Opinion Web Exclusive

Double standards in body shaming almost as bad as body shaming itself

The bullying tactic of singling out or making fun of someone who is overweight is referred to as “fat shaming.” With today’s media, people are encouraged to weigh as little as possible — not for health reasons, but for beauty. Because this prejudice needs to end, people have coined the term fat shaming and expose those who are guilty of it.

In an effort to get rid of this stigma and have someone who is bigger feel better about themselves, some people on social media encourage “bigger is better” and “real men like curves, dogs like bones.” While this makes those who are overweight feel better, it also makes it seem that putting down someone because of their weight if they’re thin is alright — just not if they’re overweight. This double standard is present and something needs to change.

This has led to “thin shaming.” Although not as apparent as fat shaming, those who tend to be on the lean side still face ridicule from others. “Both fat shaming and thin shaming are present in today’s society,” said biology freshman Haley Magar. “Fat shaming is arguably more prevalent, depending on your definition of the phrase, but thin shaming is often much more widely accepted.”
It seems that this is true — that even though those who claim to be advocates against “fat shaming,” they put thinner people down in a way to make bigger people feel better about themselves. “I’m a bigger girl myself, and thin shaming sickens me just as much as fat shaming. Shaming anyone’s body type is deplorable,” Magar said.
Instead of making a difference between fat shaming and thin shaming, we should all just recognize it as “body shaming.” It’s sick, really — making fun of someone’s body whether they weigh 200, 300 or 100 pounds. All types of size shaming needs to end. Just because fat shaming is more evident, that doesn’t make thin shaming okay. That’s just like saying, “Well, I support racial equality, but only for African Americans since they are the only ethnic group that are frequently persecuted.”
No. If you support racial equality, you support all races. If you’re against body shaming, you’re against all types of shaming. If someone is making fun of another’s weight, it is still wrong and it is still shaming and this whole idea that weight affects a person’s beauty should be changed. Creating this double standard is not making any progress toward the “everybody is beautiful” ideal.
Opinion columnist Blake Mudd is a journalism freshman and may be reached at [email protected]

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