I have been getting increasingly confused and concerned by the amount of people, particularly women, body shaming beautiful women on Social Media. It seems we have moved on from disparaging the ugly and the fat to victimising the beautiful and the fit; the new heroes of the hour are intelligent, average looking celebrities, or in a lot of cases, fictional characters with brains.
I can’t help but wonder why and where this new craze has come from, and whether it’s a reaction to the years of social media bullying aimed at overweight women, or if it’s just a case of good old fashioned jealousy.
Being fit and working out is hard!
Being beautiful/thin/athletic/perfectly curvy, doesn’t ‘just happen‘ (unless you are INSANELY lucky).The judgemental ‘do you even read?’ crew, may sit and criticise the ‘do you even lift’ gang, but I don’t think they even begin to understand how much effort goes into achieving the perfect body.
Do they know how hard it is to work out your macros? Do they know what percentage of carbs you should be eating compared to fats and proteins, or what time of day it’s best to consume them? The best way to track and record them? How about the difference between cardio and HIIT, strength-training and GVT? What about water intake? Calorie counting? How to get your body into ketosis? The nutrients that should be in each meal? Ingredient substitutes? It goes on and on.
A lot of careful planning and dedication goes into creating the ‘perfect body’; early nights and social sacrifices. It’s not their fault that you will never be dedicated enough to your body goals to achieve what they have. And no-one is saying you should be, or that you even have to have goals. You just don’t have the right to tell others they shouldn’t.
What kind of message are we sending to other women, and what are we teaching our children?
What I find most disturbing is the way the message is delivered. The posts and memes pit women against each other in some sort of weird ‘who’s more worthy of our love and admiration’ comparison, isn’t that the very thing we criticise men for? How many times have you heard a woman say, “what gives him the right to judge what she looks like?” It seems women demand respect and equality for ALL women, from men, but don’t think the same rules apply when it comes to themselves.
I understand that in a consumerist, ego-driven, celebrity-obsessed society, it is important for us to teach our children to value more than material goods, and admire more than the Kardashians.
However, we should also be teaching
our children to understand that people are individuals with talents in different areas, interests in varying subjects, and often working towards goals very different from their own. We should be encouraging our daughters to lift women up, not put them down, no matter what they look like or what ‘category’ they fit into, and we should be ensuring our sons understand the importance of respecting ALL women.
When people criticise overweight people, we all jump to their defence (or laugh, depending on your SOH), because it isn’t right to put people down based on their size or appearance, but that message seems to have become lost when it comes to it working the other way around. Why is it OK to shame someone who works hard to change and maintain their body?
So my message to you is…In a world full of critics, cynics and competitors, be a cheerleader ❤