body has been changing recently, and it's taken a while to get used to. My cellulite and stretchmarks are a lot more visible now, and it has been getting me down. But instead of paying too much mind to that, I try revel in how I now feel more womanly, how, with every day that passes, I love the contrast between my hair colour and skin colour, how more often than not these days, I'm seeing a woman with a pretty face. Who cares about the bloody cellulite and stretchmarks?

We need to learn to love ourselves, and celebrate each other rather than put each other down. We need to not laugh and congratulate celebrities when they do things that are so horrific. We need to stand up and say we've had enough of the body shaming. We need to stand up and say, "We're all different, but we're all beautiful!"

There are some wonderful people out there who are doing so much to try and promote body positivity. I highly recommend you check out Megan's blog BodyPosiPanda and follow her on Instagram, as well as following Paola at Chubbybabe_. Know of any others we should be following? Please leave a comment or tweet us with the links!

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No judgment, no hate, because it is already tough enough being a girl.