People still don’t want to confront the word, even with P-H-A-T, like, ‘Whitney you`re not fat, you`re phat.’ I`m like no – I`m fat! It`s just a word. It is what I am; I`m just not embarrassed of it. It`s not a shameful thing for me. I have struggles and I have different issues that go along with being fat, just like everyone has issues, but I`m not embarrassed of the fact that I`m fat. On the other hand, I`m also not proud that I`m fat. People say that a lot: ‘Why are you proud to be fat?’ I`m just proud to be myself, I just happen to be fat. – Whitney Way Thore
I am pretty sure by now that most of you have read stories on social media about this new trend called “Body Shaming”. Actually I take that back, it is not a new trend, it has been around for a very long time. It`s just that if you are not a victim of this shaming, you are not aware of it; or you have recently became aware of it from recent stories on social media websites. Everybody could fall victim to being body shamed, some more prone than others. Normal people like you and I can be victims.
This summer 25 year old Rachel Taylor was shopping with her husband at their local Old Navy store for an outfit to wear on the Fourth of July. When a teenage girl across from her picked up a plus sized tank top with an american flag design and made a comment to her mother that her and one of her friends could both fit in that tank; then the girl and her mother both started to laugh. Taylor left the store in tears and sat in the car for a little bit. With some encouragement from her husband, she went back into the store and tried on the shirt and took a photo of her in it and shared it to her Facebook page and the amount of support she received from the picture was amazing. Taylor felt so beautiful in the tank that she bought it and wore it the next day (July 4th). Here is the link to a TV stations coverage on the story; http://wgntv.com/2015/07/07/womans-selfie-in-old-navy-tank-top-goes-viral-for-unexpected-reason/ .
“I ended up buying that tank because, it turns out, I look fierce in it! Be kind. Think about others before you speak. And if someone hurts you, you have to move on.” – Rachel Taylor
Even a celebrity can be a victim of body shaming. A week ago pop artist Selena Gomez released the cover to her new and upcoming album. People went crazy over this picture and comments were made on all of her social media accounts. Some of you might be asking yourselves how this album cover relates to body shaming, it is the picture that did it for the viewers.
Yes she is topless, but it is a tasteful and beautiful photograph of the artist. She is in underwear, and her breast are covered, so this is not an R rated photo. An Instagram user made the following comment on the photo: “You need to work out. Please stop eating junk food. She is not curvy at all…shes an actress she needs to tone her body, in the business sadly the image is important i`m just saying that she needs to work out.” Other comments were supportive of the pop artist and encouraged her and shared words of excitement on the upcoming album. In a recent interview Gomez stated “I am not going to let them get to me. I can do what I want. I`m not doing that all the time. It`s beautiful. It represents that it`s bare. I don’t want diamonds and things all over me for the cover and really thick makeup. I wanted it natural…so geez!” Here is a link to the Eonline article that did the interview with Gomez: http://www.eonline.com/news/694876/selena-gomez-speaks-out-against-body-shaming-admits-she-did-gain-a-little-weight-but-didn-t-really-mind .
Another human being that has been the target of body shaming is Whitney Way Thore. Who in the time period of almost a year, posted a video of herself dancing on youtube and titled it “A Fat Girl Dancing”. The video received more views than Thore could have imagined. In fact it gained so much attention that she did a few interviews on talk shows and has her own show on TLC called My Big Fat Fabulous Life. How could someone receive so much stardom just from one video? You will just have to watch the video to understand.
Whitney has struggled with body image since her childhood. After twenty-nine years of living with weight fluctuations, eating disorders, self-doubt, the diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and depression; Thore decided that it was time to turn her life around. She picked herself up off the ground and raised above those who put negativity on anyone just because they are ‘different’. Thore also returned to her number one passion in her life, that passion is dance. Thore has also created a blog titled No Body Shame Campaign. In her TV show and her blog she inspires those to live their lives fabulously and that anything along with promoting self-love and acceptance. Here are a couple of inspirational videos from Whitney! Please watch both videos. The first one is Whitney giving a message of support to everyone, the second video shows Whitney learning how to overcome her weight issues and riding a bike along with saying goodbye to carbs so she can fight diabetes (as of right now she is pre-diabetic).
The next video is her on the bike.
Whitney Way Thore in a recent Instagram post.
Goal: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, let what others say about you get you down. They may think that you are different and thats okay because you really are. You are not the one that is shaming someone else because of how they look. We are our OWN worst critics; that means that it doesn’t matter what anyone says about your height, weight, completion, face; because in the end all that really matters is that YOU love YOURSELF. Stay Strong like Rachel, Selena, and Whitney because at the end of the day they were the ones that were beautiful.