11:57

Let's Talk about Body Shaming

[I didn't really have an appropriate image for this post, so I decided to share a little collage of Christmas snaps with you instead]

This is a topic I've been thinking about a lot recently, and after a quick scroll through twitter it's easy to see that a lot of other people have too; from the barrage of abuse that was sent at Gemma Collins whilst she was in the I'm a Celebrity jungle, to the 'skinny shaming' All About that Bass lyrics- The bottom line is: body shaming is wrong whether the person is fat, thin or an average weight. When did it become acceptable to judge someone else on their appearance, or visibly try to upset someone based on something which may not be in their control?

Here's the reality of my situation: I am 5foot4. I have never bought an item of clothing that is bigger than a size 8 in my life, and I have been subjected to a number of different body shaming encounters on various occasions; from being told I need to get some meat on my bones by a stranger in the gym; to being told by a man on Oxford Road in Manchester that I'd be really fit if I had a boob job; to once being laughed at for eating a bowl of pasta for lunch (oh no, actual carbs). You can't win. If you are seen eating someone is judging your choice of food, if you're not seen eating it is assumed you must be skipping meals. If you go to the gym you're obsessed with your looks and if you don't you're lazy and unhealthy. I appreciate that we all have different opinions of what is attractive, but please, if mine or anyone else's natural body shape is not one that appeals to you, don't go out of your way to ruin our day by telling us that. 

We have come to develop the idea that 'real women' are curvy, and we mustn't all feel obliged to conform to size zero. Although I am all for positive role models showing off different body shapes, that doesn't mean that someone who is naturally small or lacking in curves can't be beautiful too. Why does it have to be one or the other? Just because I wear a size 6 does not make me less of a woman than anyone else. Why does the fact that I am not naturally curvy detract from my ability to be a human being? If 'real women' are curvy, then what am I? Women have fought for years for equality, the vote, better jobs, the right to earn the same as men, and yet we sit here and in 140 characters or less manage to degrade everything they fought for by tweeting that a 'real woman' is not defined by her achievements but by her body shape. 

The worst part of the situation however, isn't just the trolling or laughing about other people's physical appearance... it is the fact that we live in a culture where girls actually bond over body shaming themselves. I can't help but think about the scene in Mean Girls where the Plastics are continually picking holes in their appearance, and turn to look at Cady expecting her to do the same. Not only is it expected for us to laugh at fat people, skinny shame thin people, but we are expected to dislike our own appearance too.

Over the past few months I have been working incredibly hard to change my outlook on life, shift my priorities from worrying about trivial things to focusing on important things like family and health. It is all too easy to forget that what is going on inside your body is far more important than what it looks like on the outside, and it only takes a quick look at my medical history to know my inside needs some serious work. So instead of judging me for going to the gym, assuming that my reasons behind it are pure vanity, why not respect me for trying to overcome my poor health and become stronger both physically and mentally. Everyone has a choice: to judge someone on face value or to take time to understand their situation and judge them for their personality. Remember: it costs nothing to be nice.

'If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideals of beauty would be.' 
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70 comments

  1. So true! Great post! xoxo Nadine

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  2. Great post, I totally agree with you. I wrote a post a while back about All About That Bass, and its body shaming. I think the real issue is that people are constantly trying to define what pretty and attractive is. The whole point is that people who are skinny are attractive in their own way and vice versa. The only issue is when someone's weight affects the person's health. Otherwise we should all just be happy with our bodies how they are instead of constantly trying to change them.

    vvnightingale.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. aw thank you! I couldn't agree more, we should focus on health not shape xx

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  3. I wish that everybody would stop being so judgemental, I've got quite an unnatural body shape and too avoid comments being made I used to dress differently. I began to stop caring and wore what I feel comfortable in, it's important to not let others comments change you xx
    emilyjanewebb.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I agree! Aww that's such a shame, I really hope people stop making comments! xx

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  4. This is such a great post and I 100% agree with everything you said! So many 'body confidence' things often pick on either skinny or larger people, people need to start opening their eyes to both. I also love the quote you ended with - it's so true! I honestly believe that ones happiness/personality is how beautiful they are. You could be the most beautiful person in the world but have a horrible personality and be constantly moaning - no one would stay around regardless of how beautiful they were!

    allthatshimmers.co.uk xo

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    1. aww thank you so much! I love that quote too xx

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  5. This is so spot on! Really love the way you've written it, inspiring in a very real way.

    Hannah xx

    http://www.actuallyitsauburn.co.uk/2015/01/emotions-can-be-cruel-but-so-can-people.html

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  6. Amen!!

    This article should be in the front pages of all those famous magazines where they only talk about the way you look!

    Very inspiring!

    I am trying to live by words, that gets me going through my darkest thoughts: ''My body is not your business''. And someone once said: 'There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. That is essence of beauty.''

    You go girl! xx

    www.curvyliciousme.com

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    1. wow thank you so much! I love that quote, and I love your comment :) xx

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  7. I really love this post, and appreciate that you discussed it on here! Body shaming is such a disgusting and terrible thing, and it makes me sick that people actually bond over taking pleasure in it. So sad.

    lovejoanna.com

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  8. Great post Amy :-)
    It is something we should all talk about, because just as it affects us, it's going to affect our own children as well! Some people forget that..and that's an actual shame.
    xoxo

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  9. Fantastic post! I've always had body image issues, and while I also have never been past a size 8, I've had people judge me saying I'm either too skinny, or I'm chubby, or flabby, etc. It's like, no matter what I do, it's never going to be good enough. This is why I don't ever comment on someone else's appearance. You never know how it will affect them. By refraining from commenting on other's appearances, I've learned to look for the good in every person. That is what we should all be doing!
    xx
    Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

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    1. Thank you lovely! I think sometimes people don't realise that calling someone too skinny is just as hurtful as calling someone too fat. I love your outlook, I do the same, you don't know anyones reasons for looking the way they do without getting to know them and I'd never want to judge or hurt someone by jumping to conclusions xx

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    2. such a beautiful comment! i relate to all you said Jenny.

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    3. I know, what an amazing response xx

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  10. Amen sister! So often people are eager to embrace a curvier body type that they shame skinny body types. But we should all just aim to be happy and healthy and stop judging each other!

    COOCOO FOR COCO

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    1. I love this and completely agree! xx

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  11. I so agree that this figure that 'curvy women are real women'' is wrong. I'm fine with two beliefs really- the thought that EVERYONE is beautiful, no matter how fat OR thin. OR that only healthy is beautiful. Not singling out one group. xx

    Beauty Soup || UK Beauty Blog

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    1. I love your comment... I think people forget judging anyone for anything appearance based is always going to be hurtful and I wish we would stop basing peoples self worth on this xx

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  12. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your post. I’m so glad that you spoke out about body shaming. Sometimes there are people who just don’t know that calling someone too skinny is as upsetting as calling someone too fat. Appearance doesn’t matter, what is on the inside that counts.

    http://www.inmypairofshoes.blogspot.co.uk/

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  13. great post and i totally agree. too much negativity around about appearances and weight. so sad

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  14. I agree. All my life I am on a diet to get curvy and that cots me my health. I think many people have fear of skinny bodies, and I realised that this fear is just not my problem. thanks for another great post!! much love xx

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  15. I love this post so much! Everything you've mentioned is on point and you've voiced your opinion in such a good way, I agree with everything you've said. I feel like people should stop worrying what I'm eating, how much I'm excising and just focusing on themselves and their on health or whatever they'd like. I love how you mentioned the part about Mean Girls, I can definitely say I've had the same experience with people in my school and the whole thing is just so weird. I wonder if body shamming has been around for hundreds of years or if it's just a recent and modern topic, either way it shouldn't really exist the way it does x

    owlsinthesummer.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much! I can't tell you how lovely it is to receive such nice comments whenever I post anything more personal xx

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  16. 100% with you on this one. With the 'All About That Bass' lyrics, I remember just thinking 'what if they replaced skinny with fat...' it's just not fair to make sweeping remarks like that, especially in pop songs that impressionable young girls listen to.

    Sarah | Sequin This

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    1. I love this response... it's so true, for some reason people don't understand that they can hurt peoples feelings just as badly xx

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  17. Thank you so much for posting this! I love the way you've voiced your opinion. I wish people would stop shaming all bodies and all people. I think you can never win trying to fit into other's expectations for you. xx

    architaxb.blogspot.com

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  18. I totally agree. I know for me the biggest body shame culprit is often in my own mind, which is why my resolution for 2015 is to stop with all the self-punishment once and for all. http://www.teajambread.com/2015/01/the-one-resolution-im-making-this-year.html
    xo,
    Ashley from Tea with Jam and Bread

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    1. I completely agree, I'm trying to do the same myself!! xx

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  19. Lovely post and absolutely agree with your posts.

    I think everyone has their own views but targeting negative and judgemental opinions directly at someone else is inexcusable. I mean targeting your tastes say at like food, fair enough, you don't like sweets, that's sort of being judgemental in a different way.

    "Never judge or hurt someone base don your own standards" That something I truly believe in - from body shaming to what-not!

    Hope you are feeling better and like you had said "It costs nothing to be nice" yet also "It costs nothing to be happy, proud and care for those who really care" :) I believe every person out there is worth our time, but we don't have that kind of time, so we "don't hate, enjoy it" all the way!

    Happy 2015! www.nolifelifelife.blogspot.com

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    1. I love that point about it costs nothing to be happy or proud, it's definitely sometihng that I am going to start baring in mind! xx

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  20. I agree with you completely, people will judge regardless and it would make so much easier if people accepted one another before placing judgements. I said the same whilst watching a documentary that was based on real women. Its like people who are size 14 and up are real women and because am not I shouldn’t be considered a real woman. honestly its so stupid what marketing will do to divide people.
    I could literally agree with everything you have said and input an experience or a story, but bottom line is we live in a strange, confusing world. Great post :)

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    1. Aw thank you I'm so glad you agree xx

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  21. I totally agree with your post Amy. I can't believe that some strangers had the guts to tell you such things about your body. I get really annoyed and discouraged when I see people commenting on other people’s body as if it was their "right" to do so. Many times, when I see that on internet, especially Instagram, I can’t help myself to reply that person to consider what she (usually are girls) has just done, and why: most of them do not know what to say, feel ashamed and hide. I have come to realize that many of those people are not aware of the harm they are doing! Even the most stupid little comment can hurt a person, no matter how confident he or she is. Some months ago, I wrote a similar post in my blog named "Are we women our worst enemies?" I think, unfortunately, that most of the body shamming towards women actually comes from other women: maybe because they feel insecure, or maybe because this is what we have learnt to be the normal thing to do, I don’t know.

    This is a link to the post I am talking about: http://thekaleandheartygirl.blogspot.com/2014/06/are-we-women-our-worst-enemies.html :)

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    1. Thank you lovely... i know, it's disgusting how people can say things without thinking what the implications of their actions may be. Thank you for sharing the link, i will read it now xx

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  22. Such a great post Amy! I love reading these type of posts and I think everyone should see this! x

    http://lilliemysel.blogspot.com

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  23. I'm the same height and shape as you, and I get exactly the same thing! It's small things like I can't say I'm not hungry without being anorexic, and half the time people don't even realise that they're offending you! I think you're beautiful, this is such a wonderful post :) xx
    hedgehogloves.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you lovely, it's so nice to hear from someone who has a very similar experience to myself! xx

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  24. I totally agree with this post and I suffer from the same problems, all my friends which they looked as "skinny" as me but its not all its cracked up to be, I'd rather look like them, it's funny!x
    https://latteincoventgarden.wordpress.com/

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    1. I think the grass is always greener on the other side! It's a shame and I hope we start to love our bodies for what they are xx

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  25. I totally agree, people need to realise that there is more important things in life than being judgmental! People are people, we're all different so why should anyone be discriminated against for being who they want!

    infinity of fashion// Lucy Jane

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    1. I love that point! We are never going to all look the same, and we will never be attractive to everyone, so people should stop trying to make everyone conform to the same ideal xx

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  26. Love this post! I especially love the quote at the end :) x

    www.lifeinthefashionlanee.blogspot.com

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  27. I love this post.

    I know I don't have the figure I had when I was at college, balancing that and two jobs. I know that since I started uni in 2013 I am a dress size bigger and a little bit squishy in places - first it upset me that I was, but I've got to the point where I know that I am who I am. Yes, I can probably lose a bit of that squish, hula hoop a little again, but I'm not letting any of this get me down. Life is too short to worry, and also be nasty to others.

    I just don't see the point in being bitchy to one another, when we can support being women, and rock that as a whole.

    www.megsiobhan.co.vu

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    1. I love that youre not letting it get you down, its so refreshing to see someone understand that our bodies do change and that isnt always a negative thing! xx

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  28. Its so true. Then people are saying be different, don't follow the crowd - hang on, girls aren't supposed to look like that?! Everyone has things they aren't happy with or want to change, accepting them is in someways a harder option but in the long run will be a heck of a lot better. I hope this encourages other people too :) xx
    heymil.blogspot.co.uk

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  29. Great post. I like to think others insecurities are what makes them say nasty things but the reality is some people are just nasty. We women (and men) need to have the confidence not to care what the nasty people say. But it's hard. I especially worry about young girls.

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  30. I love this post, so honest and refreshing. We should all be supporting each other, rather than making people feel bad about how they look!

    josie-mayx.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. aw thank you!! I completely agree xx

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  31. Loved this post, Amy! I recently wrote a post about my battle with binge-eating and how I overcame it! There were people who just didn't understand because in their eyes I was already "small." When it came down to it, I just wanted a strong support systems. We should all be supporting each other no matter what! Thanks for writing this!

    www.lettersandpearls.com

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  32. Beautiful post, Amy. That last quote is spot on!

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    1. thank you, i love that quote too xx

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  33. I love this post Amy. I'm really trying to change the way I think about my body at the moment - why should it matter what size I am I want to be fit and strong and healthy shouldn't that be more important? Such an important thing to talk about :)

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    1. thank you lovely! im trying to do the same myself! xx

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  34. I'm so happy you commented on my post because it led me here, and I love your blog! This post in particular is on point. Preach.

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