Why Does “Body Shaming” Exist?

Imagine my surprise while sitting drinking hot cocoa this morning and I look up and the latest issue of Plus Model Magazine is being used on Good Morning America in a feature on “body shaming.” For those who are not aware of this made up acronym, it is basically criticizing someone based on the size of their body.

My definition:

Body Shaming – Discrimination against an individual or group based on body size. The standard by which those discriminated against changes based on what is popular in movies, music, and in the news.

Size acceptance and the inclusion of of plus models in the PMM feature show that there is beauty regardless of size and there really is no need for “body shaming” to exist.  I am not naive enough to think a few artfully nude photos and the positive words from the ladies will change the thoughts of those who no matter what will find fault in every body size.  I feel that if we live in a society that is supposed to be tolerant of others, why is it so difficult to respect another person regardless of their size?

Examples of “body shaming” via comments on my Facebook page made me pause and think:

These gentlemen are on the other end of the “body shaming” spectrum in that they only see the ladies as sex objects, but the first one who wants them to hide the folds of fat is a big part of the problem and the reason the piece in Plus Model Magazine is so important and why the spotlight from the national media is even more important. Excuse my grainy photos. I was using my cell phone and the shutter speed is nothing like my camera.

Basically, “body shaming” is gaining popularity or notoriety at the expense of others.  As I revealed yesterday in the post Size Acceptance: A Lifestyle Choice or State of mind, to criticize someone because of their size is a beacon exposing more of the inadequacies of the critic than the shortcomings of the victim. Ultimately, unless it is stopped both sides will be consumed.

In my experience, it gets worse before it gets better.  In 2009 I was told by Maddy Jones the editor of Plus Model Magazine that you have a voice and the way to make change is to use it.  If you don’t think so, look at the issue that occurred news anchor Jennifer Livingston and compare it with my question, “Why does ‘body shaming’ exist?” It exists because of a few insecure individuals wanting to make others feel bad for something they should not be ashamed of and that is how their body looks.  As long as a person is healthy it should not matter what the scale says.  I am thankful for my voice in speaking out against “body shaming” and all other forms of size discrimination.

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