Body shaming: The shame of it

Pixabay, Kettle Mag, Health, Body Shaming, Obesity, Harriet King,
Written by HarrietKing

Body shaming. Why has it become so common? Mostly women are subjected to criticism about their size or shape. Yet the amount of fat on a woman’s body does not determine her character, her intelligence or her success in life.

Jamelia’s comments

Since I came into work this morning, former pop star Jamelia has been trending on Twitter for most of the day. Jamelia has ignited anger from people across the UK, including me. The singer and television personality caused an outrage yesterday when discussing the issue of obesity on the TV show Loose Women, with the panel debating whether stocking larger sizes normalises obesity.

Jamelia appeared  to argue that the solution to the current obesity crisis is shaming people trying to find something to wear, she added;

“I don’t believe stores should stock clothes below or above a certain weight. They should be made to feel uncomfortable when they go in and can’t find a size’’.

Jamelia – Stop body shaming

Made to feel uncomfortable? I’m sorry- what? Personally, I feel that refusing to stock certain sizes in stores is body shaming. Many weight issues stem from illness, a traumatic life event, medication or self-esteem.  Some people have medical conditions that cause they to put on a lot of weight without intention. Others have just had a baby, been placed on steroids or are struggling to maintain a ‘healthy’ weight. Have you taken that into consideration, Jamelia?

Yet, she suggested that those of extreme sizes should have specialised stores off the high street. “It shouldn’t be normalised in high street stores. They should have specialist shops.” By sending people who are “too” small or “too” large to specialist clothing stores, we are shaming them. We are segregating them from the ‘normal’ sized people.

Jamelia appeared on Good Morning the following day to clarify and defend her controversial comments. She said;

‘Watching it back I can see how number one people are able to regurgitate the story in a way that makes it much more sensational… I didn’t make it clear on the show that I was talking about extremes. I was talking about above a size 20, below a size 6…’

We shouldn’t be made to feel bad about the way we look. Yes, many people in this country are overweight and it’s becoming a huge strain on the NHS. I am also willing to agree with Jamelia that extreme body sizes aren’t often a sign of the best health.  But surely everyone should be entitled to wearing nice, fashionable clothes regardless of your size. In fact, wearing nice clothes boosts your confidence.


Celebrity body shaming

Selina Gomez was subjected to body shaming last week after her curvier frame was criticised. The singer was photographed in a bikini whilst on holiday in Mexico, and cruel social media users taunted her with supposed weight gain claims.

I admire Selina for responding in such a brilliant way. She later posted a picture of herself on Instagram with the caption; 

“I love being happy with me y’all #theresmoretolove.”


I love being happy with me yall #theresmoretolove

A photo posted by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

Sadly, Selina is just one of the many celebrities who have been body shamed this week. Pink’s weight also came under scrutiny after she attended the 30th Annual Odyssey Ball in Beverly Hills displaying a slightly fuller figure. In a perfect reply on Twitter, Pink shut down those haters, saying she felt beautiful.

Whilst Pink can brush off her criticism with ease, which makes her even more likeable, not everyone can.

Don’t be so quick to judge

Losing weight is tough. It requires serious motivation, determination and mental strength.  Many people admit they don’t exercise as they are so conscious of people judging them for the way they look. I have recently taken up running and if anyone laughed or made a rude remark then I would be crushed.

As a nation we are willing to try any quick fix that’ll help us lose weight including diet pills, juicing and meal replacement shakes.  From the news this week we’ve learnt that many diet short-cuts are fake, even dangerous. Student Eloise Parry died earlier this month after consuming ‘highly toxic’ diet pills that she had purchased online. Police said the tablets were believed to contain dinitrophenol, known as DNP, an industrial chemical.

Isn’t it about time we realise that trying to judge a person’s health and lifestyle simply by looking at them or checking their dress label for their size isn’t plausible? We need a range of clothing to reflect the different shapes and sizes of today’s society. The fact that some shops only cater for up to size 16 is, in fact, sad.

‘I’m a real woman with real opinions and I’m not here to play some villain or anything like that. It’s not that. I get paid to voice my opinion. Occasionally you’ll offend people.’ 

Sorry Jamelia, I don’t feel you have fully understood the harshness of your comments and how insensitive you have been. She has the right to express her opinions, therefore we have a right to criticise them if we don’t agree.


What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @KettleMag, we’d love to hear your thoughts!