Body shaming wrong way to seek health

Sept. 28, 2015

Alexander Nedd
anedd@uccs.edu

Every so often I like to write outside of my comfort zone, making sure I keep up journalistically with topics I might not think myself suitable to write on.

This is one of those times, and body shaming is one of those topics.

Before I wrote this, I had no idea what body shaming was. To experience it in my life, that’s something that is alien to me. I have always been on the small side, fit, and although there are times I wish I didn’t have to shop in the boys section for pants, I am perfectly happy with my body.

One thing that immediately puts me off is the concept of public shaming. Who are we to shame someone? Do we not understand the power of words and hurtful comments?

I don’t understand why videos such as Nicole Arbour’s “Dear Fat People” received the green light in society as OK and acceptable.

I’ve been in positions where I’ve tried to change myself based on someone’s comments. No matter what the comment concerns (weight, sexual orientation, etc.), shaming someone on something they cannot change is never OK.

What has happened to common decency? Shaming anyone based on a trait you do not find attractive is wrong, we need to understand this.

There were some parts of Arbour’s video that made me laugh, and I believe that was the true intention behind the video.

Does that make me a hypocrite? Possibly. Do I recognize its offensive tone and how ultimately the video bypasses me because I am not the intended audience? Absolutely.

But just because it’s funny doesn’t make it right.

I can see why others can be hurt by her comments. But others have also gone so far as to post death threats in response to her videos. Two wrongs do not make a right.

The truth about body shaming in America is that it is an ineffective way to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Negative criticism leads to unintended consequences, from making others feel insecure to more extreme, even deadly measures.

If the goal was to encourage weight loss, positive measures should have taken place. It’s healthy to laugh at ourselves every once in a while, just don’t give a problem without offering a solution.

As a nation we should work on building positive atmospheres toward one another.

Not everything has to be politically correct, but nothing needs to be downright mean.

Encouraging others to live a healthy lifestyle has always been in style, and should be the image used by all humans.