19 January 2014

Can we please stop body shaming? Thanks.

Scrolling through Millie Mackintosh's Instagram comments makes me die a little inside.

At the time of writing, here is her latest image

                       
(Courtesy of @camillamackintosh. I do not own this image. Please don't sue me, I'm poor)

This image, like so many of Millie's, sparked some pretty dire comments such as "Too skinny", "Too much salad, eat a pie" and my personal favourite (sarcasm, btw) "How did you manage to put on a few pounds in the hour? You look better for it".

Now, I'm guilty of this judgemental attitude, too. And I hate myself for it. I saw a girl on the tube the other day with a really prominent thigh gap. Not having a thigh gap myself, and having been conditioned by the media to think "thigh gap = underweight", I felt a little bit threatened by it. Yes, you read that right... I felt threatened by a few inches gap between this stranger's thighs (... Don't be vulgar, people). 

But when did it become okay, this judging? I can't describe how much I hate the covers of certain weeklies where they plaster "IS SHE PREGNANT, OR HAS SHE JUST EATEN A BURGER?"-type garbage all the time. And the hypocrisy of it all! At the beginning of January it was all about getting fit and shaming celebs who weren't a size 10, and now it's all about avoiding the gym and wearing baggier clothes to hide your wobbles. Neither are promoting a healthy attitude. Can we just stop?

In the last week Cosmo has been slammed for its #StopThighGap campaign, and a really eye-opening article has been written by one of my favourite online magazines Vagenda.


And Vagenda's response is here (I strongly recommend reading it): http://vagendamag.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/why-cosmos-wrong-about-thigh-gap.html

While Cosmo has taken it upon itself to try and convince us all that the quest for thigh gap is impossible for most people because it relies on the way you're built (very true), as Vagenda points out, this suggestion doesn't suddenly stop those who have eating issues have said eating issues. It takes more than saying "Starving yourself won't make you Cara Delevigne, so you can stop being mentally ill" which is an unfortunate nuance Cosmo has ignored. Oops.

It's all very sad really, isn't it? A rather pathetic statement, but it is. I feel bad for Millie that people shame her for acting as a pro-Ana role model. When she learnt this she was utterly horrified (understandably). What people forget about celebrities is that they are people, too... Just people who are able to obtain amazing figures through hardcore personal trainers and bespoke eating plans, which the vast majority don't have access to. I'm pretty sure Millie doesn't have the 3pm slump that has her reaching for anything that contains excess sugar and calories. I'm also pretty sure she doesn't have to debate between catching up on "Take Me Out" or working on her abs. She has the time to look great, and she does look great. Deal. With. It.

But anyway. My point (yes, there is one somewhere. This is why I always flailed with my Lit essays: lack of focus) is that some people are naturally slim. Some people have to work really hard to be slim, and some people will never be slim. Some people have junk in their trunks. Some people have thigh gap (I personally like to rock "the mermaid". Very exotic). Whatever. We need to stop looking at everyone and judging them for something we have no business judging them for.

You have no idea about a person just by looking at them. Some people with thigh gaps may be perfectly healthy and they were just born that way. Equally, some people with them may be ill. It's not fair to condemn them, or anybody. If you were worried about a friend, you'd address the issue oh-so sensitively.  You wouldn't go on their instagram and say "Ew, you're skin and bones #eatapie".

From now on I'll make a conscious effort to stop being judgemental and appreciate that everyone is different and unique, etc etc. And you know what? Being different and unique is what makes us all semi-interesting as humans. Great, eh? I just wish the haterz in Millie Mack's instagram would make the same effort, too.

Rant = complete. Over and out.
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2 comments

  1. I always find it interesting that these discussions always return to the idea that you can't judge someone's health by their body. Regardless of whether that is generally true or not, it's sort of irrelevant. The idea is wrapped up in a belief that we can't judge bodies but we can judge health. No one owes anyone our health. It doesn't matter if anyone is healthy, it's their business, just as the shape of their body is. The two ideas are separate surely. People who body shame, aren't health shaming. They're judging 'beauty'. Neither is good of course. Maybe Millie exercises so much to be healthy, maybe she exercises to be slim. Both are equally valid, and none of our business to shame.


    Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sofie-Eliza Price23 April 2015 at 10:48

    Thank YOU for the comment. Glad you liked the post :) we need to remember that other people's business isn't our business.

    ReplyDelete

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