Body-Shaming Buzz In 2016: Skinny-Shaming And Fat-Shaming Experiences On Social Media

The word “body-shaming” continues to be a popular term being fought against in social media, as witnessed by the number of articles and Instagram posts or Twitter tweets about the subject. On Instagram, the label #skinnyshaming currently enjoys 3,734 posts — many of them featuring photos of thin women detailing their own experiences with being skinny-shamed in public.

Entire social media accounts have been dedicated to the topic of body-shaming, and how people who feel it’s okay to shame another person for their body type — be they skinny or overweight or in-between — should realize that all forms of body-shaming are wrong.

The comments they’ve received range from being called unhealthy to being told to eat a sandwich. The skinny-shamed women detail how it’s more acceptable in society to tell someone they are too skinny — and that they should take the insult as a compliment because that same society deems skinnier folks as more attractive. Detractors claim that being fat-shamed is worse than being skinny-shamed — but women who’ve experienced both forms of body-shaming are using social media to express how both forms of shaming are wrong and hurtful.

Instagram posts about being skinny-shamed via a birthday card prove that people can experience skinny-shaming at any point in time. However, the powerful message about how the body-shaming is turned around to make something more powerful out of the insults is the end result that many social media posts aim to achieve.

As reported by the Inquisitr, thigh-gaps and the “thigh-brow” became a source of controversy online, with some groups promoting the thigh-gap in a disturbing manner. Others write that they are naturally thin and perhaps tall, and argue that their thigh-gaps aren’t the results of starving themselves — therefore, they don’t need the insults of others who try and tell them to gain weight, or call them sickly-looking.

After all, plenty of the thin women write that they would never think of walking in a gym and telling an overweight women out loud that she should put down the burgers and pick up salads — nor scream in front of others how “fat” she was. Yet skinny women are deemed “skinny Minnies” who need meat on their bones in a way that’s deemed more acceptable in public.

As for fat-shaming posts on Instagram, the #fatshaming label has 15,053 posts as of this writing, even more than the skinny-shaming entries.

Model Ashley Graham is featured in at least one of the labels on Instagram tagged with the fat-shaming label. It shows a positive way that curvy figures can be viewed as beautiful — and not always deemed unhealthy or in need of fixing.

The literal use of the word “fat” was a source of debate in a recent New York Times article titled “Yes, I’m Fat. It’s O.K. I Said It.” by Sarai Walker, which has received hundreds of comments. In it, Sarai describes the reaction the author has gotten to calling herself fat and the heroine of her novel “fat” when she goes on Skype book tours and meets with her readers.

Contrasting that piece with a Huffington Post article written about a “skinny mom” who lost weight uncontrollably after having a baby and suffering from a thyroid condition — they give two different views about how much it can hurt to experience any form of body shaming. The so-called “skinny mom” endured folks whispering about her at work and her unhealthy-looking state of existence without knowing the condition she suffered from that made her lose so much weight.

The #bodyshaming hashtag has nearly 20,000 posts on Instagram, and reveals that fat-shaming and skinny-shaming can happen to both men and women.

[Image via Shutterstock]