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"Shaming" Shaming

May 01, 2014 2 min read

I write a lot about body image, and one of the main complaints I hear when I discuss fat-shaming or skinny-shaming is the use of the word “shaming”. Not that anyone necessarily dislikes the words, or thinks that it isn’t a fitting term for the topic, it’s just that it is used A LOT. “Joan Rivers fat-shames Lena Dunham” “Autocomplete’s Body Shaming” “Anne Hathaway and One Piece Shaming” … and those are just the blogs with shaming in the title. I also talk about skinny-shamingsweats-shaming, and cellulite shaming. bodyshaming I’m not going to stop talking about it, because I do really believe that it’s an important topic – I think that body positivity is something everyone should believe in, and the more that I can make people aware of how ridiculous it is to boost one subset of people by putting down another, then the more I feel good about what I’m writing. That said, I have heard your cries, and I agree – the shaming term is getting old, so let’s fix it. I recently heard “weight hate”, that’s kind of catchy. The only thing is that shaming goes a bit further than hate. I can hate brusell sprouts, but that only affects me, not the sprouts. I can’t shame brusell sprouts because they aren’t sentient and therefore not able to feel ashamed. Whether it is effective or not, the goal of “shaming” is to elicit a response from the subject, specifically one of shame. These aren’t perfect synonyms, but here’s my starter list of possible terms to substitute “shaming” with:
  • sizism
  • weightism
  • body bias
  • weight hate
  • body negativity
  • fat discrimination
  • anti-fat
  • fat phobia
  • skinny stigma
  • body disgracing
  • body belittling
  • skinny debasing
  • skinny stereotyping
  • body bigotry
  • fat faulting
  • skinny scorning
If you think of any others, let me know – because the body shaming stories will keep on coming – the terminology will just get better.

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