Body Shaming by default – is it getting all a bit much?

body shaming rant wingz

 

It’s all over the Internet. Proud plus size women showing their bodies and loving it. Then being slated by idiots who think they should hide in a cave until they reach an acceptable size.

Then of course there’s lovely Callie Thorpe who was cruelly trolled and mercilessly insulted by people with nothing better to do because she had the audacity to be damn proud of her photo shoot in Vogue.

Body shaming is so last decade

We’re so over it. It’s so boring and dull. Why do the fat shamers even think that they are saying anything new/ hateful, hurtful, ignorant and cruel, yes. But new, original and different? Not at all.

We are totally behind any campaign to eradicate this non-stop bullying – and body shaming extends to thin people, tall people, red-heads, disabled people, older people, trans women and men  – basically anyone who is mocked for their body or appearance.

Are we missing the real issues?

What DOES get a bit much, I think (and this is the opinion of Wingz blogger, Sarah, and not necessarily Wingz themselves) is the constant slew of articles online telling us that we’re silently body shaming people when we don’t even know we’re doing it. Even if we are fat ourselves, because, you know, small fat privilege and all that.

There’s so much offence to be taken around the world at the moment. Body shaming, gender-phobia, trans-phobia, breast feeding shaming, cultural appropriation – it seems like every day we’re being told that we can’t say something for fear of upsetting another person and it’s just making most people – even those of us it’s theoretically supposed to protect – victims.

I was at a wedding the other day, in a dress with a massive petticoat underneath it. I joked at an older lady that I felt like an over-stuffed meringue and she said to me,

“Oh, don’t worry, we’re supposed to celebrate being tubby these days!”

Ok, I was a bit taken aback that she came out and said it, but I’m a big girl (literally) so did I get mortally offended? No. I laughed and repeated the story because it made me laugh. I am fat. There is no hiding that. She was trying to be nice. Even if the wires got a bit crossed.

What we REALLY need to get angry about…

We should probably save our ‘butt-hurt’ for people who are deliberately trying to be mean. And those who actually harm fat people by restricting our rights?

  • Perhaps direct our body shaming outrage at issues that really do matter to fat women (and men) like the way the NHS can discriminate against people over a certain arbitrary BMI and deny them important medical care until they lose enough weight to be considered worthy, even though in many cases dieting to lose weight has caused them to gain weight in response
  • Perhaps we could look at the way diets are prescribed by doctors, benefitting the big business slimming clubs that have a measly 5% success rate. The NHS is pouring money into short term fixes that don’t work and then blaming fat people for draining the NHS.
  • It’s also worth mentioning that lipoedema is mis-diagnosed as obesity and treatment is extremely difficult to get in the NHS because it LOOKS like fat. Women with the condition are told they should just go away, exercise more and eat less.
  • What about eating disorder funding? Getting any kind of specialised counselling for binge eating, compulsive eating or even bulimia is nigh-on impossible on the NHS. It was exactly the same 20 years ago when I was told that as an overeater who didn’t take laxatives or vomit it all back, I wasn’t a priority and I had to figure it out myself. That was in 1998. And I was five stone lighter then. If I’d been anorexic, thin and deserving of sympathy, I would quite rightly have been helped. But if obesity is such a problem, why is treatment for the causes of it, which are usually mind-led not available, just a sticking plaster diet approach that doesn’t work to treat the results of not treating the root causes, and which is doomed to fail?

I might be ruffling a few feathers saying this and online bullying is definitely something that we should get angry about and tackle. But perhaps all the focus on ‘accidental’ fat shaming and ‘small fat privilege’ (anyone up so a size 24 is privileged because they can still buy clothes, apparently. Try clothes shopping in the town I used to live in…) is detracting from the real issues?

What do you think?