We see it happen all the time. You can be scrolling through your phone and come across a picture of someone you don’t even know. You think to yourself, “This person looks so great and confident.” But the comments are a whole other story. Just the first few you see are enough for you to want to click out of it. Comments so ruthless and hurtful that those people probably don’t even second guess taking the time to write them out in the first place.
Maybe it makes you rethink how you look. Maybe it makes you contemplate eating that big meal you had for lunch and the thought of going on the scale seems appealing to know your number. Because society tells you that you have to look a certain way. You have to be put together and you can’t look unattractive because no one will want to be with you.
We’ve always been like this. We’re programmed from a young age that this is what people want, this is what they desire and expect us to look like. Did they ever consider how we felt? How we feel the need to count our calories and go that extra mile in our already gruesome workout. How we feel embarrassed to have to get the next size up when the person near you fits into the smallest size. How we come so close to crying when we look in the mirror yet we still try our best to fit into that dress and make sure our lipstick is perfect.
The answer is no, they don’t care. They never have. And so we spend our lives trying to deconstruct this mindset we had put into us but yet we still don’t ever recover. The fact of the matter is this: body shaming others is nothing new, it’s a sad realization when you take a step back and see how long it’s been a thing. It’s become such an everyday occurrence that we don’t even blink anymore when someone says something harmful to us.
But it’s time to put an end to body shaming, and it’s starting to get talked about. The popular app TikTok had a trend going around where women danced to a song that showed what people thought was their normal body, until they pulled their bottoms down slightly to reveal their true body shape. Which, in my opinion, was a lot more beautiful. And when there was hate comments, they didn’t shy away, they made it known that they saw them and it didn’t effect them.
There has also been pictures going around that people put on instagram where they show a nice picture with some photo shop and enhancements and then the next picture is a more rather unflattering or real photo of them before posing a certain way to get a better angle.
By having these types of videos and pictures be put out there to popular social media apps where people, especially younger people are on it, it makes them feel like it’s okay to look that way and they feel like they can for once be able to look at a picture and see their actual body type.
We’ve come a long way from feeling the need to overdue things on our pictures and even seeing it in magazines. But we still have to do better, for not only others but ourselves as well.
I always grew up hating my body, having been bullied for being skinny since I was ten years old. Battling the urge to eat and not get on the scale. But seeing the way this generation is tackling body image and finally showing their true selves to the world, it gives me hope.