Body Policing Gets A Makeover
Gone are the days where disparaging tweets and social media outrage are focused solely on the plus-size population. When Miss Alabama, Katherine Webb, recently posted an Instagram photo of herself in a bikini, the responses were less than favorable. Among the numerous unpleasant remarks, someone suggested she “have a donut, make that a dozen,” while others referred to her as “anorexic.”
Webb’s reaction to the social media backlash was fueled by emotion, and was also hypocritical--offering the same hurtful feelings she experienced for the “middle-aged women” she chose to call out.
"To all of you who think I need to gain weight or eat more, I eat just fine. I am 5'11 so I have a lot more places to put my calories. I eat crap most of the time anyways. And to all the middle-aged women who like to leave mean comments on my page about my body, you can gladly skip my page and go somewhere else. I am tall, I eat just fine and also suffer from thyroid problems so don't make fun of me or my body when you probably have problems of your own. I rarely react to this kind of stuff, but this really bothers me."
During her appearance on Good Morning America, Webb admitted she overreacted. “I was really surprised at the amount of disgust and disapproval,” she said. She went on to say she dealt with self-esteem issues as a child. Since she was tall and lanky, her weight had always been a very sensitive topic for her. The twenty-five-year-old wife of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback, AJ McCarron, wouldn’t divulge her weight, but explained her size fluctuates due to a thyroid condition.
“To the bullies and to people that want to say negative things, really think about what you’re saying,” Webb said. “Can you imagine if someone said those things to you?”
As a full-figured woman, the answer is a resounding yes. Critical comments about one’s physical makeup are an everyday occurrence for individuals who are larger than a size 12. While the majority of the population falls into the plus-size category, they are still considered to be anomalous when compared to society’s standard of what’s acceptable.
Body policing is unfortunate for whatever sector of the population it is focused on. People should not be criticized for their weight no matter how big or small. Though body shaming is more prevalent with plus-size individuals, this instance with Katherine Webb shows no one is exempt from it. In the end, acceptance should come from within. Love the skin you’re in!