Monday, February 10, 2014

The Shame Game: Shame on them? or Shame on us?

Is it just me or are there others who are annoyed to see the winner of 'The Biggest Looser' being shamed for her weight loss? 
Our society projects an utterly unattainable ideal of beauty. It is unattainable not only because it is unrealistic, it actually ceases to exist. No one can agree on what is 'perfect' or 'ideal' at all as beauty or any imagery  is a totally subjective experience.

The winner of the reality series, Rachel Frederickson lost 155 pounds on the show. She started at 260 and the final weight was 105 (she is 5'4" & 24 years old.) 
The Internet has exploded with criticism over her loss and I am sickened to read the comments from people. I do not watch the show but have had a hard time escaping the news stories and commentary from all the critical people hiding behind their computers and smart phones.

My first thought was, 'society should be ashamed of themselves. First they FAT shame her for being overweight and then they THIN shame her for being to thin'.  My second thought was, 'is this really a news worthy story? who cares how much weight some stranger just got paid $250,000 to loose'. 

After the incessant images, stories and posts in my facebook timeline and twitter feed I felt compelled to 'weigh' in on the issue.

I would first like to say BRAVO to Rachel. She worked her ass off, literally to lose the weight, regardless of peoples warped opinions. It was her choice and I'm glad she is standing behind it. 
The "experts" are complaining that her BMI now is too low, but before it was too high. They are the Goldilocks of body image but what they forget to mention is no one will be ideal or juuuust right. If people were accepted for who they are shows like "The Biggest Loser" would be completely irrelevant.

BMI it is like the weight equivalent of IQ in my opinion. A completely arbitrary measure with way too many variables to be accurate and applied to everyone. 

This issue of body image and shame must be discussed so I guess we should all be grateful to Rachel and the media shame game for being the catalyst. Women need to open their eyes and realize that there is no REAL ideal of beauty, only the ones that we impose on ourselves. We are served the proverbial entree of some random fashion editor's ideal but it is only a 'suggestion' or something to 'inspire us'. Instead of taking accountability, women BLAME the media and fashion magazines for depicting an image that they CHOOSE to accept.
Labels & Stereotypes

Day after day I see intelligent, beautiful women feel poorly about themselves based on what a stranger prints online, in a magazine or puts on television. They hold themselves up to a standard that completely ceases to exist and is generally a digital illusion or digital delusion. We have all done it. We just need to not take part in societies shame game.

Why do we accept the shame that others project on us for our weight, body shape or overall appearance? 

Don't you think it is time to take our power back and stop being mindless victims to the media and fashion magazines? There was nothing more empowering to me than the day I realized that actual person who makes us fee 'less than' is US/ME/YOU.

We should embrace the media onslaught of unrealistic imagery and choose to turn it into an inspiration for self improvement or accept it simply as someones subjective taste, not something that you are to be compared to or measured against. There IS strength in accountability ladies. I don't have a flat stomach because I choose to eat/drink what I want and not exercise to the level that would be required to achieve that result. I am not the size I was in high school because I choose not to put the work in to be so and instead I make excuses. I am actually happy with who I am today. It has been a long road, not without days I feel less than fabulous but that is all me, not participating in societies shame game. I accept accountability for myself and my choices. I strive to be the best version of myself not a version of someone else, especially someone who is clearly a figment of Photo Shops imagination. I do enjoy my fashion magazines too and feel no need or desire to compare myself to anything  I see, I just gush over the grossly over priced accessories and dream of the day I can waltz into CHANEL in Paris and get my quilted bag.

Thank you Rachel for getting this dialogue started. Enjoy your success and don't get caught up in the shame game.

Is it then shame on them? or shame on us?
What do YOU think?

My personal BMI (Bold Modern Idea):  We are ALL PERFECTLY IMPERFECT!

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