Thoughts on Body Judgement and Body Shaming. AKA – I Fell Down the Rabitt Hole of HuffPo Comments

 

Last week a post I published here called Don’t Make the Thin Girl Ugly was republished on the Huffington Post.  I knew when I wrote the post that some people wouldn’t understand where I was coming from.  I knew that I could potentially be putting myself in the path of arrows aimed at “thin privilege”, but I felt it was worth saying what I had to say. I still do.

My post was a reaction to a petition I found calling for a ban on using extremely thin models. The comments on the petition, for the most part bashed a picture of a very thin young woman.

Dissecting and judging someone else’s’ body, and then using that to pass judgement on them and their life as a whole should not be acceptable.  I don’t feel that excluding or labeling a specific body type as ugly in order to make another feel vindicated is the right path toward promoting healthy body image.

If you have not read the piece, you can click and read it here, otherwise the rest of what you see on this page may not make as much sense.

When you use a large platform like the Huffington Post, your words get seen by tens of thousands of people.  Naturally there will be a wide range of responses.  Most of the emails and comments I received were very supportive, and a lot of them were “me toos”.  I’m not going to talk about those here though. Although I appreciate the support, and the “me toos” are why I blog – the real discussion tends to happen when the tough comments come in.  There are people who miss the whole point of the article, and some that don’t miss it… and just don’t agree.

I fell down the rabbit hole of comments.  Here is a look into some of them.

 

Clueless comment

Clueless reply.jpg

 

 

anorexic comment.jpg

 

 

grace comment.jpg

 

 

The comment with extremely poor grammar.jpg

 

 

Thin privilege comment.jpg

fire with fire counterproductive.jpg

 

 

I post some of this here because I believe these are discussions worth having.  I’ve talked before about focusing less on what’s on the outside. I think our altruistic hearts all know that the shell is not the substance… but when it comes to advertising and media, it’s mostly visual – and these images need to change.  I know that it has been one very thin image that has been glorified for a long time.  Trampling one to uplift the other is often the tendency, but not the answer.  Inclusion not exclusion seems to me to be a healthier goal.

 

jenni chiu sig

 

Discussion

  1. Dixie says:

    *sigh* bitterness – making people illiterate since the papyrus days
    Obviously they gleaned only what they wanted from your article and then saw it reflected back in the distorted mirror of their own minds and experiences.

    Except the grace comment – that was just odd and highly inaccurate haha.

  2. Chrissy says:

    It is appalling to see that people simply assume we, the skinny girls, are always anorexic or bulimic. I was born underweight, grew up underweight all of my life. I know the struggle of being called “toothpick” and various other mean and hurtful things. I remember trying to tell guys I liked, that I liked them and getting the “Ew. You’re ugly.” or “Ew. You’re too skinny.” I understand the struggle of drinking ensure, carnation breakfast essentials, and various other supplements to try to gain weight. My mother’s side of the family are heavyset, while my dads side of the family are moderately average, (Slender, but not sickly appearing slender, like me.)

    I remember one summer, I spent the entire summer at my aunts, I was about 11-12. My aunt fed me nothing but McDonald’s to try to fatten me up, and all that did was make me want to eat nothing but McDonald’s.. My mom wasn’t too pleased with that. I have never once purged myself, or fasted. I can take the “all-you-can-eat-buffet” seriously. I remember the last time I went to one (That was last summer.) I ate 7 overflowing plates of various foods- ranging from Chinese, Italian, and American, 5 plates overflowing with fruit (Mostly watermelon ?), and 4 plates and 2 bowls of desserts. I was still hungry, even though I looked like I was pregnant with how full my stomach was.

    My mother thought it was a miracle when I finally broke 100lbs, (I was like 13 when that happened) but now I struggle staying over 100lbs. I’m 21, standing at 5’10″. I weighed myself yesterday, and I only weigh 114lbs. It’s a struggle, because I WANT to be 130lbs, I WANT to be heavier. But I am far too active, with a high metabolism to accomplish this deed. So instead, I’m lifting weights and trying to build a “muscle mass” weight.

    In high school I had girls telling me they wished they looked like me, and my immediate response was, “No, you don’t. I have doctors constantly asking me if I’m purging myself, if I’m fasting, I have people insulting my slender frame, and I don’t like being this skinny, even if it was a natural occurrence. I would much rather be like you, than be like me. Love yourself for who you are, and what you look like, because goodness knows I’m struggling to do just that.”

    So, Thank you, for making it clear that not all girls and women are instantly “sickly” because we’re slender. We struggle with our weight, just like the heavier girls and women struggle with theirs. There is no “Oh you’re fine.” Because the media doesn’t allow us to be “Fine.” We’re all beautiful the way we are, no matter what size we are.

  3. I know this rabbit hole too well my friend. I had to stop reading the comments on 3-Year-Olds are Assholes on HuffPost because people hated me openly.

    You responded eloquently to these folks. Good work!
    Old School/New School Mom recently posted..Many People (Myself Included) Cannot Take a Compliment

  4. doobie brother says:

    I’ve worked for three major figures in the modelling industry including one very famous model and one Elite scout/agent, I can tell the difference between bad retouching, naturally thin and severe eating disorders. Many Gay male designers prefer boyish bodies because they prefer men’s bodies over women’s as well. What you are missing is that the model in the YSL advert is verifiable as an anorexic (common knowledge) just as a few plus size models who are severely and morbidly obese to where they have a difficult time walking. Neither should be shamed or ridiculed yet neither should be used as marketing tools. They banned candy cigarettes for reason.

    • If she is indeed anorexic, then I hope she is getting the help she needs. I don’t think the person who started the petition knew she had confessed to having an eating disorder. I don’t think the majority of those that signed it did either. I still don’t think that “banning” thin girls is a better answer than showing a wider variety of body types. I looked very much like that model, and I wasn’t sick. I’m not saying that anorexia doesn’t exist in the industry… But a war cry of “ugly” and “disgusting” helps no one. Instead we should lessen the pressure to be thin by broadening the types of models used.

  5. dixie says:
  6. Dannielle MacNeil says:

    This was maybe the second or third time I’ve ever come across a discussion about this subject. So happy (for lack of better words) to see this problem being acknowledged by an intelligent, confident woman who speaks from experience. It’s not headline news. Many people might not really care, but it does speak to those of us who have struggled with this issue and, if anything, points the spotlight on the absurd hypocrisy that some people hold concerning the body image/media thing. If you have to bash on others to make your point, in the end, you’ve become exactly what you set out to fight against in the first place.

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  1. […] Chiu subsequently wrote a follow up piece on her blog, Mommy Nani Booboo and she stood her […]

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