Body-shaming. Mom-shaming. Smart-shaming. Slut-shaming. Seriously. What’s with all these “shaming”? Yes, I need to lose some weight around my belly area. Yes, some moms need to feed their children better and healthier food. Yes, some people show off their intelligence too much. Yes, some women need to dress more appropriately and less slutty. But, and I quote DJ Chris Tsuper, “If you have nothing nice to say or if what you’re gonna say is mean, rude, nasty or demeaning, then why not just keep your unsolicited opinion to yourself?”
So I was listening to that “Tambalan” radio program this morning and they were talking about “mom-shaming”. A mother proudly posted a picture of the lunchbox that she prepared for her kid on social media. I’m not entirely sure what was in it coz my attention was divided, but it was something that was “frowned upon” by most health freak moms. Let’s say it has sausages, ham, cupcake, cookies and other processed food or sugary snacks. Of course, some of her so-called friends commented about how unhealthy it was. Some even going so far as giving her a lecture about the bad effects of such food on her kid’s health. Instead of getting praised for her effort in preparing something for her kid, she gets “mom-shamed”.
I have experienced a similar thing. I recently traveled somewhere and of course, like all of my previous trips, I had to do a jump shot at some point. It’s a must. Unfortunately, I was wearing a crop top and it was extremely windy then. My shirt kept on getting blown up by the wind, therefore revealing my “flabs” around the belly. So I posted a picture of that jump shot on Facebook, thinking there was nothing wrong with my belly fat. I mean, it was not a pretty sight, sure, but it wasn’t THAT bad. Besides, the whole point of the picture was to show the beautiful wind mills behind me. Two of my (brutally) honest friends posted comments saying something about my belly. It was nothing mean or bad and I’m sure they didn’t mean anything by it. But I was suddenly self-conscious about it. I kept on looking at that picture, particularly the belly area, and I suddenly saw how ugly and distracting it was. That’s when I was suddenly reminded of all the body-shaming posts and articles I’ve been reading online. And it’s not just about calling someone “fat” or “chubby, if you call someone too thin or too skinny, that constitutes as body-shaming too.
^ Me and my flabs
I don’t claim to be an expert on social media. I’ve been using it for years but I still don’t completely get it. I still have so many questions. Why do we care about the number of likes, followers and comments? Why are some pictures more “instagram-able” than others? Why do we care so much about celebrities’ lives and get updates from them as if our lives depended on it? Why do we post pictures and express our thoughts on social media and then later regret it?
But the more important question is: why do we have to be so mean to each other?
So what if this one mother feeds her child lots of sugary food? It’s her child. She can do whatever she wants and raise him however way she wants. So what if I have love handles and muffin top? I am well aware of it. I am not proud of it. And believe me, I am trying my best to get rid of it. So what if someone keeps on talking about facts and other smart-sounding stuff? You should be thankful that he/she is sharing something useful with you, instead of sordid rumors and nonsensical gossip. At least that person is not a know-it-all, there’s a big difference. I know someone who is an INSUFFERABLE know-it-all and believe me, it drove me nuts. So what if someone keeps on dressing up in sexy (bordering on slutty) outfits? If she’s got it, then she can flaunt it. You cannot tell her what to wear and what not to wear. You do not own her.
Looking at it on another perspective, yes, people should be responsible for what they post on social media. If you post a picture of yourself in a two-piece bikini, then get ready to read both good and bad comments. But does an innocent picture of a mom’s special lunchbox for her child elicit harsh and nasty comments? Does a picture of a #confidentlybeautiful plus-sized woman wearing a cute crop top need to be bashed and showered with degrading remarks?
Sure. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. But everyone’s entitled not to hear those unwanted opinions too.
I’m not gonna wash my hands clean. I do have mean and nasty comments about some of the things and pictures that my friends post on social media. I have a lot of those. But they either stay in my head or within the four walls of my room. Or if I can’t help it, I tell my close friends about it. I don’t mindlessly type comments here and there. If I did that, I would be in a lot of trouble.
What I’m getting at here is, I wish people would stop being mental bulimics. I wish we could all stop and think for a second before shaming other people. Nobody is born perfect. Of course, you could just keep on posting pictures and ignore the comments. It’s up to you. You don’t really need to care about what other people will say. For me, it all comes down to respect. We don’t need to be nice to each other all the time (I do admit that sometimes some people are just asking for it). But we can show some respect to each other, can’t we? At the end of the day, we’re all just victims of the crazy world of social media.
Credit to whoever made those wonderful memes. I love you all.