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My Experience With Body Shaming

My entire life, my body has been a topic of conversation, whether it be at camp, school and now on the Internet.

I’ve gotten used to it and I’ve learned how to react to it since I was little. When I switched from an all girls to a co-ed camp before my teenage years, I was never considered the pretty or the cute girl. None of the guys were into me because I was so skinny and flat chested with puffy, curly hair (not to mention, my mom didn’t believe in teaching me about shaving or getting my eyebrows waxed so I was a little behind haha). At the dances, I would always want to dance with the boy I liked, but he was always into the girls with boobs. I had to learn to accept this reality, so I kept busy with other things. Once I got into high school, my body became the main topic whenever a guy would talk about me. She’s too skinny, I could break her, she’s flat chested, etc.

The most painful moment was when I was in my junior year of high school. I was at a party and one of the cooler senior guys screamed at me as I was leaving, shouting “get the f*ck out of here you anorexic bitch!” I never understood why he said that to me, as we had never spoken before and I had no idea why he was targeting me, but it was the first time I actually broke down and cried from being body shamed. Fast forward to 2013 when I was at a bar in the Meatpacking District with a girlfriend of mine and a guy walks over to me and asks to buy me a drink. I looked at him and realized it was the same guy; funny enough, he had no clue it was me. I told him to buy us drinks and then I left 🙂

In 2009, I started my blog as a hobby but also as a means to impress my boyfriend. It didn’t work in terms of the boyfriend, but as you all know, I did fall in love with my new found hobby. I never thought about the Internet as a place that would expose me to new haters but it inevitably followed along. Truthfully, I didn’t mind it because I was already so used to it. I don’t get as much body shaming now that I’m older and have had my two babies, but it occasionally happens.

My most significant takeaway when people make those comments to me and about me, is that it usually doesn’t have much to do with me at all. Instead, it’s more indicative of an insecurity the person has in themself. As far as guys go, the stereotype is that guys do look for curves, boobs, butt, etc. but there are also those guys out there who love bodies like mine. Ultimately, you find your soulmate for a million other reasons aside from bodies and the superficial things. Instead of focusing on the negative comments, surround yourself with supportive people. Focus on being as amazing and as kind as you can be and everything else will fall into place.

Illustration by: Hannah Kellner

By Arielle Charnas

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