I knew, even as a child, I didn’t look like my mom. Skinny, gentle, delicate yet strong, long dark hair, flawless skin, a light complexion, and so pretty. Me, the complete opposite. Now, I adore, LOVE, my dad, but imagine at your most awkward, puberty-hormone driven age: random people, even relatives, coming up to you telling you, reminding you, how much you look like your dad, a man.
Growing up, I was a “healthy” girl with a round face, had enough hair to keep anyone warm during an Alaskan winter, wasn’t into dresses, but deep down I wished I looked more like my mom. Both my sisters took after her and I wished every day that they were a bit chubbier. Mean, I know but hey, I was a kid. It was my dad who reminded me, even in my ugly years (there were a lot), that I was pretty. Fortunately, I (sort of) grew into my looks, grew to appreciate my body, and eventually accepted the fact that I had man hands.
Like most people, I understood there are tall girls, short girls, chubby girls, pretty girls, fun girls, etc. It’s difficult for anyone, regardless of age, to be comfortable in their own skin. We all have wrinkles, zits, scars, and some fat here and there. (And if anyone says they don’t, they’re lying!) Before we only had magazines and television but now with a variety of social media to streamline the false perception of the perfect body we face a new age in body shaming. I fear that social media, as helpful as it, can also be equally poisonous. Negative, thoughtless comments can now reach masses in the matter of seconds. After the half-time show on Sunday, which I thought was amazing, people started commenting on Lady Gaga’s body, specifically her little bitty belly. Hell, I along with thousands, would be happy to have that “belly” compared to what we have now…I digress.
Thankfully, many came forward to support her portrayal of a healthy body image. After reading some of the ridiculous remarks online, my blood began to boil. Who do these assholes think they are? Will we sit aside and allow random usernames to fill our twitter, Instagram, whatever accounts with this rubbish? How will this effect young girls, women, their self-confidence, their self-worth?
Body shaming, another form of bullying, is just one of the many hurdles we all face; fortunately, many are taking a stance. One of my all-time favorite comedians, Amy Schumer, proudly posed topless for a 2016 calendar showing off her curves despite the unnecessary hateful critiques she received after. Alanna Masterson, from the “Walking Dead” shut down body shamers with her brutal honesty about being a working nursing new mother. Ashley Graham, a model, is also breaking the norm and false expectations as to what it takes to be a lingerie and swimsuit model. These women, along with so many are breaking barriers encouraging women and men to be proud of their bodies.
I am SICK and TIRED of body shaming. Yeah, it’s easy to sit behind your computer or phone and pass judgment on someone. I dare you to come out and let’s see what your ass looks like. Otherwise, here’s a solution: close your fucking eyes if you don’t like what you see.