If you’ve been on the internet, watched the news or scrolled through social media within the last 24 hours, it is likely that you have come across a post Gigi Hadid made on her Instagram, directed at the internet bullies who have been body shaming her. After New York Fashion Week, Hadid was flooded with comments on her appearance, and telling her that she is not model material.
There is no shortage of body shaming in society today, whether you are in the spotlight like Hadid, or not. With the ability to hide behind a screen and username, it is has become increasingly easy for people who feel that they are entitled to voice their opinion on the body and lives of others, to do so.
Dealing with body shaming is something that almost everyone has experienced in their life time, and it breeds feelings of insecurity, inadequacy and unworthiness. Advertising and media alone have done a good job at making both women and men, feel uncomfortable in their own skin. In fact this insecurity is what is at the root of people going out of their way to tear others down, they are projecting their own feelings of insecurity onto others, and it has it’s consequences.
Here is her post:
When we see a super model being torn down and criticized for her appearance and size, it is no wonder that women are burdened with never feeling good enough. How is any women supposed to feel secure in her own skin, when even the women who are deemed the most beautiful by society’s made up standards are being body shamed? The answer is they can’t.
Although extremely unfortunate and inappropriate on the internet bullies part, there is a valuable lesson to take away from Hadid’s experience. And that is that no matter who you are, what you do, or how successful you are there it is never going to be good enough for everyone. Striving for a version of perfection that is unobtainable, will quickly lead to a life of unhappiness and insecurity.
Hadid fits society’s conventional beauty standards in every way with her long legs, abs and long bleach blonde, beach hair and she is still being told she isn’t good enough. In her Instagram post responding to the internet bullies, Hadid said that “I’m human, and I’m not going to lie, I did let the negativity get to me a little” confirming that even the most praised are not immune to feelings of unworthiness.
We are living in a time where insecurity and hate is being spread like wildfire, and only we have the power to reverse it. We can take a stand and start a revolution by loving and embracing ourselves exactly as we are. By being proud of who we are no matter our size, shape or race and not giving into the pressures of society, we can inspire and give permission to other women to do the same. The only way to put an end to internet bullying and body shaming is to rid society of the insecurity and scarcity mentality that is causing it in the first place. There is enough beauty and success to go around, and we don’t need to be hateful towards those who have it. Truth be told we all have it – beauty and success is something that only you can define for yourself, and the only standards you need to live up to are your own. Hadid said it best when she ended her instagram post saying “I hope everyone gets to a place in their life, where they’d rather talk about the things that inspire them, over the things that bring them down”.
A world where we can appreciate the success and beauty of others, is the kind of world should be aiming to create, and that starts each of us as individuals, by fully accepting and embracing ourselves.
Shanna Rochon is a Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert and Body Image Coach. She is on a mission to help women feel empowered, free and beautiful in their own skin, so that they can live the life they truly desire. Shanna currently coaches women privately, as well as runs interactive and transformative group workshops.