Body Positivity Series #3: Fat/Skinny Shaming

Have you ever looked at someone walking towards you down the street and questioned why any one would wear what they’re wearing? Or maybe had something to say about the way that they looked? And maybe even compared you’re self to them?
My answer is yes, yes, and yes. And most people would also be guilty of doing this, even if they don’t want to admit it. We are all really quick to judge the people that we come in contact with in our day to day lives, even if we don’t mean to. And like I pointed out, most of this judgement comes from physical appearance.
All of this judgement is especially difficult for those who are on the extreme ends (or on any part) of the size spectrum. But why do we think that we have the right to say something about someone else’s body? (Side note: We don’t have a right to judge. Like the old saying goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.”)
I’ve seen tons of media outlets posting about fat shaming and thin shaming, with comments buzzing with whether or not one is better than the other. All this discussion garners people to say really hurtful things about a body that they don’t know. About a person that they don’t know. But the reality of fat shaming and skinny shaming is that both of them are not acceptable.
Most of the time these comments that we make about other people’s bodies are made from a place of insecurity. When I make comments, which I try to keep to a limit, it’s usually about short shorts and short skirts. Why? Because I don’t feel comfortable wearing those things myself and  because I physically cannot. If any one else’s legs chafe, then you know what I mean. insert winky face emoji 
And I feel like that goes for a lot of men and women. We live in a society where it’s frowned upon to love your body for what it is. Companies make millions on products that claim to get you to a specific size or even to help you attain the “ideal” look. It doesn’t help that the media praises celebrities that look a certain way. Models that have an unattainable body type are the most sought after. Why? Because we continue to believe the lie that we are not good enough.
Next time you find yourself silently (or not so silently) judging someone based off of their looks, remember these things:
1. You are not just talking about a body
You are talking about a person, who has feelings and probably notices your judging them. They have their own insecurities too, both because of what people say about them and what they think about themselves. They don’t need you to add to that pressure.
2. “Treat Others the Way You Want to Be Treated”
This old maxim rings true for a variety of circumstances, especially this one. If you wouldn’t appreciate someone judging you or making comments about your appearance, then you shouldn’t be doing that either. Obviously, you won’t be able prevent others from saying or thinking things, but you can lead by example. And maybe your behavior will rub off on them.
3. “If don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all”
I brought this up before and I think it’s important to bring it up again. And I think this is pretty self explanatory. Just don’t say anything mean. Refer back to tip #2.
Fat shaming and skinny shaming are not going to go away any time soon (unfortunately). But we can try to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of the people that are around us. Even the smallest drop can produce the largest ripple effect.

And that’s all I have for the body positivity series. It has been such a blast getting to talk about these topics and to share my own experiences with it. If you’re not already, please subscribe and keep an eye out for new posts coming next week. Let me know if you want to see something specifically talked about here and I’ll do my best to bring my authentic self to it. Remember to stay positive and to be creative in everything that you do.
-Joss

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