What’s the deal with body-shaming?

Body-shaming is everywhere! Our society has fallen into a vicious cycle of judging the appearance of others. Our Instagrams are flooded with images of flawless women, celebrities continue to endorse crash diets and magazines still Photoshop their photographs. No wonder we hate our bodies and criticise the bodies of others. That being said, there are a select few brands and celebrities who are fighting against body-shaming and I love them for it!

Last month, I read an article about Victoria Secret model, Candice Swanepoel, who fired back at body-shamers who commented on her post-pregnancy body after photographs surfaced of her in a bikini while on vacation in Brazil. Candice took to Instagram Stories to hit back at the body-shamers.

body-shaming
Screengrab: @angelcandices
The text reads:

“This is me 12 days after having my son. If you have something bad to say about it… check yourself. Society can be so cruel to one another. Beauty standards are sometimes impossible for women these days, I’m not ashamed to show my postpartum tummy, I am proud actually… I carried my son for 9 months in there, I think I’ve earned the right to have a little tummy, is it because I’m a model? Well we are normal people too so let me enjoy the beach in peace please.”

Later, Candice posted another story on her Instagram:

body-shaming
Screengrab: @angelcandices
The text reads:

“I don’t have to hide my stomach just because people have unrealistic standards of women. We create life… what can you do? Ladies we are all in this together be kind to each other. Xo”

After reading the article, I felt inspired by Candice’s story and seeked out other celebrities and brands who recently chose to fight back against body-shamers, challenge society’s body ideals and dare to embrace their bodies.

Beyoncé

In Vogue’s September issue, Beyoncé opened up about, and praised, her postpartum body and explained how her body has changed after having a C-section.

“I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be. After six months, I started preparing for Coachella. I became vegan temporarily, gave up coffee, alcohol, and all fruit drinks. But I was patient with myself and enjoyed my fuller curves. My kids and husband did, too,” she wrote. “To this day my arms, shoulders, breasts, and thighs are fuller. I have a little mommy pouch, and I’m in no rush to get rid of it. I think it’s real. Whenever I’m ready to get a six-pack, I will go into beast zone and work my ass off until I have it.”

Although she did not directly comment on body shaming, her words had an incredible effect on her followers who were inspired by her body acceptance and not falling for society’s pressures.

Ashley Graham

Supermodel, Ashley Graham, is a known body activist. She has inspired thousands of women with her body-positive attitude and her goal to change the body ideals of women. Ashley frequently confronts those who use their online anonymity to criticise her and she is not afraid to stand up to people she refers to as “bullies”. In one of her recent swimsuit ads, Ashley hit back at people who were body shaming her over photographs showing her cellulite. Instead of hiding behind photoshopped images for her swimsuit ads, Ashley chose to use non-retouched paparazzi shots to show women how to embrace their flaws and love who they are.


The Instagram post was captioned:

“Introducing my latest @swimsuitsforall collection! We decided to use unedited paparazzi shots as the campaign images. Reminder: being authentic is beautiful. Shop my new collection now (link in bio).”

Chromat

Another swimsuit campaign which promotes body inclusivity is Chromat. The campaign featured industry activists and models, Mama Cax, Ericka Hart, Denise Bidot, Emme and Geena Rocero. The women in this campaign are not afraid to show off their body hair, curves, scars, stretch marks and cellulite. The campaign’s goal is to normalise diversity and to empower women no matter how they identify or what they look like.

body-shaming
Chromat

Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen recently posted a raw and unedited video of her self-proclaimed “mom bod” where she spoke out about trying to accept her body after giving birth. She explained her decision to share the video across social media on Twitter, tweeting: “Instagram is crazy. I think it’s awesome people have killer bodies and are proud to show them off (I really do!!) but I know how hard it can be to forget what (for lack of a better word) regular ol’ bodies look like when everyone looks bonkers amazing.”

Although, Chrissy admits to being insecure about her body, she stated that she was happy to make others feel better about themselves by posting her “new body”. Although she didn’t directly speak to body shamers, her courage to post these unfiltered images is truly inspiring and a step in the right direction to body acceptance.


Grant Gustin

Grant Gustin is a celebrity I wanted to add in this post to show that women aren’t the only ones experiencing body shaming. A recent photo of Grant Gustin, lead actor in The Flash, in a prototype of his costume leaked online and many took to the internet to criticise the outfit and the way he looked in it.

Gustin responded to critiques in an Instagram post in response to the body shamers:

A post shared by Grant Gustin (@grantgust) on

The text reads:

“So here’s the thing about this bullsh*t photo leak. It’s a cool suit. That’s a terrible photo that I was unaware was being taken, much less being posted. Some things need work and they will be worked on. We’ll get there.

As far as the body shaming. That’s what pisses me off. Not even just for my sake. I’ve had 20+ years of kids and adults telling me or my parents I was too thin. I’ve had my own journey of accepting it. There’s a double standard where it’s ok to talk sh*t about a dude’s body. I do my best to stay in shape and add as much size as I can throughout these seasons. I’m naturally thin, and my appetite is greatly affected by stress. Stress is something that ebbs and flows for me throughout a season.

Thus gaining weight is a challenge for me. I didn’t cast a slim actor as The Flash. I went to an audition for a role I never dreamed I’d actually book. But, here I am 5 seasons later.

I’m happy with my body and who I am and other kids who are built like me and thinner than me should be able to feel the same way. Not only that, but they should be able to feel like THEY could be a superhero on TV or film or whatever it may be someday.

I love the suit that has been designed for me, and I think when everyone sees it in its entirety, you will love it too. Things have been adjusted since that leaked shot was taken, and more things will continue to be adjusted until it feels right.”

The point is that body shaming happens to everyone; new mothers, normal women, supermodels, and men. No matter who you are, you’ve probably experienced criticism and judgement based on your body and you’ve probably judged someone else’s body. The unfortunate reality is that we have been conditioned by society on an ideal body for both men and women, and many of us are stuck in this “reality”.

Luckily the fact that celebrities and people are fighting back against body shamers and speaking up about their body insecurities and body acceptance is pointing us in the right direction. We need to promote diversity and real bodies, and hopefully, one day, we’ll all love our own bodies and the bodies of others for what they are.

What’s your opinion on body shaming online? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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