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Body Shaming In Modelling

  • Amy Bebbington

Body shaming is prevalent both inside and outside of the modelling world. As human beings, it often seems like we can’t win, with people commenting on the way we look at any given opportunity. This is even more true in the modelling world, where success LITERALLY often depends on a particular aesthetic.

What Is Body Shaming?

Body shaming is the term that has been coined to deal with the fact that other people often like to make fun of or make critical comments about another person’s body or appearance. It often involves taunts about weight, but can include literally anything someone can think of to judge another for the way that they look.

body shaming

Sometimes, people don’t realise they’re doing it – it’s become so common to feel like you have a right to an opinion on the way other people look. Other times, it stems from jealousy. In other cases, it’s pure maliciousness.

In all cases, it’s unacceptable.

Who Experiences Body Shaming?

All kinds of people experience body shaming on a regular basis. Sadly, models in the public eye are no exception.

In modelling, a lot of people feel that it’s their business to comment on the body of another because they put their body out in the public eye and make it their career. This simply isn’t true – just because someone’s famous, it doesn’t mean you can dictate how they live their lives, and they still are human. They deserve humanity when you speak about them – hurtful comments aren’t somehow okay because they won’t see what you’ve said!

When models who don’t fit the typical norms try to challenge convention, they often get ridiculed or mocked. For example, Tess Halliday, the famous plus-sized model often gets criticism masked as concern because she is very overweight, but people also laugh at her outright, which isn’t fair. These attitudes towards models trickle down into society as a whole, leaving ‘normal people’ feeling they’re being attacked as well.

People body shame people for their height, weight, facial features – essentially anything they can think of. It’s cruel, unfair and definitely a form of bullying!

What To Do If You Experience Body Shaming

body shaming

Body shaming shouldn’t be allowed to go without being called out in 2016. If you hear something, you are well within your rights to stand up for yourself.

Sadly, in the modelling industry, the shaming often comes from within. You may be made to feel you shouldn’t eat something, or even be explicitly told cruel things about your body and the way it looks. You can speak out.

If you’re under 18, always tell a parent or guardian. If you’re online, report offenders to the website in question. If the shaming happens at work or on a shoot, make the conscious decision to either rise above, or politely question it. Often, it can feel like it never ends. There comes a time where you may just have to remind yourself that as long as you love yourself, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks!

If you find success in the modelling world, you can use your platform to drive change. You don’t have a responsibility to do so, however it can really help others who are going through such abuse.

Have you experienced body shaming? Do you think it’s on the rise?

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