Body confidence is a big issue in today's society and is often at the centre of many media issues, with a recent rise in campaigns, people of all ages, genders, shapes and sizes are being encouraged to embrace and love their bodies. However with modern preconceptions that body confidence is predominantly a plus sized affair (I DONT KNOW HOW TO WORD THIS IN A WAY THAT DOESNT OFFEND), a new issue has arisen in the form of skinny shaming - the act of degrading someone for being thin.
I find it absurd that this issue that has stemmed from the body confidence movement as skinny shaming is the antithesis of its values. The issue has also risen rapidly in the music industry following Meghan Trainor's 'All About That Base' which although may be very catchy contains the degrading lyrics 'tell them skinny bitches that', similar, more obscene lyrics can also be heard in Nicki Minaj's 'Anaconda' both of which rose to the top of the charts. Trainor's music was deemed to be an empowering track regarding positive body image however, how can we expect to fight this battle by shaming each other to boost our own confidence?
Trainor continues on to sing 'I ain't no size 2', another issue that has been in the media recently with the negativity that revolves around the size zero debate and the impressions that size 0/2 (UK 4/6) is an unhealthy and unrealistic body image. If you look at me you wouldn't say I am unhealthy, I'm not perfectly toned but I am a size 6, and due to the degrading comments I have read recently I have been shamed into telling people I am a larger size and choosing bigger sized clothes because society doesn't like the idea of promoting smaller sizes as well as bigger ones. I have only recently accepted my size but still receive comments such as 'we need to feed you up' on a daily basis implying that my size is still perceived to be negative in an everyday scenario.
Alternatively though, if you look in the media particularly at magazine covers, women (and men) are still being photoshopped to create the idyllic 'perfect figure' making it completely understandable as to why the body confidence movement has a negative view of smaller sizes. The media is still a huge influence on society's views and opinions and if we can inject positive body images in the media world, with the inclusion of plus size and petite models, maybe we can put an end to the issue and give a more truthful and reflective representation of the variety in people we have in this modern world.
What I try to remember is that size is just a number and is completely relative to your build, some people are naturally curvier and others naturally slimmer. As long as you are healthy and happy with your body that's all that matters! What's happened to empowering each other and stopping body shaming? If we want to overcome this issue we need work together and stop degrading each other but instead accept ourselves and others. We have to remember, body confidence doesn't come from trying to achieve the 'perfect body' or by putting other people down but instead by embracing the body you've already got! //
Words by Becca Jane