Shame (n): a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong (Merriam-Webster)
I recently read an article about the difference between fat-shaming and skinny-shaming. Although I respect everyone’s opinion, I found myself completely bewildered by some of the statements it made. The general idea was that fat-shaming remarks stick, whereas skinny-shaming remarks might hurt but will be forgotten. I want to share my take on this whole idea of “shaming” someone for their body.
As defined by the dictionary, shame involves a feeling that you have personally done something wrong. We shame each other for our physical bodies on a regular basis, and for some reason, society perpetuates the cycle. If you wear plus sizes, you have done something wrong; if you wear a double-zero, you have done something wrong. There is no way to win when we tell people their body is something they should literally feel shame over because shame implies you acted incorrectly. That’s right, there was an action that you took that was wrong, and in this case, that “action” is your body. Your very physical being is wrong.
Anyone with a little self-confidence can see that this is absolutely absurd. You did nothing wrong by being born into the body you currently reside in. You might have mistreated that body by feeding it fattening foods or neglecting to feed it entirely, but you did nothing wrong by residing in it.
The idea that fat-shaming sticks more than skinny-shaming is also obscene. There are women struggling every single day to make themselves eat a meal, and those women are very often underweight. Do you think they do that because society’s skinny-ideal did not stick with them? No. It’s exactly the opposite.
We can argue and debate whether fat-shaming or skinny-shaming is worse all day long, but that’s just silly. Body-shaming is wrong. Feeling sad or guilty or embarrassed because you woke up in your own skin this morning is wrong. Let’s stop shaming each other, fat or skinny or in-between. Do not look down on someone because they have a few extra pounds, and do not look down on someone because of a protruding collar bone. Instead, lift those people up in prayer.
Do not be ashamed of your body. Love it. You will not take care of something you do not love, and by taking care of your body, you can make a difference in your own life. Look in the mirror and accept that person. Yes, you might could lose some weight, and yes, you might could gain some weight. The truth of the matter is no two bodies are going to be alike, but a healthy body makes for a happy heart. Do not feel ashamed of your body. Feel proud. It got you this far in life, and if you love and take care of it, just imagine where you will go.