Body – or fat – shaming is one of the most common forms of cyberbullying. Presently, our society views thinness as the gold-standard of beauty, so people who deviate from that body type are often ridiculed and made to feel inferior. While there are countless people who, unfortunately, have been victims of bullying, both in person and on the internet, I chose to highlight three instances where people turned body-shaming and cyberbullying into calls of action and body-activism.
While fat-shaming and cyberbullying are not new concepts, with the advent of social media, people have more platforms and opportunities to make harmful comments about one’s weight and appearance. It is Proud2Bme’s mission to create a culture, both on and off the internet, which celebrates body-acceptance, rather than supporting bullying and body-shaming.
If you see body-shaming online, we encourage you to take action and fight back against the body bullies. Here are a few ideas how you can stop body-shaming and start body activism:
Report hurtful comments
Flag inappropriate content
Notify NEDA via the Media Watchdog program
Write a body-positive post for Proud2Bme.org
Create a petition
Call out the body-snarkers by taking a screenshot and tagging @Proud2BmeUS and @NEDAstaff
Join forces with fellow body-activists and spread body positivity
About the Author: Chelsea is a body image and eating disorder scholar and activist, currently pursuing a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College. In addition to her studies, Chelsea is a consultant and program administrator for NEDA’s implementation of The Body Project. Prior to working on The Body Project, Chelsea coordinated the inaugural and second annual Gainesville, FL NEDA walks. While she was a walk coordinator, Chelsea simultaneously took on the role of Proud2Bme Volunteer National Outreach Coordinator. Chelsea has spoken on behalf of NEDA about her personal struggles with binge eating disorder and body dissatisfaction to media platforms such as Huffington Post Live, Seventeen Magazine, WebMD and SiriusXM Doctor Radio.