Why Do We Think It’s Okay to Skinny Shame?‏

The media is dominated by a thriving celebrity culture on which seemingly everybody has an opinion. Add to this the development of social media and its use by power industries, and suddenly we are being given inside access to the industry. The floodgates to mass opinion have been opened.

Whilst it is a statement of unacceptable controversy to fat shame, skinny shaming worryingly seems more accepted, and greeted with a far smaller backlash. Earlier this year when press photos were released featuring Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (nee Cole), it sparked mass debate about her size, resulting in the singer hitting back at comments that she was ‘skinnier than ever’. Regardless of what you think of Cheryl’s frame, the bigger question remains. Why do we think it’s okay to publicly judge her for it?


Since the size zero debate a few years ago, it seems that labelling someone as underweight is no longer regarded as inappropriate, in fact it seems like it’s an acceptable social talking point. The fashion industry has undeniably contributed to attitudes towards size, with many aligning model proportions with unhealthy lifestyles and unrealistic body images. There is truth in this, of course, but surely the same issues are prevalent with people that are drastically overweight as seen regularly in the media, and yet it is (rightly) seen as inappropriate to publicly shame people for their size in this way.


It would appear that audiences have become too obsessed with having an input into the lives of others. Comments about something as complex as eating disorders are now thrown around casually and with high profile celebrities making public statements about their insecurities caused by the media, it seems it’s reaching boiling point. Kendall Jenner recently spoke out against skinny shaming, suggesting ‘calling someone too skinny is the same as calling someone too fat, its not a nice feeling”. With the fashion industry becoming more inclusive and diverse by the second, it seems that this is one area that is remaining stuck in the past. What started as an attempt to promote healthy body image has turned into a strange habit of public body shaming, which even more strangely is acceptable. Let’s hope not for long.

Meg Painter

Cover image – foxnews.com

Leave a Reply