Body shaming is inappropriate negative statements and attitudes toward another person’s weight or size. Body shaming also can be considered as the discrimination against individuals who may be overweight. There have been negative attitudes in the media and elsewhere about celebrities who are “too fat” or who were unable to get rid of “baby weight” in an appropriate amount of time.
I thought I’d speak on the topic of body shaming since after the Super Bowl there were so many negative remarks posted about Lady Gaga and the condition of her body. Women are constantly struggling with their image and insecurities and it’s hard enough struggling to lose weight but it becomes increasingly harder and depressing when women have to deal with body shaming.
I was incredibly proud of how Lady Gaga responded to the remarks. “I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions.”
I’ve always been a fan of Lady Gaga but I’m more of a fan now because she touched on a subject that is near and dear to me. I absolutely detest bullying but bullying people because of their weight is absolutely deplorable. Some people struggle with weight loss and when they are bombarded with bullying it becomes depressing and only adds to their struggle.
Recently, I read an article online about an overweight woman who fell in Walmart. I was so sad when I read the article because I realized how evil people can be. This woman fell and instead of the person coming to her aid, the person took her picture and uploaded it to social media where people went on to ridicule the woman without knowing her condition. People called her fat and lazy and had no idea what other issues this woman could possibly be dealing with.
Instead of shying away, however, Jennifer Knapp Wilkinson responded in her defense:
“The worst thing about this photo is that people think a fat woman tipped over a cart because she was too lazy to get out of the cart to get the case of soda, I have a condition in my spine called Spondylolisthesis. The most common symptoms in the legs include a feeling of vague weakness associated with prolonged standing or walking.
In my case, the longer I stand the more numb and weak my legs become. I have been known to fall because of this condition.”
Knapp Wilkinson was grocery shopping for her husband Robert when she fell off her scooter and was in enormous pain
“My parents had a form of this disease and had to have back surgeries in their early 30s. So there is a good chance my children can get the same spine disease,” she said.
She shamed bullies for assuming her obesity was because of “laziness”, saying the photo was now an eternal reminder of a “low point” in her life.
She said, “I was at a very low point in my mental health. I also was experiencing a lot of pain and weakness that day. I took a cart because I was grocery shopping for my family. I went to get a case of soda for my husband.
“I thought I saw a flash of light and heard some young girls giggling. I thought nothing of it because I am use to hearing people make fun of me or saying snide remarks. It was nothing new.
“I have also seen this photo attached to stories that aren’t even true about this situation,” she went on.
The stay-at-home mum said she wanted people to know “fat people are people too” and wants “compassion, understanding, and respect as a fellow human being”.
“You cannot see my disabilities but they are there and they are real. So next time you see photos making fun of people just remember you know nothing about these people or the struggles they face every day,” she added.
“It is never just harmless fun to laugh at someone.”
Let’s stop degrading and start celebrating ourselves from the inside out. There is already too much degradation, competition, insecurity and unhealthy standards associated with women and their bodies especially on social media. Let’s flip the script. All that really matters is how we feel about ourselves. Beauty comes from within so set your own standards of beauty.