On body shaming…

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health and wellbeing / what we're reading / what's getting my attention

So, Jennifer Aniston, arguably one of the most beautiful women on the planet, has felt the need to come out and deny she’s pregnant after yet more internet scrutiny of her “tummy” whilst on her holidays.  The Huffington Post article is, for me, profoundly sad that she’s had to make any comment at all. And the reason I put the word tummy in quote marks is because it’s not a tummy by any normal standards, this woman has a perfect, beautiful, enviable figure by anyone’s standards. Surely?

She’s also had to bring attention to the fact that by not being pregnant, she is no less a woman. Which broke my heart. On so many levels.

It’s no secret that it took me a long time to get the family I’d long yearned for. At times, I’d been consumed by bitterness. Watching young mums walking with the baby in the buggy with their earphones plugged into their devices brought out a rage within me that I cannot describe. I felt a mix of being ashamed that I was being so judgemental, wrestling with the internal dialogue of “how come she can just pop that baby out and doesn’t seem to care, while I can’t (have one of my own)”

I’ve watched friends and family members remain childless for a whole host of reasons; infertility, infant death, neonatal disasters, simply time running out and not meeting the right partner, and dare we say it, choice. And they are by no means any lesser women for it. They are instead, without exception – brave, courageous, pioneering, stoical, funny, warm brilliant women. Some of whom have gone to dark places that most of us would fear to tread, but who have come out the other side with even more compassion and empathy for others than before. They are all awesome. Why the fuck should any of them have to justify why they’re not a parent?

This week, there’s been another internet storm after some D list Playmate (now there’s a fancy job title) posted snapchat photos of a woman changing in the locker room of her gym with the words “if I can’t unsee it then neither can you” (sic) Probably the most vulnerable place on the earth, in the realms of normal every day life.

WTF?! I mean seriously. There are no words. I discussed it with a work colleague. I say “discussed” because actually for a good 2 minutes we just stood open mouthed unable to form any words to encapsulate everything that was wrong with the actions of said Play Mate, let alone how on earth the poor target of her bile must now be feeling. I don’t think personally I’d ever get over it. But she might, she might stick two fingers up and say actually I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, so fuck you. I massively hope it’s the latter. Or that she sues the perfect little pert backside off the model in question.

The chain of gyms have responded magnificently with a life time ban for the model. Their press release  “Her behaviour was appalling and put at risk every member’s privacy” left no room for doubt on their stance.

Body shaming is never ok. Quite when things will change I don’t know. But I guess in the meantime we can all help a little, starting by shunning the side bar of shame in the Daily Mail and all the other hateful publications out there. And by being kind.  And not judging a book by it’s cover. All the things surely we were brought up to do?

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