Since when did it become acceptable to insult a fellow female based upon her body mass?
Last time I checked it was never.
But for some reason, unbeknown to myself, woman appear to have emerged in their masses with the objective of publicly revealing their hostility towards anyone within the female species who does not meet their own hypothesis of what a woman should look like. This isn’t a new occurrence of course. We know woman have been publicly slamming each other for many a year. You only have to flick through Hello magazine or some other celebrity magazine to see woman criticising one another based upon aesthetics. Hey, who knew that celebrities got cellulite too? And surely Kiera Knightly can’t just be naturally thin so let’s accuse her of suffering from a mental disorder?
But more recently woman appear to be more obvious about their abuse, expecting the female population to applaud their obnoxious teachings.
Take Meghan Trainor’s All About that Base as an example of the recent popular trend of skinny shaming.
Whether Meghan is oblivious to the fact her words are harmful or not is a question only she can answer. The song starts out as a positive message aimed at young woman.
I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop
If you got beauty, beauty, just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top
However, Meghan then goes on to tell woman that she’s ‘got that boom boom that all the boys chase’ and how ‘Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.’. I may be right to assume that Meghan doesn’t know of the sexual preferences of the entire male population. And to make such an assumption about what ‘boys chase’ is damaging to both young females and males. Such popular songs are surprisingly influential over the younger generations like most of pop culture. Numerous studies have been undertaken in America to prove that violent music and lyrical content increase the likely hood of aggressive behaviour in certain children and adolescents, so what’s to say that other types of harmful music won’t have as much of a detrimental effect on young people when it comes to personal relationships and self esteem.
But these lyrics could still been seen as somewhat playful and just pocking a little fun at naturally slender females (though I assume if the shoe was on the other foot it would be classed as straight up bullying). That is until Trainor really let’s herself down with the following lyrics which were kindly pointed out to me by my friend, Alice, on Facebook.
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that
No, I’m just playing. I know you think you’re fat
It’s not until you observe these lyrics more closely you actually realise what they truly mean and it morphs from a little name calling to a more serious subject matter.
- Do you feel fat even though people tell you you’re not?
This question is one that I just copied and pasted from helpguide.org about the signs of one of the world’s most serious mental illnesses, Anorexia Nervosa.
I realise that in a few paragraphs I’ve gone from slamming a young singer song writer for criticising woman of a smaller figure to discussing the seriousness of Anorexia, taking the mood from light to dark in a matter of a few sentences. But is that not exactly what the song’s own lyrics have done?
I don’t pretend to be an expert on mental health but it’s always been something that’s interested me from a young age. And since going through my own mental health issues , I’ve realised how important it is to be honest and open about it’s effects on people of all ages and backgrounds.
It’s a scary fact that ‘an estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of women suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime’, statistics taken straight from the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.
And it’s even more worrying that ‘20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems’.
So, as much as Megan Trainor probably did not intend nor set out to insult and discriminate against thousands of mentally ill young woman across the world, that’s exactly what she has done.
It’s a serious topic and not something anyone should ever use as an insult or a jibe, especially someone within the public eye who can be seen as a role model.
I’ve personally have never been a large girl and from the moment I hit 10 I was considered to be underweight. It was never really an issue. After all I came from a slender family and it was never in my genes to be over weight. I never really noticed how skinny I was until I was in middle school. People would often throw the odd insult and I was none the wiser, content with the assumption that I might grow into myself and wake up with a pair of humongous tits and an arse the size of the London Eye one morning. Sadly, I continued to stay extremely thin. I ate regularly and there was never any doubt as to whether I had a good appetite, but maybe, due to what I can only assume is a high metabolism, I have maintained a slender figure.
And as I’ve mentioned previously, this was never so much of an insecurity to me until my mid teens. High school was the worst. I hated PE. Not just because I hated the cold (that’s one of the negatives of being so small, your fingers/toes will turn to ice in the winter and it’s not so cool when your name isn’t Elsa) but also it was usually the time of the week I got the most unpleasant comments about my weight.
‘Wow, your so skinny! Do you not eat very much?’
‘Look at your wrists compared to mine, they are so skinny’
‘Are you anorexic?’ to which I would reply ‘no’ and they would look at me with a judgmental look before saying ‘Are you sure?’
Oh well now you come to mention it I’m not sure if I have an eating disorder which would consume the majority of my days and ruin my entire childhood.
That question is not just an insult to me, it’s an insult to anyone that’s ever battled an eating disorder.
I hate to think anyone would starve themselves to be skinny but it’s a harsh reality that woman (and even a percentage of men) suffer from eating disorders.
Yet skinny shaming, without actually thinking about the impact the words have, has become a common practice in recent years. We don’t know other people’s stories. We can’t assume that someone who is extremely thin is choosing to be that way of their own accord. The same also applies to anyone who is of a larger build. Everyone has struggles and worries we cannot necessarily see nor understand.
We also don’t know if they are naturally skinny, like myself.
Skinny shaming is almost being held as some triumph within society, as if by criticising woman of a slender build it will somehow hold a beacon for woman of all shapes and sizes to accept and love themselves. Some may even say that skinny shaming was a long time coming. We have seen in previous years curvy woman criticised for embracing their body types, such as the incident in which Karl Lagerfeld called singer Adele ‘fat’ in less obvious terms.
But as you’ve probably heard your parents utter at least once in your childhood, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Without trying to sound like I’m quoting Mean Girls, why can’t woman just accept one another regardless of shape or size? Is it not possible to be beautiful in all forms?
Criticising other woman will not make you feel good about yourself. It will just make you sound bitter.
You wouldn’t dream of pointing out how large someone is when walking down the street, so try not to mention how skinny someone is like it’s some kind of compliment to be admired.
Due to the comments I have received about my weight, more recently a comment in which someone begged me to eat more, I can’t help but feel insecure about the way I look. I hate wearing bikini’s, find it hard to wear figure hugging clothes and most importantly, can’t help but feel it effects my relationships with the opposite sex. So it’s even more upsetting to hear female singers slating anyone who wasn’t born to be curvy.
Please think before you applaud the likes of Meghan and Nicki Minaj for their ‘inspiring lyrics’ which intend to make woman feel better about themselves, because their messages can be just as harmful as the models on a Victoria Secret’s runway. Skinny shaming in the form of song lyrics or magazine comments is just as bad as shaming larger woman. It intends to turn woman kind against each other, with bitter words and indoctrination, and that’s the last thing woman kind needs.
(P.S. I’m pretty sure that anyone who believes that the lyrics ‘I wanna see all the big fat ass bitches in the motherfucking club, fuck you if you skinny bitches’ is inspiring might just need to book themselves a reality check of some sort)
Quote of the Day:
CHECK YO’SELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF
(aka. don’t speak badly of others and accept that people come in all different forms)