Everything women do is greeted with hate

Graphic by Sam Chow
Graphic by Sam Chow

A few days ago, I was nonchalantly scrolling through my Instagram feed when I came across a photo of a girl was leaning over a table at McDonald’s and the view was focused clearly on the underside of her dress.

Little was left to the imagination and it was probable that she didn’t know what people on the other side of her could see.

The caption underneath projected disgust and shame toward her, while she remained oblivious to the fact that the picture was even taken in the first place.

Rather than, I don’t know, not show this image to the world and either inform the girl that she was unknowingly exposing herself or simply walking away like a decent human being, this person decided to descend to a despicable level that I see far too often today.

I recently read a story about Playboy model Dani Mathers, who took a nude photo of a 70-year-old woman in the locker room of a gym and posted it to Snapchat alongside her shocked face with the caption, “if I can’t unsee this, then you can’t either.”

She has since faced numerous repercussions for her disgustingly horrible actions and could face up to 6 months in jail, with a hefty fine to boot.

The unsettling side to this story is that it’s not that much of a rarity.

No matter where you look today, there seems to be endless forms of “shaming” ingrained in our society.

It’s a facet to media that seemingly can’t be avoided and the frequency in which it’s done is alarming, to say the least.

A notable downside with social media is the fact that people can’t seem to get away with living out their lives as they wish without the forced judgement from every keyboard warrior willing to announce their greatly unwanted opinions at the click of a button.

Women are berated for being any size, whether it’s large, small, or anything in between. Overly fit, or not fit enough — there’s no winning.

Fat shaming is treated as a laughable myth by numerous people, but looking at the Facebook comments of a plus sized model induces cyber wars of head-shaking proportions. Insults tearing apart her looks, claiming concern for her “health,” are what dominate the majority, rather than anything positive.

Conversely, when looking at a post of a fit couple at the gym, the comments are equally unnerving. They focus primarily lying on their distaste for their looks or how “manly” a woman appears with abs.

These are just two of the common examples that I see. Shaming seems to exist in every corner of our world, no matter what someone does or looks like.

Women breastfeeding in public, men wearing makeup, people who are vegan, people who eat meat, women wearing revealing clothing, people with tattoos — the list goes on.

Rather than simply acknowledge to ourselves that we may not personally like or agree with something, our society seems set on making dislike known loud and clear — whether their opinions were asked for or not.

The decision to sift through a comment section on any social media platform is usually a dangerous one.

I like to look at it this way: if you wouldn’t feel comfortable walking up to the person your negativity is targeted towards and saying it directly to their face, then don’t say it.

People tend to fall back on the overused, “but this is a free country! Freedom of speech! I can say whatever I want!”

Well, yes, you can and those things are true, but when did basic human decency just go out the window?

I’m not saying that everything is always going to be sunshine and roses or that everyone always has to be nice all the time. That would just be unrealistic.

My point is to practise mindfulness, especially with how easily accessible and expansive social media is today. Be kind and spread love instead of hate. Heaven knows, we all need it.

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