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Get the Skinny on Body-Shaming

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Chapman chapter.

Our society is turning into one big bully. It’s becoming normal to point fingers and sling negative comments towards anyone who is different, which is each and every one of us. Recently, Meghan Trainor, singer of chart-topping single “All About That Bass,” has reminded us just how accepted this man-eat-man behavior has become in our culture. 

Her weapon of choice? Body-shaming. 

Simply put, body-shaming is publicly criticizing others based on their physical characteristics. More often than not, our culture recognizes body-shaming as discriminating against overweight people. Societal pressures to lose weight and be skinny are everywhere. We think it’s appropriate to congratulate people when they lose weight because that’s the whole point, right? Please. It may be a fact that America holds all kinds of records when it comes to obesity, but we’re missing something. 

Body-shaming isn’t specific to the overweight or underweight. 

With so much focus on eliminating the negativity towards obesity, we’ve forgotten half of the problem! Almost. Meghan Trainor (actually her mom) swooped in to inform us that “boys they like more booty to hold at night,” sending a message that thin girls should expect to be forever alone. No booty, no boys. 

The prejudiced lyrics in Meghan’s song have the exact same effect on underweight individuals as insults and expectations of overweight ones do. Body-shaming is a problem for everyone. It’s nationwide. Before you start a sentence with “she would look so pretty if…” or use one-liners like “real women have curves,” think about what you are saying.

There is a way to fix this problem and it starts with you

Emphasize values, character, and personality before bringing appearance into your judgments. Or better yet, don’t judge to begin with. We’ve heard the phrase a million times because it’s true: we are more than what we look like. No matter how many artists on the radio continue to sing about body-shaming, or discrimination of any kind for that matter, don’t lose sight of what’s important.