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Fit Shaming

Kim Kardashian became the subject of controversy when she arrived at the Met Gala dressed in an iconic beaded gown originally worn by Marilyn Monroe. The dress is known around the world as a piece of American history, having been worn when Monroe sang “Happy Birthday” in 1962 to then President John F. Kennedy. She revealed during interviews that she had to lose 16 pounds to fit into the dress. Though Kardashian looked fit and beautiful in the dress, other celebrities were outraged regarding how open she was about losing the weight for the event.

“To walk on a red carpet and do an interview where you say how starving you are… because you haven’t eaten carbs in the last month…all to fit in a f–king dress?” wrote the star of Riverdale, Lili Reinhart, on her Instagram story. “So wrong. So f–ked on 100s of levels.” She added that it is “disgusting” for celebrities to admit to “starving” themselves considering how many people idolize them. “To openly admit to starving yourself for the sake of the Met Gala. When you know very well that millions of young men and women are looking up to you and listening to your every word. The ignorance is other-worldly disgusting,” she wrote.

Who is right? Is it wrong to go on a diet to fit into a dress? Should we be shaming people who want to look better?

Leading up to the Met Gala, where the dress code was “Gilded Glamour,” Kardashian shared on social media that she was doing two workouts a day to slim down. And after the event, she shared a video of an endless buffet of pizza and doughnuts, saying that she was “starving” because she hasn’t had sugar in nearly a month.

As a fitness professional who has spent my entire adult life working out, competing, and training others, I can attest to the importance of a proper diet, and it doesn’t include doughnuts and pizza (well, maybe at a cheat meal!) So, when someone is changing from an unhealthy diet to a healthy one (or hopefully not a “diet” but a long-lasting lifestyle change) to clean up their life and body, whether it is to fit into a dress or look good in a bathing suit, or just to feel better, it should be celebrated, not shamed. It’s still body shaming when someone bullies you for eating healthy, just because in that person’s opinion, avoiding sugar and pizza equates starvation. Sharing a photo of a flat belly when you work out and take care of the food you eat is not some kind of sadistic body shaming of other people. Have we become such a narcissistic society that you can’t do anything positive that someone doesn’t think it is saying or shaming someone else? The popular reaction now is to totally discredit the good habits of exercising and eating right. And no, it is not sending the wrong message to strive to be healthy, fit, and disciplined, it is sending the right message!

I remember years ago I saw an article that a young mother of 3 or 4 posted about her workout routine and how she regained her fitness and body being a busy young mother of so many children. She also included her children in her activities. She posted the article as an encouragement to other young mothers how to find the time to stay healthy, for their own sakes, as well as being a role model for their children. After posting, the vitriol and backlash was intense. People called her selfish, a bad mother, and many other disgusting things. Haters came out of every corner to say she was unrealistic, imposing her impossible ideals on others, and accused her of participating in the body shaming ofnormal women. Normal, in this day and age, seems to be celebrating unhealthy habits, sedentary lifestyles, and extreme fatness.

Celebrities, especially ones known for their weight struggles, who lose weight successfully, are admonished for no longer being a role model. This is sad. Seems that it is true, misery loves company. If you are fat and out of shape, it makes other people happier because they feel better about themselves.

Fit shamers never see themselves as bullies, but this is exactly what they are. Whether you’re fit shamed because you’re a “bulky” woman, or “too muscular,” or don’t have “real curves,” “look like a man,” or are “too pretty and far from what real women look like,” it is still body shaming, and bullying. Fit shamers somehow see themselves above others because they believe they are standing up against unrealistic ideals of beauty. They really don’t see how judgmental and hateful they are.

I say, it’s a pretty crappy way to treat a woman, especially by another woman. Good for Kim Kardashian for changing her diet, eating healthy without sugars, carbs and pizza. She looked gorgeous in that Marilyn Monroe dress, and I hope she continues eating healthy, not because of the silly dress but because simply… It’s her life and never let bullies win! Eating healthy and exercising is always a positive move in your life. Don’t let bullies succeed in holding you back because they are jealous and fail in their own endeavors.

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