Wednesday, 16 March 2016

How dare you be body confident!

Slut Shaming. A major issue within today's society and something most females can sadly relate too. Today I was slut shamed into removing a post off Instagram by a group of girls who really missed the point and I really want to share this experience and opinions with you all. 

I posted a photo on Instagram, It was a photo of my figure. Me lying down, slight bit of cleavage showing but nothing overly revealing. I spent a while writing about Vegetarianism, pointing out how I feel more confident with my body and how healthier I feel. The paragraph was me sharing my experience with my new lifestyle, the post was promoting Vegetarianism. It was a post on the benefits to my body as a vegetarian, something to inspire others to look into the lifestyle. I have recently been watching Freelee (Freelee the banana girl on Youtube) and she inspired me to share my story. She spreads the benefits of becoming Vegan and encourages the use of social media to advocate this. I posted on my Instagram because that is where I am the most exposed within social media. By the time I had deleted the post, at least 200 people had seen the post judging by the likes, that's 200 people that had at least took the time to read about my lifestyle. To most people that is not a lot, but to me 200 is a crazy amount to even view my photos. I had a feeling of self worth that I was actually doing something to help the environment and animals and also knowing I might had educated some people on Vegetarianism felt great. That is when the comments started. Not on Instagram itself but by a small handful of girls, most of them I knew. Most comments were on how I was using my body for attention, how unintelligent I am, whether I was expressing "vegetarianism or my cleavage". And you want to know something? Yes I was posting a photo of my body for attention because I wanted to show the benefits of my lifestyle and how I am more body confident. Although excuse me for forgetting it is completely unacceptable for a female to express themselves or show how confident they are. It's just not allowed.

One of my favourite quotes on this subject actually comes from Mean Girls,"You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores". And you know what? This is so true. Sure we now have rights as women but it is still a highly misogynistic society, if a male slut shamed a girl all hell should break lose so why should it be acceptable for women to slut shame each other? To me it is unacceptable. Females go on about feminine empowerment and how we should all love our bodies, but how hypocritical is it to shame a fellow female if they post a photo online? It's like saying love your body but don't show it because that is unacceptable. A hypocritical message which to me is unhealthly to live by and something that should not be encouraged. I think that everyone should be happy and comfortable in their own skin and if they're happy? Good for them! I am not going to judge someone on posting a photo of them connoting a healthy body image , I support it. Females should empower each other, not slut shame. A mindset I wish everyone would think by.

Lets talk about the "Pamela Anderson effect", something a close friend and the most inspirational person I know told me about. For years Pamela was slut shamed because she was body confident and openly expressed it through media. Pamela is an animal rights activist, openly Vegan and is active within animal protection organizations. She speaks up against famous makeup brands most celebrities advocate that test on animals such as M.A.C cosmetics. Yes she is a goddess and did start out as a sex symbol but she is intelligent and used this kind of attention to draw attention to wider issues. In my opinion she is a role model, she deserves the recognition for all her hard work and her time spent towards animal rights. She is fierce and knows how to rock the media.

Don't get me wrong, I have been slut shamed in the past. This is not a new experience to me but today it just got to me because I was trying to do something for the greater good. It was really obvious I was not attention seeking or "expressing my cleavage" but actually spreading a positive message. I could go on about this subject forever but I wanted to get my message across. Slut shaming is wrong and if you're guilty of this, you should be ashamed. Females should empower each other and be able to express themselves. A girl posts a photo of her figure? Good for her! A girl is open about her sexuality? Respect to her. I think we all need to stop worrying about what each other are doing and focus on ourselves, positivity is key to a happy mindset.

Shannon x

The photo that caused so much controversy:

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