Body-shaming is making someone feel bad about their body, and it comes in a lot of different forms. Case-in-point, 28-year-old Jessa O'Brien's recent post on her popular blog, "The Nude Blogger," that's about the body-shaming she has endured as a thin person.
O'Brien's popular Instagram, which has over 69,000 followers, is filled with images of O'Brien posing nude, the accompanying captions almost all focused on body positivity and accepting that bodies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. However, she said in her blog post, that has not stopped endless comments from followers about her body, which has resulted in giving her what she calls a "skinny girl complex." (Even Lady Gaga and Olympian Aly Raisman have faced bouts of body-shaming—not cool.)
"'Of course she's comfortable naked, she's skinny.' 'Wait until she has five kids and she won't be saying any of this.' These are just some of the examples of body-shaming I have personally experienced," she said in her blog post. "You do not have to be fat to be a victim of body-shaming. It is also experienced at the other end of the spectrum, although this aspect tends to fly under the radar a little more."
The Gold Coast-based blogger called it a body-shaming double standard: "Why is it ok and more tolerable for fat people to talk so boldly about body-positivity and have their feats celebrated, whilst on the other hand, skinny people are somewhat dismissed and their message is quite often lost in translation?"
That statement isn't exactly true. Despite body positivity making its way into the mainstream, overweight people still face a tremendous amount of discrimination in society, especially women. One study published earlier this year showed how powerful of an effect fat-shaming had on overweight women—it concluded that overweight women who believed negative messages about themselves were more likely to develop health issues like heart disease and diabetes.
With that said, it's still not okay for anyone to endure cruel, hateful comments about their appearance. O'Brien thinks that people feel it's okay to say negative comments about skinny people because of namely the media, the fashion industry and the pornography industry labeling skinny as desirable. She said that this causes her to face a lot of harsh criticism when she tries to talk about body positivity.
She may not realize how hard it can still be to be overweight in today's society, but O'Brien's post still highlights an important fact. Making someone feel ashamed of their body, no matter what that body looks like, is body-shaming.