It Shouldn’t Be “Us vs. Them”

The other day, I saw an article that blew my mind. Some of you may have even seen it, as it was shared over 300k times. Because it seemed pretty viral, I felt like I had to give “You Attack My Size 0, But I Can’t Attack Your Size 16” a read, but it completely rubbed me the wrong way. My intention in writing this is not to bash the author, because I do think she has the right idea in mind. However, the way she handled this was pretty inappropriate and actually disappointing.

“Since when has it become socially acceptable to bully one size but when it’s done in reverse to a size 16 everyone is in a uproar?”

In writing this article, I think the author’s main point is great – that it’s not fair for people to be against “fat-shaming”, but partake in “skinny-shaming”. I completely agree. It isn’t fair. While I appreciate that our society is slowly coming to terms with the fact that it isn’t okay to ridicule someone for being larger, it’s taking a bit too long for society to jump on that same bandwagon for girls who are very thin. I can’t tell you how often I used to hear people say “UGH. She’s so skinny, I hate her”. I’m sure words like this can be hurtful to those who hear it – why should someone’s size be the determining factor in whether or not someone likes them? I agree with the author that this is something that needs to change and I give kudos to her for bringing it to everyone’s attention.

But here’s where she loses me…

“I’ll probably be fussed at for saying this but you women are the first ones saying us skinny girls aren’t real women but you’re also the first ones wishing to wear the crop tops and short shorts I wear. Is it that you secretly wish you could look like me or is it that you truly hate the body I possess? Or is it a insecurity that your man would want someone like me over someone like you.”

Hang on a second. What is going on here? Maybe I’m crazy, but it looks like the author of this article is trying to bring awareness to “skinny-shaming” by “fat-shaming”. I don’t see how this is beneficial for anyone. In trying to help people see that “skinny-shaming” hurts people, she’s saying things that can be very triggering for others.

First of all, this breaks my heart that the author of this article feels so negatively about people that are larger than her. Because I’m not a size 0, am I not as worthy of my boyfriend’s love and attention? As someone larger than a size 2, are my thoughts confined to jealousy of those smaller than me?

I also don’t understand why larger girls can’t wear crop tops and short shorts if they want to. I say, if you want to wear it, then freakin’ wear it. It’s never okay to tell someone what they can and can’t do because of their size. 

But wait. There’s more…

“Rather it be insecurities or not, please figure it out and stop body shaming us and we’ll stop body shaming you.”

No. No. No. It shouldn’t be this way. By now, we should all know that the whole “if you stop, I’ll stop” thing NEVER works. If you’re genuinely interested in putting an end to body shaming, you wouldn’t do it, regardless of whether or not others still are. Be the bigger person and set an example for other women. I know I’ve already exhausted this thought but apparently I need to say it again: what you say on the internet is accessible by many, many others. This includes young girls who are at such a vulnerable place. We need to be setting a good example for them.

So here’s my final thought:

It shouldn’t be an us vs. them battle, or a large vs. small fight. In a world where societal standards make it hard to be a woman, we don’t need to make it harder on ourselves. Why can’t we, as women, celebrate each other for not just how beautiful each of us are, but for how intelligent, kind, passionate and fierce we all are? In a world where we have men (I’m looking at you, Donald Trump) trying to tell us our value solely based on the curvature of our silhouette and the “attractiveness” of our facial features, we need to be standing together, not fighting each other. By now, nearly every woman most likely understands the challenges we each face because of the pressure put on us to look a certain way, and knows what it feels like to be shamed for not meeting these standards. You would think that this would make us a stronger force of women who don’t want other women to feel the way others have made us feel, who want to lift each other up and empower one another, rather than adding to the pressure already put on us.

From here on out, I challenge each of you to be a support system for every other woman you cross paths with, regardless of her size. Make an effort to rid your vocabulary of words like “fat” and “skinny” and replace them with words like “witty” and “passionate”. And for the love of all things good in the world, do not participate in body shaming.

Who’s with me?

Naturally,

Ari.

 

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85 comments

  1. I wonder when we will as women all decide to stick together and support each other, instead of bashing each other not for our character or morals but from the way we look on the outside. It is not a good look for any woman shape, colour or size to demean another person.

  2. This rang so true for me. I’ve had people so “oh people hate that I am skinny, they just want to be like me”. Truth is we should all just want to be ourselves and it makes me sad to think we live in a society that contradicts this belief. Chloe

    1. Thanks Julie! I’c love to be friends – I love meeting people who can appreciate all that a person’s mind has to offer, rather than focusing on how they look.

  3. I have been on both sides of the fence. Before I had kids, I wore a size 4/5 and after kids (postpartum) I end up in like a size 10-12. When I was a size 4/5 everyone talked about how skinny I was, I needed to gain weight etc. When I was pregnant people commented on how huge I was during and after pregnancy. I think we all should stop body shaming each other as well. We are all made in different shapes and sizes and are all beautiful no matter how big or small we may be.

  4. Hi Ari. Thank you for sharing this article. I always believe that every woman is beautiful no matter what size number they are. If you believe in yourself and trust what you are capable of, you are beautiful in every core of your existence. Who cares about what people say? You are YOU and nobody has the right to take that away from you. They can talk and say whatever they want but the truth is… you are the carpenter of your life.. and you have that choice how you want to live in this one beautiful journey called life… xoxo

  5. I have found you get much father by being known for what you are for, not for what you are against. I am grateful to have a loving community of women – in all shapes, sizes, & skintones to surround me, encourage me, & challenge me to be better.

  6. YESSSS. I love this so much! My opinion has always been that if people don’t ask for your opinion, don’t give it to them. It’s fine if you think someone is “too fat” or “too skinny” – we all have different tastes. But you don’t need to take to the internet and insult them about it. Just live and let live.

    It definitely shouldn’t be “us vs. them” and to write a post complaining that someone is doing something that bothers you WHEN YOU’RE DOING THE EXACT SAME THING TO THEM isn’t the answer. Especially when you throw out those insults about jealousy and their man choosing you over them – not the right way to handle it at all.

    This post is perfect though! That’s the attitude that everyone should have. Thank you for sharing! <3

  7. Unfortunately, I think the pendulum swung in the opposite direction. I think part of the problem is that people don’t realize that forming and vocalizing an opinion about a person’s appearance is… well, it’s stupid, irrelevant, and wrong. I just wonder where people find the dang time and energy to fat/thin shame.

    People aren’t ornaments. I’m not sitting on someone’s mantle to look pretty. Therefore, your judgement on my aesthetic appeal is useless. What happened to just keeping it to yourself, right?

  8. How horrible. I actually did not see this article. I have friends of all sizes and I guess we are friends because we all except who we are. I don’t think it’s right either way. I’m jealous of the confidence a lot of people have (and somethings that both sides may be wearing) and Im jealous based on a variety of other things but size is not one of them! Im glad there is variety among us.

  9. I love your take on this article. I know what it feels like to struggle gaining weight and to be called skinny in an awful light as I was there once, too. At the end of the day I think we should all just be uplifting each other and promoting self-acceptance and self-love and that if there’s something you want to change because you are not happy about it, then do so.

  10. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. When I was a teenager I tried every way possible to gain weight because of people making fun of me and accusing me of being anorexic. It was awful! Now I’m on the other end of the scale and don’t care. Some people should just try to put others down to lift their own miserable lives seem better. It’s sad and not my problem. It says way more about them than me.

  11. Wow that lady completely ruined her whole article toward the end when she said “I’ll stop if you stop” Are we four? And she contradicts herself at the end as well. she openly admitted that she shames people for their weight after telling them to stop. I’m with you on this. I think it was just a rant post she wrote and didn’t think it through.

  12. Bravo! This post is great – I agree with you that the author is making a good point right up until she makes it personal about which sizes “deserve” love/affection/attention/etc.

  13. This is great! I agree with you 100% — No one should be shaming anyone. But to write an article about “anti-shaming” but to shame right within the text is pretty crazy! I hadn’t seen the other article, but I’ll def be commenting on that as well. LOL!

  14. As a plus size woman, I never attack ANY size. One I am happy in the skin I am in but others might not be nor some who look at me might think I am fat.. But to be honest I am happy and if you are a size 00 or even a size 28 love yourself.

  15. Body shaming as a whole is ridiculous. We all come in a variety of beautiful shapes and sizes. When a person’s size begins to effect their health it becomes an issue, but it is an issue between that person and should be discussed with their physician.

  16. Love this very much. As someone who has struggled with self-image for most of her life, this is something that really resonated with me.

    Like you said, “in a world where societal standards make it hard to be a woman, we don’t need to make it harder on ourselves.”

    I love that. I’m with you! Women Solidarity!

  17. “Since when has it become socially acceptable to bully one size but when it’s done in reverse to a size 16 everyone is in an uproar?” So true but if you look through social media it seems to be the case in every matter. Politics is one where I see NO tolerance and between women too! We have become such a culture of intolerance. Unfortunately, I think it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

  18. You are so right about this! Who is this girl to write about body shaming when she is doing exactly that in her article? Did she even read what she wrote? Nobody should bully anybody and her words actually sound quite hurtful. I’m sorry but I would never be a fan of someone like that, it’s called hypocrisy!

  19. Wow that is crazy! We shouldn’t judge women by the size of their clothes. I’ve seen tons of fabulous skinny and curvy women. I think it is more how they carry themselves!

  20. Honestly, I see both sides of it. Someone will always be offended no matter what is published or said about ones looks. It’s just sad that all sizes, shapes and ethic backgrounds can’t be celebrated.

  21. “It’s never okay to tell someone what they can and can’t do because of their size.”

    You should actually get rid of that last part “because of their size”. People should just learn to mind their own business.

  22. It really is amazing how one group is upset with shaming but does the same. I think the most important thing is to love yourself and treat others kindly.

  23. As a mother of 2 little girls this is the stuff that makes me shake my head. I try to let my girls though still little that they are smart,beautiful and loved. THAT is what matters. I just hope my girls understand and believe its truth as much as I do.

  24. Excellent Post! I totally believe you that as a woman, we need to support each other and stay stronger for important issues in life as Gender Equality, Gender diversity and Women Empowerment rather than body shaming!

  25. Completely agree girl! Unfortunately it’s more shaming than empowerment we face as women coming from other women. And it’s just sad. And it’s probably coming from our own insecurities (again, sad). As a woman I personally try to compliment other women to boost their confidence even in a small way.

  26. Wow thats crazy way to bring awareness. I know I was always the one that wanted to go back to when I was a whopping 150lbs then I saw a picture and I looked anorexic and I have no idea why. Getting pregnant was probably the best thing for my self confidence.

  27. Perfectly written! It’s unfortunate that while body size shouldn’t be a huge deal, it still is. I hope that soon enough the body-shaming ends. I’m going to be sharing this on my Facebook!

  28. I totally agree that it should not be us vs. them. Size and looks should never matter. It’s what’s inside that counts – every time. Let’s concentrate on making ourselves the very best person we can be and on looking for the best in everyone else. There is too much war in the world and there are so many wonderful things to do in this world. Let’s get our priorities right and concentrate on what really matters.

  29. I completely agree..the author went about her message the wrong way. If we would band together instead of breaking each other down…imagine the things we could accomplish!

  30. As someone who has a tiny bone structure and wore a 0 most of my life, it is so hard to hear the awful things like, “Ewww are you anorexic?” Or yeah, “I hate you, you’re so skinny…” We judge others because of our own insecurities and sadly it is women who seem to tear each other down the most. I say be healthy and mind your own business and all will be well with the world.

  31. I have no idea what happened to spark this post, as the story is news to me. I do see many going against each other everywhere and it really is so sad. I think that more of us need to just support each other. Period. End of story. 😉

  32. I live in a way to not judge others, and I feel all people should do the same… who cares about what others look like, or their status, etc… we are all people with feelings, so let us be kind to all!

  33. Okay, she had some great points until the whole we’ll stop if you stop thing. Because all skinny people are of one collective mind? It got childish right there… and the whole boyfriend thing, now that doesn’t help support her case at all about skinny shaming. Shame on her.

  34. I grew up hating my body. I grew up and learned how to take care of it without negative influence. I will strive to never ever treat my daughter’s the way I was shamed. I want to teach them that everything be is beautiful in their own way. If everyone looked the same, we would all be the same.

  35. OMG yes! It isn’t us verse them. The only time you need to comment on someone’s size is if they ask you or if you are a medical professional and they are at risk. I feel like often we over correct as a society… not fat shaming doesn’t mean skinny shaming instead or vice versa. Love this.

  36. This is enlightening and very true. I was teased all through school about my size all because I had bigger bones than the other girls. My hour-glass was different. You are spot on.

  37. Such a well written post. we should be celebrating all women, so that young girls have positive role models of all shapes and sizes.

  38. Great post, and you have made some good points. We as woman need to stop hurting one another, and start supporting each other. It’s just as bad in the blogger world, and why I have no blogger friends.

  39. Such a beautiful post. I always feel that everyone should try to inspire each other rather than hurting with words or actions. Particularly body shaming is a poor act to do to another women as it could hurt any soul so much!

  40. I am with you!!! So many times we are putting ourselves down, but we also are maybe even subconsciously comparing and putting others down! We all need to stick together and boost each other up and not down!

  41. You are so true girl! I don’t know why women have to be nasty to each other. Why do we build a gap between each other when we are supposed to be fighting on the same side? And I actually never heard of this article btw, but thanks for sharing!

  42. I have to read the article you mention. It sounds interesting! I’m with you, instead of comparing or criticizing our bodies, we should embrace the good things/qualities about us.

  43. I love Melynda’s comment – ‘When we DON’T see a difference, we will be equal. We won’t stop seeing a difference until we are united.” This is beautiful and the way I also feel! Great post bringing it to our attention 🙂

  44. Skinny-shaming or fat-shaming, the core of the problem is that people feel that they’re entitled to judge others, and to make these judgement public. I wish us women would support each other instead of trying to compete: no competition, no need to judge. Everyone is different and deserves respect.
    Unfortunately the author of the post you cite is completely into the competition aspect, that’s why she fantasizes of other women being jealous of her, or their boyfriends being more attracted to her than them. This is a very unhealthy way to approach body image.

  45. Amen to that! I have seen more and more women come around to your viewpoint, and I agree that we can only create positive change in terms of equality and respect when we unite and support one another.

  46. I feel like we need to learn to love ourselves, no matter what our size is! Being nice and accepting to each other makes such a difference!

  47. This is so true… I see it all the time, “She’s too heavy, no self- control” “Or look she’s so skinny,she doesn’t eat” We are all living our lives and we should be supportive of other women, not mean & judgmental.

  48. I agree with you, Ari! The writer of the article should not have flipped it back around and body-shamed anyone. The comment about looking better in a crop top and short shorts was uncalled for. Personally, I don’t think skinny women should wear such revealing clothing. But that’s because I believe in modest dress. I don’t think it’s right for the writer to say a man would prefer her over a larger-size woman. That’s mean. Body shaming should stop completely, no matter what size you are. You did a great job writing this post!!

  49. I think what would be so much better is if we stopped judging people. I have stopped doing this and it has made my life so much better. We should never look at a person and shame or criticize them for their size. There’s no “unfair” treatment if we all stopped judging the person next to us.

  50. Great article Ari! Unfortunately, being judgmental is a part of our imperfect human nature. That doesn’t make it right – it’s just the reality. To make matters worse, we live in an age where “over-sharing”, especially via social media platforms, has become the norm. Boundaries don’t exist anymore. Bullying is just a few keystrokes away. And “Me-ism” is the attitude of the day. So it’s no wonder that people give vent to their feelings without thinking. Thanks for reminding us all to THINK before we speak – or write.

    Ola | JadoreLeDecor.com

  51. I did not read that article but I am one of those that got skinny shamed when I was a kid. From being called skeletal, to being told “Guys won’t like you because you don’t have boobs or a butt” to being told I was less of a woman because I was so flat. Words hurt and it took a long time to get over my complex of being too skinny. And I remember back then, thinking, I would NEVER say anything mean about someone’s weight, so why is it okay to attack me just because I’m skinny? Anyways, it’s all in the past. I’m over that, mostly because I’ve gotten older and my metabolism has slowed down and I’m finally starting to gain some weight. It’s still something that sticks in my mind sometimes (I no longer get skinny shamed) but not to the point of affecting my self esteem anymore.

  52. This is an excellent post!! Totally on point!! We need to STOP body shaming. And it starts as an individual decision regardless of whether or not others do it.

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