Amy Schumer forces people to think about the effects of body shaming on younger generations
A few weeks ago, Glamour Magazine included Amy Schumer in their plus-size issue. Schumer took insult at that, as she was not told about her inclusion in the issue and stated that it was unfair and wrong.
On Instagram, Schumer posted a picture of the cover of the issue, along with a caption citing her feelings about the fiasco. She then posted a screen-grab of her Instagram post to Twitter, asking her followers for their opinion.
Schumer said she was between a size 6 and an 8, and plus size in America conventionally starts at size 16.
Glamour did not ask or let her know that she was going to be included in this plus-size issue, and Schumer found out through an outside source. She believes that young girls seeing her body type as plus size will feel inadequate, even though they are anything but.
Support flooded Schumer’s Twitter feed, with followers backing her up and discussing how “plus size” is just another way of dividing women into uniform groups and putting labels on people’s appearances.
An article by Jennifer Aubrey, entitled “Looking Good Versus Feeling Good,” was published in 2008 in a journal called “Sex Roles.” The article discusses how women’s magazines include a lot of information on healthy habits, but capitalize on looking good over feeling good.
These healthy habits, such as “10 Smoothies that will give you the perfect summer body!” or “4 ab workouts to impress your man,” are not mentioned for the right reasons. Women should regularly work out and eat healthy, but not to get a “summer body” or for any man.
One of the main issues Schumer brought up was the effect of such framing on younger girls. An article on CNN.com pulled from a research report noted that “more than half of girls and one-third of boys as young as 6 to 8 think their ideal weight is thinner than their current size.”
By age 7, at least one in four kids will have engaged in some kind of dieting behavior.
That’s crazy, right? When children who are just starting school feel this way because of media portrayals of the “ideal” body and society’s expectations of people to be “thin and skinny,” we have a problem.
These kids will keep these “skinny is best” mindsets all throughout their life, which segues our discussion into body issues on college campuses. Students often struggle with body image issues during college, and with a stressful environment and an unhealthy mindset, things can take a drastic turn for the worse. That is why many college campuses have started to promote body positivity through workshops, healthy eating initiatives and fun fitness activities.
For example, University of the Pacific recently had their Pac Wellness Week 2016, in which they had a “Love Your Body” Photobooth that promoted self-love and care, something that can help students struggling with body image issues greatly.
Pacific also has Student Health 101 Magazine, which is a free online magazine that covers issues such as stress, sleep, nutrition and self-care.
There are so many ways we can tackle media and societal influences on younger generations and on ourselves, and educating ourselves about these issues is the first step.
Schumer used her situation to educate people about what is going on in society, and that is definitely something we should be doing more. Body positivity should be an important aspect of our society, and we need to make sure everyone knows that they are enough.
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