For most of my life, I’ve been considered “too skinny” by adults and peers alike. In middle school, people joked that I had an eating disorder, which was unpleasant to hear but better than being called overweight, I told myself. Then came college and with it came the inevitable body changes of drastic lifestyle shifting, growing up, studying abroad and moving out of my mom’s place. When I returned home at the end of one summer, a grown male neighbor took it upon himself to point out my significant weight gain, which I was supposed to take as a compliment because I’d been “too thin” all those years anyway. I was instructed to thank the guy, but all I wanted to do was strangle him on his own lawn.
When it comes to appearance, nobody is safe from criticism, and life savant Emma Stone unfortunately knows all about this. In a new interview with USA Today, the Arizona native covers a lot of ground and reveals she’s read tons of nasty remarks on her figure, “I firmly believe that nothing really affects you or can really bother you if you don’t already feel that way about yourself. I’ve seen a lot of comments that say, ‘Eat a sandwich’ or ‘She looks sick.’ I’ve been looking at myself in the mirror being mean to myself. I’m not sick. I eat sandwiches.”
Stone expresses concern that people think she’s sending a bad message to the world about her consumption habits, even though her petite frame has nothing to do with the way she’s been eating, “In no way is it my intention to be a bad example. That has been kind of bothering me lately. I’ve shamed myself for it. We shame each other online. We’re always too skinny or too fat or too tall or too short. They’re just confirming this feeling I have about myself. I’m trying to figure my body out. It bothers me because I care so much about young girls. We’re shaming each other and we’re shaming ourselves, and it sucks.”
Yeah, it really does, and I’m not afraid to say the “real women have curves” movement is part of the problem. All women are real women, and being shamed for thinness can be just as damaging as getting laughed at for putting on weight. It’s important to remember that body criticism of any kind can stick with a person for the rest of his or her life, especially if that individual is already insecure. That’s why Stone doesn’t want to spend her time picking apart somebody else’s looks, and good on her for making that healthy decision:
“When I make a comment about someone or I choose to gossip about someone and speculate about their body or their life or their face, it’s usually a reflection of something I’m feeling myself. That has become ingrained in me. I’m trying to eliminate gossip from my own life.”
I think this is something we can all work on, myself included. When Stone talks about others publicly, it’s in a positive light, and that’s how she describes fellow a-list lady Shailene Woodley, “She feels good about herself. I like being around women like that.”
I do too, and that’s why there’s a need for more Emma Stones in our world.
Please share your thoughts on the effects of body shaming in the comments section.
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