Evils of body shaming lead to dangerous side effects

by: RACHEL MEANS/Staff Writer 

We live in a society where nothing is more important than appearances.

Our culture is absolutely obsessed with looks. Hundreds of teens have eating disorders because they feel like they’re too fat to be attractive. Hundreds more have low self-esteem and depression because they think they’re not good enough. And there’s no reason for it.

I don’t know how or when we all developed this desperate need to be perfect. It’s something we all struggle with, and it manifests itself in many horrible ways. One of these ways is body shaming.

Body shaming, for those who are unaware, is when someone is made to feel bad because of his or her appearance, often for traits he or she has no power to change. It’s something that’s been going on for a very long time. But it wasn’t until recently that people have been actively taking steps to stop it.

body-shaming

The most dangerous thing about body shaming is that it has somehow become normalized. No one questions the fact that the fat kid gets teased; that’s just how school works. We all have been guilty of it at some point in our lives, and we may not have even realized we were doing it. You may just be trying to be funny, but your words can have serious effects on someone. If the words are negative, so will be the results of them.

It’s also safe to say that we’ve all been victims of body shaming. At some point in your life, you will undoubtedly be teased because someone else decided that you’re not pretty enough. With our unrealistic beauty standards, it’s completely unavoidable. No matter how hard you work, there’s always going to be something about you that’s just not quite right.

We’ve all been told that we’re too fat/too skinny/too tall/too short/too feminine/too masculine, and we all know how horrible it feels to hear those things. But we still turn around and tell someone else the same thing. It’s just a never-ending cycle of cruelty.

But there is some good news. In the past few years, the world has awakened and realized just how damaging body shaming can be. Now many good people are working to put an end to it completely.

Projects such as Youtube’s “Dare to Be You” campaign bring awareness to those who need it and let them know that there is nothing wrong with just being who you are.

Likewise, the current trend of songs about being confident in yourself has helped spread the word in a big way. With songs such as Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass” and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” playing on the radio non-stop, it’s a safe bet that the next generation will get the message that they’re fine just the way they are.

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