In today’s world of constant media and advertising, the female body is objectified everywhere which leads to mainstream body standards that often leads to poor self-esteem. Several movements for body positivity have gained momentum in the media which is a step forward, but sometimes even those get skewed.
Demi Lovato has been very outspoken about her issues with body image and eating disorders and has been an advocate for young women to feel happy and beautiful in their own skin.
As great as that advocacy is, sometimes appealing to making one type of body feel accepted alienates another. Recently, Lovato made a comment about Taylor Swift’s “squad” not having “normal bodies.”
She defended her comments saying that she was calling Taylor Swift out for her misrepresentations of feminism, which may be true, but shaming her body and her friends’ is problematic.
Body shaming is just like it sounds, making someone feel shame over his or her body. A normal body doesn’t exist – a healthy one perhaps, but even that is subjective. So making comments calling a body abnormal for being skinny or meeting contemporary standards is no better than criticizing a body for being fat and not meeting beauty standards.
This matters to feminism because if we are working toward equality and equity for all genders including women, that means strengthening self-worth and self esteem so that women can be more that sexual objects. Shaming any body, no matter he appearance is not the answer to moving “body positivity” forward, it in fact does the opposite. So, when we see celebrities or media outlets doing this we can recognize it and go against it.