Shaming Bodies, Hating Ourselves

“EAT A SANDWICH!” “LOSE SOME WEIGHT!” “Anorexic.” “With how fat you are, it’s a wonder you got a husband.” These are some of the contradicting statements made on a woman who is “too skinny” or “too fat,” and thereby worthy of shaming. It just really hit me that ALL women, not just us plus-size “big girls” are getting body shaming. I guess it’s a revelation when you learn you are not alone in one fight. I really thought I was alone as I got fat shamed in the comments section of anywhere. My weight is none of your business, thank you, though people seem to think some stranger’s weight is their business. It’s for their health, you say! But is it really for your health, as you claim, or is it because you don’t want to look at it? Is it about THEM, or is it about YOU?

Most of the time, I surmise it is about you. People seem to go after a certain body type because it is too much one way or another. Take, for example, my own guilty actions: I have often compared myself to Keira Knightley (and I’m sorry for doing so), finding myself coming up short. Maybe I should not hold her up on that perfect-body pedestal. Some bloggers called her “anorexic,” which I suspect is not true. My own experience with weight and body is markedly different, but I have known people who can eat double the meat and cheese in a burger than me and not gain a pound. Bodies are different, people! Why are we shaming them when they are similar or different? I haven’t been this objectively cruel to Melissa McCarthy or Tess Holliday (though others have), but why be cruel in the first place? to anybody?

I suspect, as I learn through apology blogs (like this one), that this is a personal-societal condition called “training the woman to hate herself in order to keep me (the man) in power.” Now, women are trained to hate their looks by being gotten to obsess on them. A good example of this is Caitlyn Jenner. For those who do not know, Caitlyn Jenner is the woman Bruce Jenner is transitioning into. Before, as Bruce, the media focused on the courage it took to confess what was in “his” heart. After Caitlyn emerged, however, it was all about “her” looks that people talked about. We are well-trained, from birth, what to value in a person, especially where gender is concerned. In women, it is clearly looks and caretaking, or measuring up to the Great Standard of Beauty. In men, it is strength and money making, or the Great Protector-Provider stereotype. Both genders are taught to shallowly measure a person’s worth by these Grand Illusions, these theoretical and clearly non-existent people. I am looking for this from a woman’s viewpoint, but I wanted to get out that men fall down under the weight of their own Grand Illusion as well. In relating to the woman’s view, she is taught to obsess about her looks, because that is her apparent value – as a DNA packet and child-bearer, because her worth is in bearing children and…no, that’s it. Bearing children, preferably sons. I am not liking this kind of thinking. It does not help anyone to measure them up to a standard they will fail anyway. But if they do, people will automatically assume that people cheated to make that standard, such as through eating disorders for women, or steroids for men. People, by these impossible, unattainable measurements, are taught to hate themselves and each other, and they do. As a result, we get nasty internet comments, because we need to spread around this hate and make others as miserable as we ourselves are.

I hope I have enlightened you on people’s general tendency toward keyboard bullying.

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