Body Shaming

Today I’m offline again – no clue what the internet issue is today, but I was unaware of something that has apparently become “big” news at least in Facebook friends of the hubs.

Body shaming.

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**Disclaimer: This article isn’t an attack on being overweight or underweight. It is however, a scathing reply to the fact that body shaming exists at all.

I’m going to be touching on some pretty deep mental issues in here, and the physical results that come from them. I’m not doing this for shock value, and hope to only educate, rather than recharge or exacerbate an existing eating disorder.**

So, here’s my ‘Cole’s Notes’ version of the idea:

Why am I personally pissed off? Well, for starters, I don’t need to shame others for their body size, their weight, their struggles, their health issues, their perception of reality, etc. I don’t feel it is necessary to make myself a role model for my size. I’d rather be recognised for the dedication I have to bringing a healthier outlook for people, than a superficial one.

Yeah, that’s a glib comment, but let’s face it; this plus-sized model isn’t exactly doing a healthy-living promotional advertising campaign. She’s body shaming the ‘skinny’ models. Which to me is just as bad. If you’re a bully, it doesn’t matter if you’re a size 2 or a 22. A bully is a bully.

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Body shaming isn’t cool. Insignificant, insecure, and trivial subhumanites with a need to feel superior in their own pitiable lives will try to diminish others in any way they can.

Eating disorders at either extreme are deadly, not to be treated as fad, and definitely not something to catch money for, and yet it continues to happen. I don’t mind being a lone voice in the crowd on this.

I stand firm on the belief that if you are healthy and positive, you don’t need to make others feel like shit, and you certainly don’t need to shame an entire demographic of people who for whatever reason (health, genetic, etc) are unable to change their physical world.

I’ve got 10 points off the top of my head alone:

  • fashion industry cares about its wallet, not you;
  • you don’t need the latest fashion to be a decent person;
  • extreme body types in media campaigns are more harmful than beneficial, and the media world knows that;
  • mob rule, especially in regards to not just a polarising subject, but a life-threatening one, is still wrong;
  • being overweight and not being healthy aren’t things to glorify, let alone promote;
  • being underweight and not understanding your health risks are also just as dangerous;
  • education over indoctrination every time;
  • a healthy guideline has been established by professionals; yes, there are exceptions to every rule, but most people who are obese are more likely to become diabetic, suffer heart attacks, etc, whereas someone who is significantly underweight is at risk for strokes and organ failure, etc;
  • body shaming isn’t about being cooler than someone else. it’s about imposing your own insecurities on others, in order to minimalise your own inadequacies;
  • people who are caught up in trying to appeal to everyone will soon find themselves appealing to no one (including themselves).

Of course this isn’t all of where we need to be looking.

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But clumsypixie, you are fat. Yes, yes I am, and will be even for a long while yet as I am getting healthier. And NO, I won’t be modeling anytime soon, nor will I want to either. That is my personal choice though. I have phenomenally gorgeous friends, whom I wish nothing but the world to look at them and see their beauty and want to be around them for that and all the reasons I love and appreciate them.

This isn’t me shaming my friends or even strangers for being a different size than me, or even being the same size as me. Last year at this time, I was a 32W. My highest was a 46W. I’m on the cusp of 16/18 right now, for the first time in my teenage or adult life, aside from 3 months back in 1996 when I was starving because of a life event outside of my control for several months (I promptly put back on all the weight I had lost and more, but that’s another conversation for another day).  I am fucking proud of how far I’ve come, but I’m no where close to what would medically be considered ‘healthy’.

This is the reality: we now live in a time (especially on social media such as Facebook) where MOB RULE is no longer the pitchforks and lit torches banging at a stranger person’s castle door. Mob rule now consists of armchair keyboard warriors, those who have labeled themselves with extreme identifiers like “feminazis” (there are some who gladly and proudly flaunt that title) and the like, all screaming that there’s a vicious outcry of injustice taking place.

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Look, I realise that the legal defense team at Facebook are well versed on what their own guidelines are (they drew them up, they should know better than me!), and I’m in no way going to be getting any kind of remuneration from Facebook for stating the following, but here’s my two cents.

There are rules that are put in place that are there to protect people. The ones I’m specifically commenting on are the body shaming ones obviously, but not the way you may think. I’m not talking about being called a fatty. I’m talking about the fact that there are other websites out there which DO NOT CARE if a 12 year old girl is told she’s fat when she’s at her peak shape, and fat-shamed into becoming an ANA. It is disgusting, it is abhorrent, and it should be a criminal offense, as it is abuse, and incredibly inhumane.

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I need to stop here and explain that the following is going to be kind of difficult for some to read, so if you want to stop here, I understand, and I truly hope you are able to fight through this every day, I am hoping this brings some deliberate, honest, and truthful education to those who think it’s fine to ignore the parts that they don’t want to acknowledge, while demanding the hypocritical double standard be applied to the other side of the spectrum.

*** Here is the Wiki, which has other links and peer reviewed information and scientifically proven facts and knowledge about these issues.

Please, educate yourselves, so you can protect yourself, friends, and family members.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eating_disorder

********* TRIGGER WARNING **********

Now, for those who are arrogant enough to assume that fat shaming is only for obese people, I’m going to become a bit insistent that you actually read the words and learn this time. Eating disorders are neither FUN nor HEALTHY.

They involve every part of the spectrum, and whether people want to admit it or not, ignorance is NOT BLISS in this matter. Websites are still being shut down daily about “how to become ANA” or “MIA”. These sadly aren’t the only extreme “skinny” disorders, but they are the two main ones.

I’m not going to glorify this in any way, and I hope what you read below is enough for you to realise it’s not a great way to lose weight. They are not, and they will, given time, kill you.

And no, I’m purposely NOT going to post the pictures of these individuals. If you have respect for the fact these people are living with horrific deadly disorders, you’ll appreciate the fact I’m not trying to glorify their struggle with salacious pictures.

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ANA – short for anorexia nervosa – is the condition where you are mentally unable to see yourself as at the weight you currently are (among several other debilitating aspects, trust me, this isn’t something I’m glossing over. It’s a brutal mental disorder that DOES kill), and it slowly (at first, though generally it becomes horrifically tragically fast near the end if not caught properly in time) starves you to death.

Untreated, this can cause not just organ failure, but bone degradation, anemia, etc. and you are at risk for almost every possible communicable disease, as your immune system shuts down and you are no longer able to function properly. Mental acuity rampantly deteriorates, eye sight, sinus cavity issues, and every number of heinously painful maladies can begin to happen. This is not something people enjoy, though on the onset, it is touted as a ‘cool kids club’.

Here’s the frightening thought: over 50% of females WORLDWIDE (in non-third-world-country conditions obviously) who are 8-18 years of age are on some sort of restricted diet to control their weight. ((several sources state it’s as high as 63%, others as low as 48%, but most are around 51-53%)) – and upwards of 35% of males 10-19 are on diets as well.

These aren’t just the ones for medical issues like type-1 diabetes or celiac’s or other specific requirements. NO. These are children who have been allowed to eat whatever they like during their formative years, and then being forced to drastically change their diets in order to fit into a paradigm that fits society’s viewpoints. Instead of the parental guidance from the start to make healthy choices from the start.

I’ve known many people who have battled this, and watched a close schoolmate go from being the fun, charismatically lovable peppy girl with the enviously gorgeous blonde hair in grade 3, to the nearly bald, almost always sick, easily-broken-boned grade 12 student who had to have HELP STANDING UP to receive her diploma. She died less than eight weeks later. That’s one. Pretty much every female I’ve ever met has at least at one time in her life, purposely “skipped meals” in order to fit into a certain piece of clothing. Some perpetuate it longer than one pair of jeans; some never leave that mindset.

When anorexics do eat, they will use any manner possible in order to evacuate the food from their system as quickly as possible, going so far as to destroy their rectal cavities with enemas, suppositories, and eating laxatives as if they are the greatest meal ever made.

Your duodenal system, your endocrine system (thyroid, ovaries, testes, pancreas, etc), your intestines, your stomach, your kidneys, your liver, and your heart all need various nutrients every day, including food content for the bile and various enzymes and bacteria and acids to do their jobs.
Now, let me put this into glaring DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME kind of education:
When they don’t have that work to do… where do you think they are pulling those nutrients from? Where are they getting their daily jobs to do? The short (lay) answer is – from their surroundings. Over time, your body will start to go into shock, and will react to ANY substance as a possible storage item, so it can save it. Starvation mode is not healthy. It is NOT HEALTHY. I’m saying it again for those in the back… it’s not healthy. If you’re going days without a meal, seek professional help immediately. PLEASE.

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MIA – short for bulimia nervosa – is the condition referred to by some who want to be “hip” as ‘BnP’. Yup, this is the one you’ve read about in The Hunger Games, even though you didn’t realise it. The ijits at The Capitol think it’s oh-so-haute-couture to be able to ingest to their stomach’s capacity, swallow a pill, and chuck it all out to start again.

I’m going to point up at the ANA part and say “see all that stuff?” Yeah, well, let’s take all those, and add that your teeth will rot and your likelihood of throat cancer increases exponentially as well. Oh, why is that you ask? Because, when you’re shooting debris and bile (stomach acid) up your esophagus repeatedly, you’re making it raw, and that enables the opportunity to grow lesions – cysts – tumors – benign or malignant, you’re increasing the chances that someone who doesn’t throw up won’t have. Your teeth, because of all that fun acid in your mouth – no matter how much you brush your teeth, you’re always leaving some acid behind – they’re going to start losing the enamel, and you’re going to be getting brittle teeth, cavities, gum disease, and guess what? Malnourishment from oral decay is one of the top killers in elderly people – because they don’t have the teeth left to chew with, let alone the ability to swallow correctly. Imagine your worst case of strep throat, for the rest of your life, and you’re the one who knowingly contracted it, being peer-pressured into thinking it was “cool” to do.

This is a college favourite for girls, and yeah, I’m not proud of it, but I put my guilty ass in this one as well. Just over a year of doing this gave me the insane ability to drink any frat boy under the table, but it came with a price. Even only after a year of doing this on weekends, coupled with the bad oral care as a kid, horrible ex’s with big fists, and a host of other bad moments in my life, I have shit horrible teeth now. My gum line looks like a Scottish hillside, and I’m looking at (low US $ estimate from the dentist) oral surgery, teeth implants, and a jaw reconstruction, so that is roughly about $250,000, including a current back molar that is so loose, you’d think it was my first baby tooth falling out in kindergarten all over again.

Still think it’s cool to eat your weight in something and chuck it out?

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So, what was all this SHOCK and EWWW about anyway?

I’m pissed off that people think that BODY SHAMING is something to get politically correct over. When did we become the most butthurt society in history? I mean geez, are we seriously more prim and proper than Victorian uptight people? I shake my head to think that we’ve become do desensitised to violent behaviours, but mention the idea that someone be healthy, and people lose their collective shit.

I’ll put this into perspective:

If you’re a decent animal person, and you have a dog or cat in your home, let’s just assume you take your furry family member to the Dr for checkups. And Dr Vet tells you that Fluffy or Fido is overweight, that they really need to be on a restrictive diet, and get more exercise, how do you react?

Are you upset that your medically trained professional you pay for the privilege of knowing and treating your animal has given you unpleasant news, or do you educate yourself, grow up, and stop abusing your dog/cat and care enough about them to want them to live a happy healthy long life?

If you are not at your ideal weight, why would you be promoting your body as healthy? This isn’t fat shaming. This isn’t skinny shaming. This is a direct question. Why would you promote something that is unhealthy as healthy?

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Incoming snarkypixie rant:
Simply put, Facebook has cow-towed to the masses of whiners and bitchers and complaining overeaters who want to feel vindicated about their shitty choices by having a role model shame those of smaller size.

So now, Facebook technically can be under scrutiny from the ANA/MIA brigade, because they too have just as much rights according to this current fucking outcry of stupidity.

Slow clap for the mindless parade of uneducated reality-tv-driven imbeciles who are desperately trying to derail the actual good that is happening in the world.

 

Sera Hicks on Blogger
Sera Hicks
Creative Journey Leader, Intern Supervisor, Admin, Writer at Geeks and Geeklets
Geeky Hobbit-loving Whovian. Lover of chocolate, cats, and crafty things. Writer, Creative Journey Leader. It has to be better tomorrow.