We Should All be Ashamed of Body-Shaming

Paloma+Urrea+D%C3%ADez

Paloma Urrea Díez

Paloma Urrea Díez, Discoverer Staff Writer

Your body is the house of the soul. What makes you feel alive and serves you day and night. What makes possible for you to express all your feelings and thoughts. What others get to see, being this; what others get to judge too. Humans are humiliated and criticized by others based on their body type. People have the tendency to normalize this issue; making it hard to notice and to realize it happens almost everywhere. Social media is full of toxic comments and messages that cause people to feel worthless. At schools, students are body shamed by unfair dress codes. And companies are constantly gaining money for selling products that are strategically advertised, body-shaming people. Body-shaming is a societal issue that needs to stop.

People on the internet will always judge. According to Health Line, in November 2018, former Playboy Playmate Dani Mathers took a picture of a naked 70-year-old woman at her gym and sent it through Snapchat. Over the image, she wrote, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” The post went viral. Mathers made sure millions of people saw how supposedly how bad the woman looked. Social media creates toxic platforms that allow people to think they can say, or post, anything just because they’re hidden behind a screen. Our culture, where pictures of bodies are shared constantly, encourages people to compare and rate peoples bodies based on  ‘true beauty’ or the ‘perfect body’ stereotype. Social media is helping body-shaming to evolve and this needs to end.

Schools are famous for body-shaming. According to the website Bullying, 94% of teenage girls and 65% of teenage boys have been body shamed. Many schools have sexist dress codes that make girls feel judged. Pooja Patel, a student at Barnard College shared her experience being body shamed by a teacher, “ ‘Pooja, I know you like fashion, but I have heard some boys in your class talking about the way you are dressed. I think it would be best if you go change.’ I was ashamed. I felt ashamed that people were talking about my clothing, most of all, I felt ashamed of my body.” Schools with strict dress codes reinforce body-shaming cultures and create an environment where woman learn to feel ashamed of their bodies. From a young age, we are told to cover up because “it can distract men” like it is our fault and not theirs. Schools do not have the right to choose which parts of our body are appropriate for public display and which are not.  

Companies around the world market products using body-shaming advertisements. Recently, Jameela Jamil, a British actress and model, slammed AVON Cosmetics on Twitter for their advertisement on their anti-cellulite product. Jameela accused AVON and claimed the ad shamed women’s bodies. Her tweet went viral with around 10,000 retweets. Naturally, AVON took notice and removed all messaging from marketing materials. Women that have cellulite and see this ad, will think that she’s ugly and that she needs a change. The fame that AVON has gained in the cosmetics industry, encourages us to trust the products they advertise and buy them. Companies like these are just cruel. They play with our minds, reaching our weak spots so they can gain money. The message they´re leaving to women says that they should be ashamed of having cellulite, having in mind it is a completely natural thing that many women have, even woman on their marketing team. Just like AVON did, companies should recognize their shaming marketing to bring body-shaming to an end.

AVON cosmetics anti-cellulite ad shaming women.

Body-shaming has to stop. Even though it won’t be easy to achieve, everyone can contribute by calling attention to it when you see it and make sure people around you don’t accept it. We are all on this together. Let’s change body-shaming to body-loving.