What started out as a show of professionalism and achievement, ended up in a massive fair of body shaming. Don’t believe me? Allow me land first. I’m still in the air (and no, I’m not on a broom #EdoTwitter). It’s not like the body shaming started immediately, but it only took Nigerian’s a while to allow their true colors to shine through.
Before I continue, it’s important we understand what exactly body shaming is. Body shaming is the practice of making critical, potentially humiliating comments about a person’s body size or weight. An example of body shaming is telling a child that they are “too fat.” An example of body shaming is when thin women are told they are “too skinny.”
If you’ve been following the recent trend on twitter, and reading replies on tweets, I’m sure you already noticed what I’m about to say.
From #FineDoctorTwitter to #FineYorubaTwitter, #FineEdoTwitter, then over to the rest. When #BigBumBumTwitter and #BigBreatTwitter came up, It’s at this point that the evil started to happen. The first time I saw a tweet with that hashtag, I said to myself,
“Trolls are coming lord. The public and private body shaming tweeps can now come out to play in peace.”
Really guys, it wasn’t funny at all. Especially for this fine Edo girl. I felt sad for her and for the people shooting actual bullets on her. Everyone kept saying she wasn’t good looking, or she looked like a skeleton, or she was too skinny.
Here’s one of the replies on her tweet:
Human beings, Kilode?! I started to wonder why people were so angry about other peoples appearances. It’s not even to anybody’s benefit.
Society says we should be comfortable in our own skin. Same people that told you this are the ones that turn around to complain that you don’t meet their standards.
All the people that have been hiding their black furs under sheep skin finally came out to show their real face. Even the ones that have similar features with their victims. People were getting insulted for things that weren’t even their fault. Features ranging from their weight, to bone structure, body shape, body size, just name it.
It’s not like they’re Kim Kardashian that can decide to add or remove fat or change nose structure. Majority of people aren’t that rich and bold.
Just imagine how much emotional and psychological stress and trauma people who are body shamed or mocked cause of their looks go through. This is just only twitter o! You haven’t even seen or heard the stuff some people face daily. Even children!
I remember having classmates in primary school who made fun of others because of how they looked. Sometimes, I was even a victim of such comments. I don’t recall feeling bad about it, or feeling inadequate or that I had to change a part of me to impress people I didn’t even like. I still don’t feel that way presently. I always knew there was something wrong with the way they made fun of other peoples looks. I don’t know what made me think that way, but I actually understood that it just wasn’t right and I shouldn’t be bothered. If we reported to the teacher, they would blow it off and say, “Sorry, they were just playing with you. Go back to your seat.” That would be the end of the story.
Even now, some people still find it in their hearts to open their mouth and spew out their thoughts, and try to complain about how I’ve added weight, or something synonymous with that, yen yen yen.
Like… like… guys, if you’re uncomfortable with the way people look, kuku carry clay and create your own creature by yourself. Maybe if you model all of them according to how you look, they’ll turn out as ‘perfect’ as you apparently are. I’m not even joking.
The point is, we need to accept people the way they are. We really need to learn the culture of tolerance. I take the Local Coordinator for African Students For Liberty online classes and I’m currently on the module about tolerance. It’s enlightened me on how very important tolerance is.
More than one person is affected when you hurt others with your words, especially when it has to do with their physical appearance. Sometimes, it may be a joke, but the other person may not see it as that.
No matter the age, or the person, we need to allow people to be comfortable with how they look, no matter how they look. If you have nothing good to say, please keep your thoughts to yourself. Go and look for how you’ll recondition your mind to allow people to be and not judge them based on their weight or size. Don’t make someone’s life unlivable because you want to be ‘savage!’ on social media. Don’t be the cause of someones misery or death because you want to be noticed or because you can’t keep your mouth shut.
So guys, instead of making people feel bad for how they look and for what they can’t change, or for what’s not under their control, please think thrice about what you’re about to say, reply or comment. That statement might just be the trigger to help them jump off a building, or the last push to tilt the bottle of rat poison. Life is already hard enough to live.
Deliberately learn to love people just the way they are. It won”t happen all at once. It’s a gradual process. Step by Step, one person to another, one nice comment after the other, would make our lives easier to live. Whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, #YorubaTwitter, #EdoTwitter, #EweTwitter or Life off social media, form the habit of deliberately saying nice things to people, especially when the majority of people are doing the opposite.
Let me know your experience with body shaming in the comment section…
Love yourself, love others, and say NO to body shaming and cyberbullying!