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Body shaming: why is it STILL a thing?

Body shaming is an act of publicly humiliating or mocking a subject on their appearance, shape or size. It needs to be stopped.

This week was the return of the BAFTAs awards ceremony. Celebrities from every pursuit were dressed to the nines but the popular news tabloid Daily Mirror STILL produced a best versus worst dressed article.

Cue the body shaming.

Body shaming is an act of publicly humiliating or mocking a subject on their appearance, shape or size.

 

This needs to be stopped.

 

In a 2018 survey by bullyingstatistics.org, 94% of women and 84% of men are affected by body shaming. Many aspects such as ‘keyboard courage’ are to blame for the high figures.

Derry Girls’ actress, Nicola Coughlan, and others caught the media’s attention after the article featured a comment saying her outfit was “not the most flattering”.

https://twitter.com/nicolacoughlan/status/1127676256743501824?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1127676256743501824&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fnewsbeat-48254317
Tweet by Derry Girls actress, Nicola Coughlan, in response to body shaming

A student, who wished to remain anonymous, spoke about their past experience with body shaming; “In secondary school, I was teased and made fun of a lot for my body hair, it’s quite dark, it stands out more so people would always comment.”

“I got to a point where I didn’t want to leave the house without long sleeves on,” they continued. “It wasn’t until a year or so after I left secondary school, I realized no one actually cared so I started wearing short sleeves again.”

One Twitter user Beth Sims, @themakeupbybeth, told The Yorkie about body shaming also happening at her school; “In the changing rooms, when doing sports. All because of my size.”

When asked if any help was offered, Beth said; “Every time I spoke to teachers, they claimed they didn’t have the right teaching about how to deal with it.”


“The teachers constantly told me to ignore it.”

Beth, @themakeupbybeth

The Yorkie asked the Wellbeing and Health team at York St John University for a statement on how students could get help for body shaming or anything of this nature, however the response we received was; “Unfortunately due to high number of requests we receive from students of this nature, i.e. requests for information to support academic work, we are unable to respond.”

But it’s not just universities or schools who aren’t giving well needed support, some doctors are ‘unqualified’ with this field of mental health issue. Karen Darby – Crosby has dealt with body shaming for most of her adult life.

Karen Darby - Crosby in her wedding dress
Karen Darby – Crosby has dealt with body shaming for most of her life

“I was 23 stone at my heaviest,” After using the exercise and diet app, she dropped 4 stone. “Due to nerve damage I was unable to do any quality exercise, so I was offered Bariatric surgery in February 2014.”

Bariatric surgery can lead to significant weight loss and can improve many obesity related conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes. However, this surgery can only be offered if the patient has lost weight through a healthy diet and exercise plan.

Karen Darby - Crosby and her son at Christmas
“I was 12 stone 8 pounds, and was still called a ‘loader’ by complete strangers.”

“Each stage has forced cruel comments from strangers.”

Karen Darby – Crosby

“After 18 months, I was down to 8 stone 10 pounds, anorexic and forced to gain 3 and a half stone by medical advice,” she continued. “Now I have a healthy balanced diet and still get unpleasant comments.”

If you are struggling with any mental health issues, including body shaming, don’t hesitate to contact the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) either by phone, 5pm until midnight, open 7 days a week, on 0800 58 58 58 or have a chat online with the team.

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