In her second editorial, Méadhbh Crowley reacts to recent body shaming comments.
It has sadly become the norm for us to critique others’ appearances. Whether it be celebrities or people walking past us in the street, we can’t help but give them a quick once over before sharing our opinions with our peers. What we tend to forget is that there are actual people behind our snide remarks, people who have feelings.
I’m not writing this for your sympathy; I’m not that kind of person, but I feel many other people could relate to what I have to say. During a recent trip to the gym I walked into the empty dressing room buzzing from my workout, full of confidence. It wasn’t until I started to get changed that I heard two voices from across the room, critiquing other women they had seen in the gym quite loudly. “Did you see the state of yer wan?”, one of the girls asked, “She was about 20 stone, how could you miss her? I thought she’d break the treadmill” replied her friend.
I too had seen this woman at the gym and didn’t think anything of it; everyone going to the gym usually has the common goal, improving ourselves for both our physical and mental health. They continued their gossip until they reached their last victim, me. “That girl running beside us would look so much better if she lost some weight and toned that Kim Kardashian sized arse” said the first girl. “Yeah she could definitely afford to lose a few pounds, but she’s more like fat Khloé than Kim”.
As I appeared from behind the corner to exit the dressing room, the girls who had criticised me and many other women’s appearances apologised profusely assuring me that they weren’t talking about me at all, I knew this was a lie. I don’t know what hurt more, the thought they said these things about me or that they said these things quite vocally in a public place, where any of their other victims could have heard.
I’m 5ft and 55kgs, the ideal weight for my height, but after these comments I felt like ten times this, constantly checking myself in the mirrors and refusing to wear any clothes that were too clingy for fear that more people would agree with those comments. Never had I felt so self-conscious since I was thirteen years old. Feeling down, I went to my guilty pleasure celebrity gossip to see what one of my now former idols, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini was up to. I was shocked to see someone who has publically struggled with her weight has said it is wrong to tell someone who is obese that they look great. According to Cheryl “You’ll never be allowed to say to somebody ‘oh, you look a bit fat’. And being overweight is unhealthy – it’s actually a bad message to tell someone who is obese that they look ‘curvy’ or ‘great’. But she also added that she wants body shaming banned. Double standards much ?
Whatever a person’s weight they should not have to be subject to ridicule, once they are happy and healthy it shouldn’t matter weight they are and more importantly it shouldn’t matter to us. Body shaming should not progress any further, it is destructive not the evolution we should be making in the world. Everyone should feel they look great despite others public or private reservations. Most importantly we should love ourselves and ignore the haters.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifetime romance” – Oscar Wilde