Recently an article about Demi Lovato “body shaming” Taylor Swift and her “squad” came to light. When asked about the photo of Taylor and her model friends in their bikinis on Instagram, Lovato responded with:
“This will probably get me in trouble but I don’t see anybody in any sort of squad that has a normal body. It’s kind of this false image of what people should look like.”
Now, if someone is commenting on a clearly photoshopped image on a magazine cover, that’s one thing. To claim that a real body pictured on instagram is “not normal” or “false” is body shaming, plain and simple. More specifically it’s “skinny shaming” and Ms. Lovato is not the only culprit.
I grew up being the tall scrawny kid, and when I wasn’t sleeping, eating or in school, I was running around playing sports constantly. I got lucky with a fast metabolism. Have I been skinny shamed? Hell yes. Do I still get skinny shamed? You bet.
It starts out small and tease-y, comments about how much (or how little) you eat.
“Steph, eat a sandwich, you’re skin and bone.”
“Ooh! You’re ordering that? You’ll barely make a dent in it!”
“You don’t need to work out, you’re already so skinny!”
“Do you live at the gym?”
“She must be anorexic.”
I have heard all of these, and continue to hear it. I’ve lost friends because they spread rumors about me having eating disorders when the reality is that I am just skinny.
I actually don’t even like the word “skinny” and try to avoid describing myself that way. But to say that my body is not real because I am lean is wrong.
Some of you may be reading this and thinking, “Um, are we supposed to sympathize with you? You’re skinny and complaining that people tease you? At least you aren’t fat.”
You’re right, of all the problems in the world to have, being skinny is low on the totem pole, but that doesn’t make it okay to shame me for my body. It doesn’t make it okay to shame anyone’s body for that matter. Fat, skinny, muscular, big boobs, small boobs, what have you. Everyone’s body is different, and some people’s bodies are skinny AND real.
It’s true, our society does have a skewed image of what the perfect body is supposed to look like. We’ve all seen the magazines and the runways. To photoshop a picture of a woman to give her a smaller waist, bigger boobs, erase cellulite and plaster the words “thin is in” is messed up. To point at a thin woman walking down the street and immediately label her as a “skinny bitch” is also messed up.
We’ve come really far in regard to our society’s views on women’s bodies. Look at Ashley Graham; the first “plus size” model to be on the cover of the famous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. A beautiful, curvy, sexy woman being showcased on one of the most coveted covers in America is a great step forward, but it doesn’t stop there. We cannot put down or shame those who are skinny no more than we cannot put down or shame those who are fat.
So let’s just stop commenting and shaming other people in general, mmkay?