Fat shaming is an international issue now, thanks to the rise of social media. In the news, celebrities are under scrutiny for weight gain. On Instagram, any random stranger can harshly criticize someone’s appearance without consequence. And while fat shaming is under close radar in the news, there is shaming going on from the opposite end of the spectrum, though it’s getting less press; skinny shaming. This is not to diminish the issue of fat shaming, which is definitely an issue at this point. But, there is an issue with skinny shaming and it gets less buzz.
The fashion industry is constantly under the gun for using ‘emaciated looking’ girls. Lily James’s costume for Cinderella was criticized because of her skinny waist (the fault of a corset which is accurate to wardrobe in the time period). And the problem with skinny shaming as well as fat shaming is that it doesn’t solve anything, but only increases the problem by increasing insecurities. While there’s anger over the BMI of models, it’s often ignored that these are mostly teenage girls in their early pubescent stages. They have no control over their body weight.
In contrast, Patti Smith’s weight did not matter when she emerged on the rock ‘n’ roll scene in 1975. She was a powerhouse of a woman belting out songs about social issues. People focused on what impact others were making in art rather than their pants size. In fact, when Karen Carpenter of The Carpenters started losing weight dramatically in the ‘70s, it was rarely even talked about. Media in the 1970’s did not discuss anorexia or weight issues. It simply wasn’t discussed. There were more important things going on. With the new technological changes in the world as well as the political changes, it would be in everyone’s best interest to focus on the heart and the mind rather than the gut and thighs.