Fat shaming is unhealthy


“If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideas of beauty would be.” – Unknown

After scrolling through Snapchat stories and coming across this quote, it was like it was meant for me. Something that had been on my mind for days was in words: focus on people as human beings, not as bodies.

But really, truly, think about this. If our eyes saw people for what was underneath all of the wear and tear or the extra layers of fat, how different would our conversation be? How changed could our detrimental society become?

I say this because I am all too familiar with being looked at as just another body, and not a human being with a soul deserving of love and kindness.

I will never forget the first time I  was shamed for how my body looked. I was in second grade, and a male classmate decided to call me a fata**. This comment could have gone by the wayside, but the problem is that it was the first comment of many, and I was only 8.

I have walked down the hallway, and I have been called a fat whale. I have been told I could never wear actual skinny jeans because of my size. I have been told that I needed to lose weight by my closest of friends (at the time).

Now, I am not bringing this to light to act like I am the victim or to be pitied. This is simply a call for change. In today’s society, there is too much pressure to have the ideal body type, and the mental strain that comes along with this is far too risky, especially for high schoolers like us.

A common justification for fat shaming is saying the negative comments can turn into motivation for those being targeted. Fat shamers think people will start eating less and exercising more if they are told that their bodies are disgusting.

However, these comments do the complete opposite. According to an article about fat shaming on Science Daily, studies have shown that fat shaming can lead to unhealthy behaviors, like more overeating and less physical activity, because of the stress it causes those who are targeted. Negative comments do not work as reverse psychology, and actually do much more harm than good.

The harmful effects of fat shaming do more than make targets gain weight, though. According to Healthline, studies have also shown that weight discrimination can be linked to depression and other mental illnesses, reduced self-esteem and eating disorders, like bulimia and binge eating. Healthline says targets of fat shaming are “2.7 times as likely to become depressed,” and depression can lead to suicidal thoughts, which can easily put targets at a higher risk of committing suicide.

However horrid the effects of fat shaming are, they are real. And until society realizes that shaming people for the way that their bodies look is dangerous and extremely harmful, nothing is going to change. The never-ending cycle will continue because there are lousy justifications for people to be insensitive toward another human being.

So, please, the next time you want to tell your friend that they need to lose weight, or the next time you pass people in the hallway you want to call fat, just don’t. Remember that people have souls and those souls are deserving of so so much love. They are not just bodies in a room to be made fun of.