Body shaming has become somewhat of a norm in our daily culture, which is saddening to think about. We are in a vicious cycle of attacking each other on how we look. Those who have extra pounds get shamed for being confident and wearing what they want. Likewise, however, people get shamed to being too "skinny." Or, you'll see posts of "Ew, she's too muscular, gross!" Of course, this goes for guys as well. It seems like we are constantly trying to find out what's wrong with one another and then point it out so that we can feel better about ourselves. We need to stop pointing fingers.
I was inspired to write this post after reading this article about a gal who dressed up as one of her favorite video game characters, Laura Croft, and got made fun of, very publicly, all over the web. If you haven't read that article, I highly recommend checking it out. Why? Well, because I know what it's like to be in her shoes, as do many of you I'm guessing. I've been all over the spectrum with my weight over the years. I was a chubby kid up until high school and got made fun of to the point where I wouldn't even ride the school bus and my parents took me to and from school every day. I went through moments with terrible acne where I felt like the ugliest girl alive and thought no boy would never like me. When I first got into fitness my weight got down to the lowest it's ever been for me; not "skinny" by any means, but I still got comments of "are you eating?" (because obviously one must starve themselves to lose weight). In the realm of costumes, I can relate to the writer of that article due to a group picture I was once part of where I dressed like my favorite female heroine, Psylocke, and it got posted to Marvel's Facebook page where I got to read lovely comments like, "Psylocke needs to lay off the KFC." It seemed like someone had something negative to say no matter where my weight was.
I just want you to realize something... shaming doesn't only exist towards those with extra weight on their bodies. I get sick of people posting great and well written articles like that one, just to read comments where people will then "thin shame" in retaliation. I enjoyed Caitlin's article because she keeps it personal, she doesn't turn around an attack those who attacked her. We need to stop attacking one another for being too fat, too thin, too muscular, and any other thing people get made fun of in regards to their appearance. We are all human, we all have emotions, and we are all beautiful no matter what our bodies look like, what color our skin is, and/or what struggles we may have that are visible outwardly.
I do, of course, promote healthy living in regards to exercise and nutrition for the main reason of feeling good and preventing disease... but exercise and nutrition doesn't always simply equal, "boom you're skinny!" There are so many things that come into play. For example, Caitlin has polycystic ovarian syndrome and hypothyroidism. With those two things one can eat all of the right things and workout but still struggle with weight. The important thing, though, is that internal organs are kept in good shape and health is good. Likewise, those who are quite skinny could easily be suffering from hyperthyroidism or, worse, an eating disorder (which is nothing to be made fun of and is very serious). The fact of the matter is, you have NO IDEA what someone may be going through or what effort they are putting in when you decide to shame them. Someone with extra pounds may struggle with a disease that makes weight loss a very slow and difficult process, but they could be working their butts off! Someone who is really skinny may be working with a therapist to overcome an eating disorder and your comments could be very damaging to their self esteem. You simply do not know! Those who get muscular do so out of passion, and who are we to say what someone should or should not be passionate about?
So, do me a favor. Stop judging. Next time you see a picture of someone you would've perhaps posted or thought something negative about, I challenge you to, instead, leave an uplifting comment for that person. The world will become a better place when we start loving each other and stop judging. If you are someone who is struggling, but working hard to improve upon your health, then keep on with your bad self and don't let the naysayers get you down! You know you, and that's what really matters. So, don't give up.
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Tags: body shame, body shaming, Caitlin Seida, cosplay, costume, costuming, disease, getting made fun of, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Laura Croft, love one another, My Embarrassing Picture Went Viral, overcoming struggles, thyroid disease, thyroid disorder, too fat, too muscular, too thin