Slim or thick, body shaming has no boundary

OpEd writer Cheyenne Jarrett

Body shaming is something no one is immune to in 2021. Society needs to re-evaluate why.

In recent years there’s been an increase in body positivity when it comes to plus size women. This was much needed after a 30-year reign of idealizing supermodel body types like Naomi Campbell and Gisele Bündchen.

While there is a need to be more inclusive of plus sizes, the paradigm has started to shift, and now skinny women are on the chopping block.

Take for example celebrities like Ariana Grande and Coi Leray, who are constantly ridiculed for their petite frames.

Ariana Grande uploaded a photo of herself to Instagram on Sept. 4, and her comment section was met with multiple people body-shaming her. Some of the comments said her body looked like a “12-year-olds,” calling her “flat,” and asking her, “Why did she even upload this?”

Hip-hop artist Coi Leray has also been a target for skinny-shaming when she posts pictures and videos of herself dancing and showing off her body. Her comment section is often flooded with people telling her to stop dancing based on how her body looks.

The comments were so frequent Leray addressed the topic on Twitter.

“My body is always trending. I don’t understand,” Leray tweeted. “Is there a certain way I’m supposed to look? Help me understand.”

That’s the real question: is there a certain way her body is supposed to look?

The trend right now is to have an hour-glass shaped body, or to be what some people call “slim-thick.” Being slim-thick involves having a tiny or “snatched” waist, flat stomach, large breasts and a big bum: basically looking like a real life Jessica Rabbit.

Jessica Rabbit’s body type is impossible to have naturally or to maintain without the help of plastic surgery or constant use of waist trainers, diet and exercise.

The slim-thick body shouldn’t be the only body type seen as attractive but people continue to praise it on platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram.

Many women even go under the knife to achieve the look.

A Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) is a surgery that helps achieve a slim-thick body. The demand for BBL surgeries jumped by 61 per cent between 2014 and 2018, according to The Aesthetic Society, the world’s leading professional organization devoted to advancement in cosmetic surgery.

A report from The American Society of Plastic Surgeons indicated 64 per cent of its doctors experienced an increase in virtual consultations since the beginning of COVID-19.

BBLs are one of the fastest-growing cosmetic procedures in the world, even with studies showing the surgery has the highest death rate among all cosmetic procedures, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Most of the women getting BBLs are not celebrities or influencers but regular girls who want to look like the women praised on Instagram.

An internal report done by Instagram from March 2020 said that 32 per cent of teen girls, “Felt bad about their bodies,” and “Instagram made them feel worse.”

It seems no woman is allowed to feel confident in her natural body.

It’s no wonder between 80 and 90 per cent of women and girls in Canada are unhappy with the way they look – a stat from the Canadian Women’s Health Network in 2014.

Naturally thin women like Coi Leray or Ariana Grande shouldn’t be mocked for showing off their bodies just because they aren’t thick in the “right” areas.

It’s naïve to think body shaming will ever stop.

Yet it’s essential society re-evaluates what the standard is and what’s considered the perfect body.

Slim or thick, women’s bodies are good.

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