Change is a natural component of life, whether it is intentional or not. As Americans move into the twenty-first century, pop culture has changed the way they look at women’s body types. While body shaming of females used to be acceptable, now judging women based off of their looks is frowned upon by mainstream society. Women are encouraged by pop culture to embrace their bodies and be comfortable in their own skin.
In the early 2000s, women were constantly judged because of the way that their bodies looked. Not only was body shaming occurring in everyday life, it was also happening in movies, social media, and even magazines. In the drama, Precious, a 16-year-old young woman who goes by the name “Precious” was criticized because of her looks by not only her parents, but everyone else around her too. The character was abused physically and sexually, as well as verbally, but no one seemed to care about anything other than how she looked. For example, Claireece “Precious” Jones, a typical teenager who had dreams of being famous, constantly got her joy taken away with insults from her mother. In the past, body shaming was more popular in society due to its portrayal in movies.
The presence of impossible beauty standards of women in the past caused girls to be self-critical as well. This issue appeared in children’s movies such as The Little Mermaid and Alice in Wonderland, where the heroes or princesses were always skinny, and the villains had a little weight on them. Children were automatically questioning if they were pretty enough to be a “princess” at a young age. Whether body shaming was realized or not, it was a reoccurring issue that was never the topic of conversation. Moving into the twenty-first century, pop culture has begun to encourage all women to embrace their body types. Body positivity is shown on many different platforms, one being songs, such as “Pretty Hurts” by Beyoncé, “Who Says” by Selena Gomez, and “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor. Those specific artists have one common goal: to eliminate the need to meet the standards of beauty and embrace the beauty in imperfectness. Another platform where body positivity is now demonstrated is in movies, such as Pitch Perfect. In the film, The Barden Bellas is an all women acapella group that consists of women of all shapes and sizes. One of the ladies in the group is introduced as “Fat Amy.” Although the nickname is harsh, she makes it known that her weight does not define her, but in fact she embraces all aspects of her body. Self-love is an important concept in today’s society. Women all over the nation are consistently reminded of this idea in everyday life through things like social media.
Although body shaming is still around, it is now recognized as a problem that is in the process of being fixed. Change is not quick acting, it takes the growth of society, the development of the mind, and someone who is willing to commit to take action in order to fix the dilemma. The person who decided to stop ignoring the issue and attempt to solve it, was a woman by the name of Amber Rose. Beginning at a young age, Amber Rose was a victim of a number of different types of shaming, including slut shaming and body shaming. Not only can body shaming be described as the judgment of one’s body, but it can also include the ridicule of what a woman is wearing. Once multiple rapes were reported in New York, a Toronto police officer exclaimed that the reason behind the incidents was because of what the women were wearing. The comment infuriated women all over the nation, including Ms. Rose. She knew then that the issue had to be dealt with immediately, so she began a movement by the name of the “Amber Rose SlutWalk,” which still exists today. The objective for her movement is to empower all women to love themselves. Attendees of the festival are expected to be comfortable in their own skin and to support others who aim to do the same. Women have come a long way in the past decade, imagine if society continues to grow and support movements such as the “Amber Rose SlutWalk,” self-love and body positivity would become a new normal.
Now that actions such as body shaming are considered wrong in the twenty-first century, society can help women love their body type and discard any negativity that comes from others. Once everyone learns to love themselves, there will be room for positivity, love for each other, and then the world will be a better place.
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