Recently Selena Gomez’s body became the topic of discussion when images of her wearing a bathing suit were shot and published on TMZ for all to criticize. The outlet used their TV time to parade around the photos and vote on which were the least and most flattering.
This is fat-shaming. The outward acceptance of unwarranted criticism or commentary of her body, without repercussions, mirrors normal, everyday experiences. According to the Oxford English Dictionaries, fat-shaming is causing someone to “feel humiliated by making mocking or critical comments about their size.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary, 94 percent of teenage girls have experienced some form of body shaming. Everyday fat-shaming looks like instances of an individual disgust when someone is eating, insinuating that someone should lose weight, or simply using the term fat to mock an individual. When someone is shamed for their body, it needs to be addressed and treated like any other slur. Otherwise we are only allowing this behavior to continue.
The term fat should never be burdened with negative connotations. The use of the word fat should be a standard, rather than the standard “overweight.” Overweight implies that there is an ideal weight. Fat is just fat, like thin is just thin. The implication of equating fatness to anything other than normal is a transgressive idea that needs to be checked at any and all occurrences. Being fat is not a problem, its others distasteful opinions of fatness that needs to end.
The disdain for fat women stems from our beauty industry. The average female model wears a size 0 or 00. This contrast incredibly against the average American women’s size of a 12-14. Proper representation matters because women of all ages are now shoved into the position of having to reflect what the industry displays, and when we cannot meet these beauty standards, we become vulnerable to body-shaming.
Fat-shaming is a horrendous act that can lead to sickness in mind and body. It’s reported that fat-shaming can lead to overeating, depression, an increase in inflammation and in stress hormone levels. The mere fact that victims of fat-shaming would be at an increased risk of illness reflects the seriousness of the act.
Contrary to popular belief, beauty is a one-size-fits-all. No person deserves to be called out, criticized, or mocked for their body. Fat-shaming needs to be called out to decrease future casualties. It’s a disgusting, accepted, social habit that shouldn’t exist.
McLean is an English senior from Houston.