Sometimes when I look around, all I see is apathy. Its like all of a sudden being utterly rude is not only acceptable but trendy. Lately I’ve been witnessing casual body shaming, people calling each other fat or chunky (WHAT!), or commenting on each others bodies (in a bad way), and today reached a peak when I witnessed casual body shaming on a post on instagram, and found myself a bit rattled.
Let me elaborate: Some boy (who probably thinks he’s very cool, but clearly isn’t) commented on a photo (on which I was tagged) which was posted a year ago, and commented on how my friend looked fat and his exact words were “U look extraordinarily fat ni**a“. And since I had just woken up I thought it was a comment for me. I was fully itching to hit the block button. But when I opened the app, I realized that this little creep had commented on my friend’s appearance (keep in mind that this girl is sixteen years old and someone I’ve known from the day she was born).
What bothered me most about this was that somebody had taken the time to scroll past 1 year’s worth of posts and chose to (very deliberately) say something nasty on comments (for all to see). And I wondered would this fool have said something nice on a one year old post, I’m certain he wouldn’t.
Here is the sad truth:
Was this comment the worst I have heard – sadly No.
I’ve been called fat, chubby, and versions thereof – Chubs, chubitha, tubs, tubsy, tubitha, tub-tub, “healthy” (the shade of it!) and many many more, and the irony is I have never been overweight, maybe a bit out-of-shape sometimes, but never over the limit of being overweight.
Will this impact her for a long long time – most likely.
I don’t think I know one woman who doesn’t have body issues, there is ALWAYS something. And that something would’ve stemmed from a casual comment from someone they most sought validation from and more unfortunately random people.
That’s the thing about words, they are powerful enough to stay on our minds longer than we let on.
These kinds of unsolicited comments unfortunately lead to unhealthy habits like skipping meals to full blown anorexia (it spirals quicker than you know), or over-exercising (to a point of injuries) or just general self-hate (the most toxic self-destructive of all). Needless to say (and given some of my nicknames), I’ve struggled with body image issues for over half my life, and sometimes still do, when encountered with people with big mouths and nasty minds.
Here is what I wonder, would this person with his unsolicited comment, have said something nice or given a genuine compliment when he was 52 weeks deep in somebody’s feed. I doubt it. After all, most people don’t even “double tap” on posts for the fear of letting someone know that they liked a picture (does that make sense). God forbid someone thinks of them as nice.
I wonder does it make people (like this) feel powerful when they withhold kindness, or would they be as quick with a kind word as they are with cutting ones. I have yet to find answers.
But here’s what I know for sure, people like this are miserable and deeply unhappy about something in their own lives, and instead of dealing with that, they choose to spread the venom. If you ever encounter an unkind person (which you will), more than fearing their opinion of you, realize that they probably struggle with their own demons. Ask yourself, do you really want validation from someone who doesn’t even like themselves? How can they like you when they probably can’t even like themselves. After all, people mostly see you as they are and not as you are.
And despite all this awareness, its not lost on me the impact negativity has, and its disheartening that sometimes when I look around, all I see is apathy.
Hoping someday it will change!