Be Beautiful and Say 'No' to Body Shaming
We are probably all guilty of it. We've seen a girl in the street and made a negative remark about her appearance to a friend. I know I have done it, but I had no idea of the impact those words could have had if the girl had heard me, until it started happening to me – body shaming.
I have a naturally small frame and although it is a perfectly healthy weight for me, I do appear to be quite thin. On many occasions now, I have heard women talking about me while I'm shopping, or just out and about, making negative comments about my weight. Comments like: “She needs a good meal” and “Someone skipped food this month”, but I've even been shamed for my flat chest (that I'm usually perfectly happy with), by guys I have dated – not for long, obviously.
As a young woman in my early twenties, I struggled with my appearance. With a flat chest and slim frame, I didn't feel particularly womanly. This is because the media was thrusting out the message that real women have curves, ironically in response to thin models in print and on screen.
After being self-conscious for many years, I managed to accept myself and no longer allow the media to make me feel like less of a woman, just because I don't have curves. But, hearing comments made about be on the street certainly affected my confidence. It made me realize that no woman should be made to feel less than they are simply because of their size.
With the rise of social media, body shaming is more popular than ever – and because it's put online, you can't see the reaction of the victim, so it may seem like it has little impact. But with just a click of the 'share' or 'retweet' button, you could be causing a great impact to someone's feeling and self-image. There is already so much hatred and negativity in the world as it is, wouldn't it feel so much better to share something positive?
For those who have been victims of body shaming, I say to you: if you are happy with how and who you are, then that is really all that matters. Do ensure you stay healthy too though, for the sake of yourself and the people that love you. And remember girls, before you nudge your friend, about to say something negative about another, just stop and think how you would feel if you heard it said about you.