The Body Shame Game & CyberbullyingWednesday, 19 November 2014
There has been so much going on online recently from relentless attacks on people like Gemma Collins because of her size, bloggers taking down pages because of extensive trolling and an ongoing battle with different industries on the topic of body image. I was clearing out my emails and came across several from a few years ago from tumblr.
I have had my share of ‘trolls’ anonymously on tumblr, mostly in 2011-2012 before I deleted my account for a while. It got to the point whenever I got the email which stated so enthusiastically “someone asked you a question!” I felt sick and instantly worried of what someone has thrown at me this time. Having those daily at when you’re 15 with everything else growing up throws at you definitely plays with your head. I mean, you’re figuring yourself out. I couldn't understand why someone hated me so much for such fickle reasons. I can’t even explain how many times I sat in my room crying because I didn't want anyone to know.
Luckily I have the world’s greatest friends who I spoke to, but only when I started confronting the messages after months of trying to ignore them. It was a catch 22, I either delete them and feel rubbish about myself, or reply and bring more negativity for trying to defend myself. It’s when it got bigger than just on a platform, to really affecting me personally in reality I understood how much this had got to me. When I think about it now, I seriously do not understand those people who sit behind a screen throwing abuse because there’s no one there to react in person. I even laugh at the messages because of how low and stupid they are.
Let’s say you were to say any of those spiteful things to someone in real life, I’m sure the reaction would be a lot bigger and have more consequences than a few sentences on a screen. If you threatened to attack someone when they turned up to a specific event, which I was, some sort of authority would be brought in. It’s scary to see some of the people who send horrible messages to other people be so young at times and underestimate the power of words. Things like this cause so many detrimental issues from anxiety, depression and sadly, suicide.
I learnt to ignore them which is difficult, left the site for a few months and turned the ask off. For me, that worked but obviously it’s not always the solution
It makes me so angry when I see people body shaming each other. Like it’s some sort of game to see who can throw the worst insult to get a reaction. WELL DONE YOU’VE WON THE BODY SHAME GAME, YOU’RE OFFICIALLY A DICKHEAD HAVE A TROPHY TO LET EVERYONE KNOW. The media doesn’t help obviously with mannequins displaying ribs and T shirts with slogans such as “Eat Less!” Why are people surprised that there are so many issues, especially in the younger generation surrounding body image? It’s the same in music; there are a few songs I personally don’t agree with. I get that certain songs came about in what could have been such a positive way, but when you actually dissect the song and properly listen to it it’s actually a little offensive towards one type. It’s a shame because it would be SO refreshing to have a song that actually is pro ANY body type and pro confidence for all different shapes and sizes. That’s worded awfully but whatever.
I’m not myself completely happy with how I look. I used to hate getting changed at school for PE. All my friends were getting boobs and I wasn’t there yet and I would actually hide in the corner to change because I felt abnormal. I’ve tried cutting out food and juice diets but in the end I felt worse than I did on my regular diet. There are admittedly, lots of things I’d still like to change about myself if I had the chance, but there are things I do like for example, I like my eyes and legs. I am learning to love my own skin more. There’s nothing wrong with being confident within yourself either sometimes and being like YEAH I LOOK FUCKING GOOD TODAY. Especially with still the amount of editing of models and celebrities. If I had done a photoshoot and felt I looked good, and then saw the finished product being a warped version of how I looked, I’d be so offended. There’s now also the thing of certain celebs photoshopping their own instagrams which if they are, I think it’s ridiculous. These people are mostly viewed by a young impressionable audience, who should be taught all about body positivity than negativity.
I’m aware this has no real summary or structure, (sorry, and sorry for my language) I just have a lot of opinions on it all. I don’t think this is everything I’d like to say but for today, I’ll leave it there. I’m now going to go scream She Will Be Loved passionately in the shower because is 9pm on a Wednesday and I can.