18 Women Who Deserve A Standing Ovation For Their Responses To Body Shamers
Well, first, she's a conventionally gorgeous woman and people were shocked anyone could have anything negative to say about her appearance.
And second, it's refreshing to see someone stand up for herself, particularly online, where the volume of verbal abuse against women is staggering. And there's no end in sight.
We've found just some of the women — in 2015 alone! — who took body-shaming comments and did something productive with them. By standing up for themselves, they stood up for all women. Because frankly, we're all a little tired of "just taking it."
In February, Amy Schumer tweeted this response to a movie critic who described her as "chubby" and "not conventionally attractive."
"I love that people think [the topic] is new. Like, welcome to the past 13 years," she says.
“I think what hurts my feelings for people is that I’ll have a meet and greet after the show and a girl who’s like bigger than me will be in the meet and greet and be like, ‘Wow, if they think you’re big I must be so fat to them.' And it’s like, you’re just who you are. We are who we are — whatever size. And it doesn’t mean that we’re gonna be that forever.
"I yo-yo. Sometimes I'm more fit and I get into kickboxing and hardcore, and then sometimes I don't and go, 'Nope, I'd rather have wine!'"
In April, Cassey Ho made this video in response to comments on her videos that she's "too fat" to be a fitness instructor.
Apparently, with popularity — in this case, over two million YouTube subscribers — comes a lot of hurtful feedback. So, she made a video, called "'Perfect' Body," in which she reads mean comments about herself, then Photoshops herself into what her followers want her to look like: a wider gap between her thighs, larger breasts, a "slimmer waist and a bigger butt" to display how much these kinds of comments can mess with a person.
She told USA TODAY that the "disgusting" comments made her very upset, but that posting this photo gave her the power. She then channeled those feelings into many of the songs that are now on her soon-to-be-released album and posed proudly without clothing on the album cover.
The beauty and plus-size fashion vlogger had seen plenty of hateful comments — "Bikinis don't look good on bigger girls," "It makes people uncomfortable," "She is 'promoting obesity," "She is 'asking for feedback" — and she'd had enough. "Why is it that someone else can dictate that you are not allowed to put something on your body?" she says in the video entitled "Why Fat Girls Shouldn't Wear Bikinis." "I didn't realize that there was a meeting and all of the people who are allowed to come in and decide what was attractive and what was not are now commenters on YouTube."
"I think all 130lbs of me is looking hella cute in these 'belly shirts.'"
Then, in July, outrage ensued when O Magazine wrote that you should only wear crop tops "If (and only if!) you have a flat stomach." Style IT blogger Sarah Conley started the movement #RockTheCrop in which women of all shapes and sizes shared photos of themselves in crop tops and it caught on like wildfire.
In May, Kathryn Budig spoke at revitalize 2015 about all the nasty body-shaming comments she receives regularly.
As someone who's been on the cover of plenty of magazines, she's used to comments like "I just LOVE that the cover isn’t photoshopped at ALL. How brave of her!” (Brave?!) Her body's also been scrutinized endlessly by online commenters.
But not everyone has such tough skin. In the world we live in, says Budig, we need to put more "weight into the words we are sharing" with ourselves and with other people — because a hurtful comment could be "the final push ... into disease and sickness or something much worse."
In June, Blogger Christina Topacio responded to a "you're too fat for me to date" text with the perfect photo.
In June, this anonymous girl responded to a guy on a dating app who said he'd only "smash" if he had "4 or 5 beers."
In June, blogger Lowery Johnson had quite the message for a guy on Tinder who told her to lose weight because he was "concerned" about her health.
Chrissy Teigen shared and then laughed off a comment on an Instagram that her baby "Fd [her] body up."
First thing's first: she doesn't even have a baby. Secondly, what is "Fd" up about her body? Thirdly, good thing she has such a good sense of humor.
Blogger Michelle Thomas wrote an open letter to a guy she'd gone on a Tinder date with who told her "Whilst I am hugely turned on by your mind, your face, your personality ... I can't say the same about your figure." He added, "I would marry you like a shot if you were a slip of a girl."
"You don't have to fancy me," Thomas wrote in the post. "We all have a good friend who we look at ruefully and think 'You're lovely, but you just don't tickle my pickle.' We wish we were attracted to them, but our bodies and our brains don't work like that. And that's fine ... what isn't fine is the fact that, after a few hours in my company, you took the time to write this utterly uncalled-for message. It's nothing short of sadistic. ...
P.S. “Slip of a girl”? CHRIST ALIVE, that's creepy.
P.P.S. You're not 5'11"
In the photo's caption, she wrote: "Also: to the random jerk who fat shamed me this morning in a comment and suggest I eat less cake: as you can see from this pic my life is just a sad mess, so I'm glad you've helped steer my dietary choices, cheers! #effyourbeautystandards #CakeWithCashmerette"
That last hashtag was a call to arms for her fans:
In August, Serena Williams responded to the endless barrage of body-shaming comments she receives in an interview with Good Morning America.
"I've been like this my whole life, and I embrace me and I love how I look. I love that I am a full woman, and I'm strong and I'm powerful and I'm beautiful at the same time. And there's nothing wrong with that.
"I just don't have time to be brought down. I have too many things to do, you know. I have Grand Slams to win. I have people to inspire. And that's what I'm here for."
Roberts, who once weighed over 200 pounds, didn't think the video was funny. Why? Because at that point in her life, she "never felt more lost, helpless and self-loathing in [her] entire life." She didn't gain weight because she decided to eat whatever she wanted; she gained weight because she lost her brother and she was "struggling to move on without him."
Here's one of the many reasons the Arbour's video is so dangerous, according to Roberts:
The hardest part wasn't losing weight. It was overcoming body dysmorphia. Even after I lost the weight, I'd look in the mirror and see someone significantly heavier. I didn't wait for others to judge me, I just assumed they were doing it. (Which is crazy because it was all in my head!) This video is reinforcing the perceptions of anyone struggling with body dysmorphia, and that f*cking sucks.
Instead of coming at Arbour with hatred, she decided to write something that might help people who are going through something similar to what she did.
Sometimes life gets really f*cking hard and you do whatever you can to survive. We all cope in different ways but if you are unhappy with the way you look or feel about yourself, get help. Help is out there! You aren't alone and it's not impossible! If you want to make some sort of change, all you have to do is believe in yourself. Give yourself time.
This week, Gigi Hadid posted this message on Instagram addressing those who criticize her for being too curvy for a runway model.
She's right. Change is happening. And as long as women like these keep doing what they're doing — being proud of who they are, valuing themselves highly, and exposing ignorance — things will continue to change.