The shame about body shaming
In this world of selfies, social media and instagram filters it seems that every day there is a new story of online bullying going too far with horrible consequences. Having recently been the recipient of some nasty online body shaming I wanted to explore my thoughts on it and see what you all think.
A couple of weeks ago this blog post of mine went viral, you might have seen it on the Daily Mail, Eonline, Buzzfeed or Yahoo amongst many other places. The key image that most sites decided to feature was this one unsurprisingly:
When I took this photo and posted it online I had no idea that it would have the impact that it would; and I also didn’t expect to be on the receiving end of so much negativity.
Here’s a selection of what was directed at me via comments, emails, tweets and anonymous posts on Tumblr:
‘You shame people and your fat and not fit at all, how can you claim to help people when you don’t follow your own advice. Lose weight and keep quiet’
‘I was very confused by your photos as here in North America its people with your body that seek help not dispense it’
‘She looks awful in both pictures’
‘Her legs look like tree trunks in the second photo’
‘Before: munter. After: munter with hair done’
‘Do we really have to keep getting these pictures of women standing looking stupid with a phone in their hands?’
FYI, all bad grammar is not mine obviously…
So yeah, these comments came from men and women, none of whom I knew. Yet they all felt comfortable to critique my body, intellect, lifestyle and choice of career.
I grew up in an all-girls school so a bit of bitchiness is nothing new. I worked in social media advertising for 5 years so online haters are also not a surprise. What was a surprise was how much it can hurt when it’s directed at you.
Behind my brave face I was questioning my legs which I thought were strong and sturdy, my stomach which I’ve worked really hard to get the definition that I have and my career choice. Maybe I should have just stayed fat and unhappy because that’s what the internet wants me to do apparently.
Except, who cares? None of these people have a clue who I really am and what kind of journey I’ve been on to get to this point. So shame on you body shamers, you can’t hurt me.
My response to all of these people is ‘you do you and I’ll do me’. I’m not going to comment on anything that you do unless it’s to build you up in a positive way and I’d ask you to do the same to me. I’m fitter, stronger and healthier than I’ve ever been in my life so who cares if my body fat percentage isn’t low enough to please someone hiding behind an anonymous profile?
No one, that’s who.