Too ‘skinny’ or ‘fat’: body shaming is wrong

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

Growing up we are constantly reminded that bullying is wrong. That this is a crucial time where the way we view ourselves will shape our overall self-esteem.

However, we tend to focus more on making sure kids do not bully overweight children and turn away when we see someone thin being bullied.

Both forms of bullying are damaging to someone’s self-esteem. According to Daily Mail, more than half of young women are bullied for how they look and only one in five are happy with their appearance.

When we read statistics like these we usually do not associate them with “skinny-shaming.” When in reality this is just as damaging as any other form of bullying.

Growing up being called things like a “bag of bones,” “giraffe” or constantly being told to go eat a hamburger I can personally say that we should not just brush off this form of bullying.

Nobody wants their appearance on display for everyone to make fun of.

Many may be thinking that they wish they were skinny enough to be made fun of and that we should just take these remarks as compliments. However, with all forms of “extreme looks” comes bullying.

For many this is a reality. Reaching out can be tough since most will laugh at the fact that one even considers this bullying or did not look at it as a compliment.

Media is constantly telling us that being curvy is better, as we have all seen the memes reminding women that men like “something to grab onto.”

An article published by The Guardian highlights the fact that “fat-shaming” is looked at as extremely offensive. Stating that we should be careful when talking about weight around an overweight person or that we should just completely avoid the subject.

When it comes to “skinny-shaming” nobody sees that as offensive. The author recalls her colleague constantly encouraging her to eat more pastries since she was only “skin and bones.”

Of course, she could not bring attention to her colleague’s weight since that would be “fat-shaming” and in no way is that okay.

Body shaming, in general, should never be considered OK or be overlooked, no matter how trivial it might seem to someone.

Actress Lily James told the Los Angeles Times that fans who were “skinny-shaming” her in her role as Cinderella were being very hypocritical. As one cannot preach that body shaming is wrong and that it can destroy a girl’s self-esteem then turn around and call someone “too skinny.”

We need to see all forms of body shaming as wrong despite our personal opinions. How can we fight for half a cause, as we are doing now, and expect to see results? Skinny-shaming needs to be seen for what it is, bullying, and must be treated like any other form of bullying.

Nicte Hernandez can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.