The term "body-shaming" is really, really stupid. Stop using it.

If you've been literally anywhere on the Internet (only mild embellishment there), especially Facebook, at any point in the last five or six years, you've likely been inundated with the notion of "body-shaming," and how... it's bad. Or something. Don't do it. It makes you a bad person. Or something. The Internet will be out to get you.

The term

So... what exactly IS "body-shaming?"

How is it defined? Well to summarize and paraphrase popular conceit, some people perhaps would define it as "being mean to somebody for the way they look." Or something. Unfortunately, that isn't correct-- that isn't what body-shaming *actually* is.

See, what "body-shaming" *actually* is, is basically, it's a person stating an observational physical attribute fact about another given person. If the fact happens to be positive because it's naturally and inherently something people actually like and want (Eminem's daughter is fit and slim), then it's fine and no one bats an eye and the very notion of "shaming" never even comes up. If the fact happens to be negative because it's naturally and inherently something people DON'T like and want (Ashley Graham is fat), then a few other people at some point, who want to make themselves appear (falsely) to be morally righteous and superior, tend to jump in and yell at the person who did the observation as a "body-shamer" and a bad person.

Now, does anyone see the problem here? I'll write it again: If the observable fact happens to be generally viewed by people as a *positive,* ("Tom you look really tall in this photo!" for example) because it happens to be a physical trait that people actually like and desire, then no one is guilty or whatever of anything and everyone goes about their day. However, if the trait is generally viewed by people as a *negative* ("Tom you look really short in this photo dude!" for example) because if happens to be a physical trait that people DO NOT like and desire, then the person making the observation is a "body-shamer."


I would argue that a person deciding to state an observable fact is not an issue of "shaming" one way or the other... it is simply stating a fact.

The problem we have here is that many peoples' poor little cerebrums can't handle observable facts or reality (we do live in the age of He-who-must-not-be-named, after all), so rather than try to actually comprehend the nature of the fact, and possibly how to change it (if it is a fact that can be changed), they attack the person making the observation; this is inherently illogical.

Attacking a person who states a fact that you don't like doesn't make the fact change. ("It is raining and wet, damn" "FUCK YOU FOR SAYING THAT" "Dude it's still raining, telling me to fuck off isn't drying us out) The fact stays the same. If you don't like the fact, then try to change it. If someone says "your long, unclipped fingernails are brittle and yellow and dirty," because they are indeed long and yellow and dirty, YOU deciding to rant on Tumblr or Facebook or whatever that they are a bad person for "body-shaming" you doesn't make your fingernails suddenly clean and trimmed and nice-- they're still nasty and long and yellow. If you don't want people to observe that fact, perhaps you should, you know... trim your fingernails. Or don't! Hey man, the choice is yours-- just like it's their choice to observe that fact.

Seriously, do something about that.
Seriously, do something about that.

Also, did you also notice one of the examples I just gave?

--Tom is tall/Tom is short? One of the other problems with the term "body-shaming" is that 95% of the time, it apparently only applies to females, and only other females come to their aid as a bloc of... support? Or something? But if an observation is made about a given GUY at a social gathering, let's say (ones that I myself have heard made about guys, from girls, for no reason), then they don't give a shit. Such as, "that dude over there is short and weird, and is losing a bit of his hair." Those same females who "body-shame" guys using those observable facts (short and thinning hair) get up in arms when a girl is observed as being fat or having a lot of tattoos or piercings or something similar (inb4 some moron here wrings their hands about "buh muh mean ol' mass media and fashion magazine industry that just wants girls to be pretty" bullshit).

Stop being hypocrites out there, and either demand that people observe others equally, or, better yet, if someone makes a simple statement of observable physical fact about another person, if you don't like it, tough. It's not "body-shaming," and if you think it IS "body-shaming," then your actual issue is with the underlying facts. Often, that is something that actually can be changed (personal hygiene, or being overweight/crappy fitness, for example). So, rather than whining and yelling and bemoaning their station, they have the option of trying to change, if they want to, or getting over it, if they don't. The whole attitude of "Everyone is attractive and you have to pretend so" is fucking stupid, and does not do anyone any favors. No, I am not the physical equal of Ryan Gosling or Brad Pitt in his prime or whatever, and I never will be. They are more attractive than I am. But I can still be the most attractive person I can be, and me LYING to myself that anyone who says otherwise, or anyone who says "sorry, not everyone is attractive," is a fucking douchecanoe, just makes ME a fucking idiot.

The term

No one is arguing for being mean to people. What I am arguing for is stopping the low-IQ *lie* that people need to tell everyone that everyone is amazing and flawless and beautiful, when we aren't. There is a hierarchy here, people. Humans are animals. Not everyone is created physically equal in terms of attractiveness. The common argument against what I'm saying here is "well then, if you know the observable fact isn't a positive, then don't say anything at all." And mostly I agree with that-- but lying isn't good either, and if someone does decide to observe "hey, he's fat," then too damn bad. It is not a matter of "body-shaming." If I want to observe that Ashley Graham is a figurative hippopotamus, I'm going to. Complain all you want. *People already do this, including the anti-"body-shamers"... they simply only do it about people they think it's okay to do it about.*

TL;DR. The term "body-shaming" is fucking stupid, and makes the people who use it look whiny, preening, and stupid. Stop using it. We appreciate it. Thanks.

The term "body-shaming" is really, really stupid. Stop using it.
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Most Helpful Girl

  • StingRayxoxo
    The term is stupid and I agree with MOST of what you said.
    Unless someone asks you for your opinion, there is no reason for you to tell them that their fingernails are long, yellow, and ugly. It's unwarranted and makes you come off as an asshole (is that considered "personality shaming"?). Is your observation correct? Probably. But your observation wasn't asked for. That's where I have a problem. Telling someone they look like an Auschwitz victim or a busted can of biscuits IS body-shaming (what other name do we have for it?).
    Is this still revelant?
    • You mean using a term other than observable fact in place of observable fact. I'd then say that it's still not "body-shaming." It's still an idiotic term. You could say "being mean-spirited about someone's appearance" then, I guess. Would be more accurate.

    • That would be more accurate, yes.

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Clearblueskye
    You can state facts without shaming people. Tom is short is a fact. Hahaha look at midget Tom no girl would want a short guy. That’s shaming. Keep such comments to yourself. You don’t have to date an ugly girl, but don’t make fun of her.
    • No one's suggesting that people would or should make fun of her.

  • IceCastles
    My daughter uses this term and it drives me. She will use terms like slut shaming or body shaming. I am old school and if your are skanky then... you are skanky. If you need to push away from the table then you need to push away from the table. It's all about tact for me in my opinion.
  • rubyrose83
    I agree. If you state facts but they feel shamed, that's their own fault. I don't think any kind of 'shaming' is an actual thing. It's just used so people can play the victim
  • Jenny4455
    It is an annoying concept especially as it's utterly subjective. I can get told I'm a perfect weight and shape, I need to be way more annie, called anorexic, called athletic and told I need to put on loads of weight to be 'thic' or 'curvy' or I'll die alone multiple times in a single day. a lot of it can be interpreted by some people as body shaming, but its just a bunch of individuals opinions that I couldn't care less about
  • RolandCuthbert
    Oh, I guess the issue here is not the term. Who cares what term you use. The issue is, is this objective fact or is it just your opinion? Slut-shaming? Is the woman actually a slut or is it the same standard GaG male reaction to a woman who is wearing revealing clothing? How about idiot or ignorance shaming, which I personally do a lot of? Am I right when someone says something ignorant about tech? Can I confront them and ridicule them?

    I don't know. Maybe it is completely wrong. But it isn't like we are capable of talking about that here at GaG.

    • I'm not sure what you mean. Did you just... not read it?

    • Read it? Oh, I guess you mean your post. Er, yeah. . . did you read mine?

      Like again, the term itself really isn't important, right? If you called it "body improvement" would the people making these judgements feel better because the term was more "accurate"? The point is, they want to make these judgements. And if the response to their judgements are charges of "body shaming" or "overly critical", what difference does it make?

    • ... Because it's not logical. Yes, the term itself is important; people use it to "shame" "shaming." It's stupid.

    • Show All
  • Smiley_face101
    There is a diffrance between calling someone fat and hippopotamus, the former is a way to describe them and the latter is just rude and stupid.
    I am fat (ish, 177 and muscular on 5'5 so its not obese or something), I dont mind when people say that I am fat. I also have dark hair for example, part of the way I look.
    But fat and beautiful are not opposites, some people happen to be abit overweight and good looking (for example, I happen to have pretty good proportions and a nice face as well), there are ugly skinny people as well. Not everyone were born the same. Skinny is not another word for beautiful and fat is not another word for ugly. It's just a body type.
    That being said I think people need to cross a line between a few extra pounds (me for example) and mega obese.