We’ve all seen it. We’ve all done it. We’ve all been the shamer. We’ve all been the shamed.
Some of the worst culprits? Women
Why do we have to be so… I don’t know. Vindictive? Is that too harsh? Am I looking too much into this? Perhaps. But, what we all know is that shaming hurts.
Let’s recognize it, acknowledge that we all fall into the trap, understand that it isn’t ok
… and work together to end it.
#1. Hands-down. We all look different. We all have different body shapes. We all have different ideas of what our bodies should look like. How about we roll the word acceptance around for a minute?
Everyone is beautiful in their own way. Why do we have to constantly feel like we aren’t skinny enough, healthy enough, fit enough, muscular enough, fat enough? When can we just accept that some women are born with killer genes? When can we accept that Girl A over there is ok with being a few pounds overweight? Just because someone is a little overweight doesn’t mean we have a right to judge them based on that alone. When can Girl B, who is working really hard at some nutrition and fitness goals, be accepted and recognized for her hard work? And when can Girl B also accept that not every other woman is interested in following her footsteps? And, shout-out to Girl C, who, mind you, is right there smack in the middle of “average America” looking confident and beautiful as ever, for not condemning Girl A for her extra weight and also for choosing to not be jealous of Girl B.
My fellow pretty ladies – let’s understand and accept that we all have different bodies, different goals, different lifestyles and different opinions on what “society” might perceive as the perfect body. We aren’t all meant to look alike! That’s what makes us BEAUTIFUL and STRONG and UNIQUE.
“Oh, you are going to eat THAT for lunch”? “Do you know how many chemicals are in that soda”? “Girl, put that cookie DOWN, NOW. It’s gonna go straight to your butt”.
Mmmhmmmm… Is that you? I get it, you are trying to be the supportive, helpful, encouraging friend. But, there is nothing encouraging about telling someone what they should or shouldn’t eat. There are ways to suggest a different nutritional path, but that’s a shaky bridge to cross with a fellow woman. Especially if the advice is not asked for. Maybe they are having a real bad day, and darnit, that chocolate chip cookie is just gonna do the trick. SO, let it! What’s it to you? You aren’t eating it. Oh wait! Is that it? You want it, but you aren’t allowing yourself to eat it because of the millionth diet you are on and so therefore, NO ONE ELSE should eat it either. Girlfriend, I love you. And I thank you for slapping that cookie out of my mouth the first time, but if I pick it up off the floor and go for round two, back up. I am eating it. Feel free to have a bite too. It might do your sugar, fat, carbohydrate, GMO, calorie free crazy diet brain some good!
Oh, wait. Hold the phone.
Can we all stop shaming the healthy eaters out there too? Yes, eating healthy tastes good. No, it isn’t boring. No, she doesn’t need a giant quarter pounder to go with that salad. Eating healthy is a choice.
Let the girls eat what they want to eat. If they ask for help nutritionally, then by gosh, give the help. If they don’t, keep it shut. It’s not affecting the rest of us.
Unless of course that food over there looks legit. Get that recipe, stat!
Does this even exist after High School?
We see it on Social Media all the time, don’t we? A quick Snap of a lady with something stained on her back end. A Facebook pic of a girl wearing too small of shorts. Another Snap making fun of the girl at the gym who has an ill fitting sports bra on. A quick jab that someone is wearing tall socks with their short shoes. Oh, and do we even need to start on the leggings shaming? For realz… Who are we to judge what others wear? What they wear does NOT define them. Nor does it define us. That snap taken of the woman with something stained on her back end? She’s got kids! They spilled, mom didn’t see, she sat in it. Be a gem and tell her before she walks around that grocery store any longer! Oh, and that chick you took a photo of and slapped it on Facebook because her shorts are a little tight? She just recently lost 40 pounds and is feeling confident. Praise that confidence… don’t slam her down! And leggings… good gravy. Perhaps they are on their way to the gym or coming back from the gym. So, they are a little see through? Well, shoot. Someone better tell me mine are while I am up in front of class rocking out squats. Oh wait, they are wearing them as casual wear with too short of a shirt? Can you see through them? No? Then hush, child. Hush. Let ’em rock that outfit like no-one’s business.
Feelings. We have a lot of feelings. Happy, sad, mad, scared, angry, annoyed, elated, etc. It’s natural for us to have those feelings at any given moment under many different circumstances. So, why do we sometimes tell our friends to not be sad, or to suck it up and move on, or to be happy that it’s over, etc… We have to allow our feelings and emotions to play out. It is who we are. Women tend to wear feelings on our sleeves… and that is ok! Why stop it? We can’t help the way we feel, so we should never feel stupid for allowing our emotions to run freely. Especially when with our fellow friends and family. Having a great week? Let’s celebrate at Happy Hour! Having a crappy week? Let’s celebrate it being over at Happy Hour! 😉 Need to cry it out? Here’s my shoulder and a listening ear. Angry? Let’s go hit the trails for a run.
Support your fellow sista and hear her out! Those feelings are no good all bottled up. No shame in letting it all out.
This is touchy, so I will keep it short. A woman’s choice to have 10 kids, 3 kids or no kids is none other than their choice. It is never ok to tell a fellow female how having children or not having children is going to make or break them. It is never ok to tell others how to parent or not to parent. What IS ok is showing support for the women who have children, who don’t have children, who won’t have children, who are stay at home moms, who are career moms, who are home-schooled moms, single moms, dog moms, divorced moms, widowed moms, teen moms. How great a world it would be if we all respected each others childbearing and child raising choices and helped support those decisions without any side commentary along the way?
Ok, that is a little harsh. I’ll admit. (Sorry, mom). Hear me out while I summarize, k?
Let’s take a few characteristics of some strong female figures I know.
- Home owner
- Well liked
- Loving spouse
Pretty great characteristics to have, don’t you think? So what happens when you add in a dash of jealousy? You get threat. And, for what? Why? Are they really a threat? Did this woman do anything directly to the other? Or is it an issue with the person feeling threatened?
And, just like that, the strong female with several of the above characteristics just got categorized in the Bitch department.
Let’s make it our mission to get to know our fellow sisters before throwing a label on. Truly know her. Don’t know only what others tell you. Their perspective is much different and often slanted. Find out what makes this woman so driven, successful, powerful, confident, dedicated, etc. We can all learn something from her.
So, how are you all feeling with this list? Uneasy? Spot on? Not sure?
My opinion is different than yours. That doesn’t make me a bad person and it certainly doesn’t make you a bad person. This entire post is merely pointing out one person’s perception of shaming in the female world. Whether it happens, or not, is something you have to decide for yourself. Am I guilty? You bet. I had a conversation just tonight about someone’s choices and photos they post to FB that I don’t agree with. I am sure there are those that think the same about me and my posts. We all have opinions and that is ok.
BUT – I stand strongly on the belief that women need to STAND UP for each other. Be a unit.
We don’t have to like each other, but we certainly don’t have to hate on each other.
So, sisters, girls, ladies, friends, frenemies, whoever is reading this. Can we all agree to work on this? You aren’t alone. I need to work on it equally as much. Let’s all work on not body shaming others or ourselves. Work on accepting others for who they are, whether we agree or disagree.
Let’s make this womanhood a strong one.
Just think of what more we can accomplish together.