When I was in middle school, a boy told me to my face that I was ugly. I don’t bring this up to make you feel bad for me. I’ve been over it for a long time. But the comments did bother me for a really long time. I spent most of middle school wanting to be invisible and thinking that if I guy were to like me, it would be despite how I look.
Fortunately, that was the only time anybody has blatantly told me I was ugly. However, I have often experienced the feelings that accompanied the comment. In many cases, these feelings have been the result of comments that were actually directed at other women.
Sometimes when somebody makes a comment about another woman being fat or not being very pretty, my self esteem suffers.You may not know it, but I think that girl looks like me. I may think she looks better than me. And you just said she didn’t look good. By extension, I don’t look good.
It may not be sound logic, but that’s the conclusion I come to. And I’m not alone. Other girls have shared experiences with me where they felt bad about themselves because of something somebody said about another girl. People who body shame aren’t just hurting the people they’re talking about.
In fact, body shamers also hurt themselves when they make comments about others. As a general rule, people don’t like being around those who frequently make negative remarks.
If a guy makes a negative comment about another girl’s appearance, I’m turned off. Like really turned off. Instantly. I’m not intimidated when a guy talks about other girls who he thinks are pretty. It just makes me feel like he is able to see the beauty in people. And that is refreshing.
Furthermore, I don’t think body shaming really encourages people to adapt healthier lifestyles. If it did, I don’t think there would be overweight people, because they certainly are shamed plenty. As Taylor Swift puts it, “You have pointed out my flaws again, as if I don’t already see them.” Believe, you aren’t going to point out something about me I haven’t already noticed and wanted to change.
Actually, the points in my life where I’ve had the healthiest lifestyle have been when I loved myself. And I mean that as the self respect helped me live a healthier lifestyle. Why? Because I wanted to take care of myself rather than hide my body.
Fun fact: It takes confidence to go to the gym. Why? Because it’s really hard not to be intimidated by the girl on the bike next to you who is going twice as fast with a steeper incline all while annihilating your Fruit Ninja high score. It takes a little bit of self love to be comfortable with that.
So in short, don’t body shame. Just don’t.
I mean, really. Why you gotta be so mean?
My 3-year-old cousin knows this song word for word. It’s cute. Just saying.