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Is body-shaming dividing feminism?

Just last week Playboy Model Dani Mathers, body-shamed a fellow gym goer – and more importantly a fellow woman – by taking a picture of her on her snap chat account, with the unnecessarily nasty caption: ‘If I can’t unsee this you can’t either.’ Naturally, social media immediately exploded and criticised the former Playmate of The Year, calling her out for body shaming and also invading the woman’s privacy. Although Mathers did go on to offer a public apology, insisting what she did was absolutely wrong, that she absolutely loved all women an she would never do it again, it has raised the question: why do some women feel it’s okay to bully other women because of their looks?  fd83cf64827b45c3_1468514508-dani-mathers-body-shaming

Inappropriate, negative statements and attitudes towards another person due to their weight or size; or as we know it today, body-shaming. Over the last decade, the world has become increasingly obsessed with this negative activity, with unrealistic expectations of beauty feeding ones habit to criticise. The general consensus of society today is that, regardless of how you look, you should be ashamed of your body for all its imperfections. It is this constant desire to find the ideal body that it causing women to reject the ideas of sisterhood. Choosing to criticise other women as oppose to empower is cowardly and, as a society, we should not partake in body-shaming.

Body-shaming is neither encouragement nor concern; instead it is a judgemental comment that often has a greater detrimental effect than you ever thought possible. Body issues stemmed from childhood can affect your entire life; at twenty three years of age, I am still fighting demons stemmed from teenage name-calling. According to studies published in the Journal Behavioural Medicine 2016, people who are ashamed of their bodies have poorer overall health and become ashamed of natural bodily functions such as menstruating and eating. Is this really the kind of impact we want to have on other females because we’ve judged them in the most superficial of ways? Realistically, it is not very often that we walk the streets in our neighbourhoods to find a clone of Gigi or Kendal, so why compare people to a standard of beauty that does not fit with everyday reality. Nevertheless, this is not to take away from people who work hard to keep a trim figure, but if you do, own it. Cut out the “I don’t exercise, it’s just good genes,” rubbish and be proud of how hard you work for your banging bod.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to how one looks and yet we are forcefully told on a daily basis that a thin, tanned, young, rich and tall woman is the beauty ideal through several media sources. You can open a magazine to “lose five inches in two weeks for your bikini,” or open Instagram to be told that only supermodels can be deemed as ‘angels.’ You can even turn on your television and be hit with a plastic surgery advertisement entitled “make yourself amazing.” Well now it is time to fight back. If I were to lose inches it should be stemmed from health advice and actually, MYA, I don’t believe I need your boob job to make myself amazing; I’m pretty great as it is. These unrealistic expectations of women are having an adverse effect on our society and it is time to stick together to make a change.

Words: Rebecca Sweeney

Tweet Rebecca @RSweeneyx


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The UK's first Career & Lifestyle Magazine for women in the Creative and Media industries.

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