Body shaming: it’s been part of our culture for as long as I can remember. It’s effects are incredibly damaging and can destroy the lives of victims, but even so, it rarely makes the headlines. Sometimes I think that abusing ‘fat people’ is the only acceptable form of discrimination left.
Right now, we’re going through a period where this destructive behavior is in the limelight – thanks to Mr Donald Trump. Comments he made about Alicia Machado – a stunning model, actress and beauty queen – have come to light during our presidential campaign and it’s alleged that he called her “Miss Piggy” and said that she had a weight problem. Wow. Just wow.
No woman – or man – should have to tolerate this kind of abuse and it enrages me, but I do believe that some good has come out of it. The public nature of these allegations has raised a lot of awareness on something that happens all the time, everywhere and to far too many beautiful people. Usually it’s simply accepted as a way of life – but now it’s being talked about, victims are telling their own stories and standing up against the bigots who throw these kind of comments around with no consideration for how deeply they can wound.
And yes, I know that Trump isn’t the only guy alleged to have made such disgusting comments, but attitudes in society filter down from the top – and if he wants the top job, he needs to be called out on his actions.
Because this is so much in the media now, it’s going to be so much easier not just for victims to talk about their experiences, but we have a easily understood situation we can use to talk to our kids. We can tell them what a bully looks like. We can tell them what body shaming is and what it sounds like so they don’t become the bully themselves – and if it does happen to them, our children will know what it is and know that it’s wrong. No more hiding in shame. Now we have a real face of the ultimate bully and an example we can always use to tell our kids what a bully is, what body shaming is and sounds like so they don’t become like him. It’s also really easy to show them how crazy body shaming is because what should Alicia Machado be ashamed of?!
We now have real tangible evidence in the form of videos, photos, articles and interviews that we can use to raise awareness in our children on what not to do, on what is really important about a person and make sure they know that looks mean nothing without integrity, compassion and respect for others.
So thank you, Mr Trump for being who you are. We now have somebody to look down to as the lowest example of what a man should be. Future generations will be using you as a case study about body shaming, racism, discrimination, misogynist and egolatry.
And thank you Alicia Machado, for speaking up and being true to yourself. For showing our young girls what a real beauty queen is.