When Will The Shaming and Degrading Stop? (4-min read)

Connie Pretula Headshot

Connie Pretula

Connie Pretula is an inspiring health coach and Menopause Navigator to mature women, using a holistic approach to nutrition and life.

October 5, 2020

How did you react initially seeing the above meme?

Each person’s reaction may be different depending on gender and sense of humour. Did you laugh? Or did it make you a bit angry?

When I first saw the meme and after reading the caption, I analyzed Yoko’s buttocks and started to compare it to my own, hoping mine is not sagging too much yet at age 59.

After a while, I started to get angry about the meme. You might be thinking, it’s just a joke, don’t be so sensitive!

My anger is from meme’s that comment on women’s bodies and the social pressure that is forced on us by someone who thinks women should have round perky bubble butts or whatever other body part someone has deemed to be the way every woman’s body should be. And if we have the body deemed to be acceptable, then we are worthy of being called beautiful, sexy, gorgeous, or whatever word used to describe women and have a lot of followers on social media.

The other part that angered me is, someone is judging John Lennon thinking he should have been with a woman with a better figure. I don’t know Yoko Ono personally and I doubt my friend who posted the meme does either. John evidently didn’t fall into the pressure of having a gorgeous young model by his side because of his fame and decided to be with a woman who offered him more than exterior beauty, they were deeply in love.

If Yoko Ono had been a stunningly gorgeous woman with the most incredible figure anyone has ever seen, then it would be okay that The Beatles broke up? Would she have been more worthy of John’s love?

We can debate the breakup of The Beatles forever and continue to blame Yoko, only The Beatles know why they parted ways. 

This meme is not about the breakup, this meme is about shaming her body and because of that she was not worthy to be with John Lennon.

When will we stop shaming people for their exterior looks, celebrity or not and start taking the time to get to know the person inside?

When I go to the gym, I see the time women of all ages spend doing exercises to give them perky buttocks. For some women, this is a big task because their muscle and bone structure is not going to give them the same shaped butt as the celebrities who are in the spotlight. I worked out 5 days a week between 1-3 hours for 8 months to build my booty for my competition, I was also on a very specific nutrition program. My family genetics aren’t programmed for a round buttocks.

I know this pressure goes both ways as I have heard men comment negatively on their own body because of what they see in social media as to what is hot.

Of course the cosmetic surgery industry loves all of the social shamming, it’s great business for them. I read recently, with the increased use of video conferencing, people don’t like their image and are going to get work done. How sad, now that we are looking at ourselves more we don’t like what we are seeing.

We are all allowed to be who we are, in whatever form we are. I tell my friends to not be insulted if I haven’t noticed if they have lost weight. I’m not interested in how they look and the shape of their body, I’m interested in how they treat others, are they kind, what have their life experiences been. We all have insecurities. I find the people who are the most beautiful are the ones who are comfortable in their skin and they know what they have to offer intellectually and emotionally to others. 

I’m not there yet because as I mentioned, when I saw the meme, I started to think about the shape of my butt and whether it is sagging. I am getting closer though because I didn’t run to  the mirror naked to make sure.

Probably if I look back in my feed, I may have some meme’s I now regret posting and commenting on. As Maya Angelou said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

If 2020 is all about acceptance, being aware and being kinder, then this is an area where we can all be kinder.

Meme’s can be funny, they don’t need to degrade anyone for any reason.

I hope the next time you post a meme, you think about the picture and the message, does it degrade anyone, is there value in posting it?

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