I am a social media junkie. I spent a lot of time scrolling my various news feeds, clicking on articles, reading editorials, and trying to keep-up on both “important” news, and all of the “other” news that falls into the categories of health, entertainment, scandals, etc. Most of the time my news feed is filled with memes. Some cute, some ironic, some offensive, and some poignant. It is VERY rare that a simple meme will send me soaring off the deep-end into a rage-filled rant. Ladies, I am here to tell you; this one did it for me.
I could absolutely care less what your feelings are toward Beyoncé. Maybe you liked the Superbowl outfit, maybe you hated it. Maybe she was entertaining to you, or maybe you found her alleged attempt at politicizing the show over-the-top. You might love or hate her music, her husband, her political views, her hesitancy in the past to be political, or the fact that she is an African-American woman with loads of money and power.
But to turn this into body shaming? I am sure that most would say, “it’s just stupid picture,” another irreverent meme that points out a physical flaw in someone who has chosen to be in the spotlight. Some will argue that it is her choice to put herself in the limelight, and the backlash comes with the territory. But I am here to tell you that THIS is not ok.
What’s happened here is that someone has taken what is probably a very complex set of feelings toward race and politics, and summarized his/her anger by comparing Beyoncé to a Miss. Piggy. Worse? People are sharing it. WOMEN are sharing it. The person who sent it to me sent it with the caption “this race thing is getting crazy.” What this tells me is that our society believes that the ultimate insult, the ultimate way to show your disapproval of a woman is to immediately shame her for a perceived physical flaw. We are saying, here’s an intelligent, talented, stable, powerful, wealthy woman, who has done something we don’t like. Well, she’s fat, “so there!”
I find it despicable, insulting, and not something that should be tolerated by men or women. By continuing to “share” these insults, we are perpetuating and nurturing a culture where women are still judged solely on the basis of her looks. When a woman becomes too powerful and gets “out of line” with her ideas, we will immediately resort to tearing her down using body shaming. To this I say “shame on us.”