The harmful impacts of body shaming

(photo courtesy of Unsplash user Samuel Ramos)

We love to listen to how celebrities have “the perfect body” and have facial features that are considered beauty standards.

Let’s take Madison Beer for example; social media users often appreciate her more for her looks than her actual singing. She has a sharp jawline, a small nose and a fuller lip. She also gets bonus points for being tall, skinny and having a lighter skin tone. I am not shaming Madison Beer, but all these features are considered beautiful. I am here to tell you that you do not have to look the same or like that person to be beautiful. 

There are 7.9 billion people on this planet, and I believe God made them look the way they look for a reason. As often as we may wonder, we as humans look a lot like what our genes tell us. In various peoples’ eyes we might be considered beautiful or ugly and we cannot change their opinions, but that does not mean we should be treated differently because it does not match someone’s taste. 

According to an article published by WCNC, a study shows that about 94% of teenage girls and 64% of teenage boys have been body shamed. The article details the stories of Emily Candelario, who knows the stings of body shaming first hand. She’s been criticized since elementary school for everything from weight to body hair, even her clothes. 

“It’s happened my whole life,” said Candelario. 

 After reading this article, it makes me wonder why some people like to point things out that should not matter to them. Until more people speak out about this problem, it will continue.

I myself have dealt with something like this when I was a freshman in high school. A few boys made remarks behind my back about my body, saying that I’m too “shorty” or “chubby”. Thank God I had a lot of amazing people that stood up for me and will always hype me up no matter what happens. 

Even people I know from my own life have faced something similar to what Candelario faced . I asked one of my high school friends, Asha, whether she has been body shamed in school. 

“Yes, especially during freshman year. It made me uncomfortable, but I decided to address the situation by giving out awareness,” she said. 

She was one of the friends who stood up for me during my freshman year of high school when I too was getting not-so-nice remarks about my body. After remembering and analyzing these events, it is very important for friends or close ones to be there for each other, especially in uncomfortable situations. 

My other close friend, Kaleigh, talked about body shaming in her own life.

“Honestly, people have done it behind my back, but it was mostly direct,” she said.  

We can start to see a pattern in these responses that body shaming can start from a very young age and can slowly tarnish someone’s self-image. It is important to raise awareness on this topic, because it impacts so many of us throughout life.