Body shaming is, unfortunately, a rather integral component of social media today.
Just the other evening, I was watching a video posted to Instagram, by a male, scrutinizing a woman for her physical appearance. The comment section was absolutely topic, and reading such hurtful, awful words encouraged me to recognize how sad it is that we, as a society, are still heavily body shaming in 2019.
Honestly, what do we gain from putting others down and acknowledging their insecurities? Perhaps it makes some people feel empowered, superior, even, to draw attention in a negative manner away from themselves and towards another. Personally, I fail to understand how anyone could gain anything from bullying, yet I still see it, almost daily, via social media.
I would argue that body shaming is so prominent across social media because social media platforms tend to be interpersonal. You post comments, like posts, retweet and share, yet there is no human element associated with these actions. We hide behind screens, large and small, and feel protected by our isolation, thus prompting some people to put others down.
With mental health being more relevant today than ever before, you would think instances of bullying would be diminishing. And perhaps they have, to some extent, but I still don’t think we are where we need to be considering recent social progressions.
I think it’s also important to reiterate the observation that body shaming is not something that is specifically associated with women. Men experience body shaming as well, from other men and women, just as women experience it from men and women. It is not gender-specific, nor is it unique to specific ethnicities and races. It is everywhere, and it must be recognized and further challenged to decrease the occurrences of body shaming in all contexts and educate others of its lasting, negative effects.
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