Body Shaming and Why It Needs To End

As I was listening to one of my favorite podcast 'School of Greatness' with Lewis Howes with his guest Cassey Ho,  When Ho , a youtube fitness celebrity unexpectedly threw me for a curveball. She brought up in the interview how she had been publicly body shamed online after posting a recent photo online. And it got me thinking about how it's not just this young woman that deals with this issue but so many women in the public eye and in society in general who deal with this issue.

Most notably Lena Dunham came under a barrage of  scrutiny after showing her body on screen for her show girls just a few years back.  There numerous complaints from men about why Dunham was 'flaunting' her body rather than co star Allison Williams (Marnie) were in abundance.  Suggesting that William's was clearly nudity worthy and not Dunham.

Honestly, the first thought that comes to mind is...why is this even a topic of discussion?  Shouldn't we be having conversations about Dunham's actual work.  Her role and voice in popular culture rather than what she looks like without her clothes on? I'm just not sure when it became okay to talk about a woman's body and degrade her on a public platform.  I mean, we can't even keep this commentary out of politics (remember all that Sarah Palin looks like a sexy librarian talk).  I mean, there is even a Sarah Palin porn parody!

And then there's this whole 'Dad Bod' phenomenon that's sweeping the internet. Basically, it's pictures of celebs like Leo on a beach looking scruffy and exposing their shirtless beer bellies.  And unlike a woman with a  similar body type this is deemed as 'sexy' on a man and being promoted as a body type to strive for.  So let's look at the break down here.  Men can drink beer have unkempt hair and be deemed as attractive and women, must constantly strive for a 'perfect' body.  Meaning hitting the gym constantly, watching what they eat and trying to shed postpartum weight in a matter of weeks.  Seems fair right? Of course not. And let me clear, this is an issue for me not because I'm judging or have any issues with how these men look but rather because of the adverse ways we view men and women in media.

And I guess ultimately the reason all of this is on my mind is my own issue with weight loss after losing 50lbs.  Long story short after college my weight kind of got away from me.  I drank too much and ate so poorly and just didn't care because I wasn't happy with where I was in my my life.  And although I'm super proud of my weight loss accomplishment it's still hard sometimes not to feel like Godzilla taking down buildings when I walk into a room as past images of that 'old Rachel' pop up in mind now and again.. And while it's not quite body dysmorphia I can still tend to knit pick at my flaws rather than revel in my accomplishments.

Thankfully, more and more people are speaking out on this issue.  Lauren Conrad of Mtv 'The HIlls' fame has officially banned using words like skinny, slim and thin when talking about fitness related topics on her website. As well as Melissa McCarthy who has been someone that has publically dealt with scrutiny about her weight and appearance in the public speaking out against shaming a woman's appearance and speaking out against a critic who had some harsh words for her in one of his reviews.   I feel it's so important to start focusing on one another accomplishments and the work that people are putting out there rather than what their bodies look like.



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