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Thursday, October 08, 2015

Stop The Body Shaming, People! Sheesh!!!

October 8, 2015

Until just recently, I was having a hard time trying to come up with a concept to talk about in this blog.  I know that I don't write in this space as much as I used to, but I still want to try and write at least three or four entries a week so that it doesn't look like I have completely abandoned it.

But this is one time in which I was inspired to write about something after it showed up in my news feed on one of my social media accounts.  And I warn you ahead of's not going to be pretty.

You know how on Facebook, they have this feature where they display the Top 10 Trending News Stories that are happening at that moment?  Well, sometimes they talk about some serious issues like the upcoming Canadian elections on October 19 (please vote, everyone!) or the tragic shootings at a community college in Oregon (my thoughts are with the families of those who were killed or wounded).  Most of the time though, it's mindless fluff and stuff that we don't care about.

(Seriously, one week I checked my news feed, and four of the ten news stories had to do with one of the Kardashians.  Seriously, Kardashian do absolutely nothing newsworthy.  Just go away!  Yes, Caitlyn Jenner's transition from male to female was major news once upon a time, but that moment has passed.)

Sorry.  I feel compelled to rant about the Kardashians at least once per week.  I'm better now.

Anyway, one of the stories had to do with Vin Diesel.  You might know him from his work on "The Fast and the Furious" films...also known as the film franchise that absolutely refuses to die. 

So, he was on vacation somewhere, and you know how when celebrities go on vacation, there is always someone there with a camera in hand to snap a photo of them because they have no life other than to stalk those who do?

Well, a recent picture of Vin Diesel submerged online, and when you compare it to another photo taken right around the time that he was filming one of the Fast and Furious films, well...there is a bit of a difference.

The photo on the left is an older photo.  The one on the right is the new photo.  And really, the only difference that I can see is that Vin Diesel's midsection has changed a little.

Yes, Vin Diesel has what many people refer to as a "dad bod".  And you know what?  It doesn't matter to me in the slightest.  I mean, when you look at it, people who star in action films go through a lot to get to the physical shape that they are required to have to fit the right look.  They exercise six hours a day, eat protein rich meals, and basically live life like a contestant on "The Biggest Loser".  After all that training and all that work, when a movie wraps up, isn't it completely natural to relax and do whatever you want afterwards?  I mean, I'm sure that by the time "Fast and Furious 14" comes out, he'll be back to fighting shape in no time.

And another thing to consider?  Vin Diesel is 48 years old.  Last time I checked, 48 is considered middle-age.  And last time I checked, the majority of 48 year olds I know have less than perfect figures due to a slowing metabolism and aging bones and muscles.  In short, Vin Diesel is like any other normal man in the world.

So, that's why it makes me very sad to see so many ignorant people commenting negatively about the new photo.  I mean, yes, it is a bit of a jarring comparison, but so what? 

Besides, I'm noticing a bit of a double standard when it comes to body types and people commenting on said body types, and I think that's what upsets me most.

Just to throw out a fictional example, let's take a female star of the same movie series.  Let's look at Jordana Brewster.  Now, I could look at a picture of her now and say that she is one incredibly beautiful woman.  Now, I would imagine that had she gained a few extra pounds around the midsection, there would still be those jerks on social media that would make incredibly nasty comments.  However, we're in a time where people are now starting to realize that comments like that are unacceptable and that we should be standing up for plus-sized women instead of ridiculing them.

Don't get me wrong.  We still have a long way to go as a society, but when it comes to plus-sized women, I think we're becoming less jerky towards them and more accepting...which is how we should have been all along.

So here's my question?  Why is it not okay to body shame women, but it's perfectly fine to make men feel inadequate about their own bodies?

Here's fact for you.  Men can be just as insecure about our bodies as women can.  To this day, I still hate taking off my shirt in public, and whenever I have to change clothes in a change room, I always try to hide in a corner away from everyone else.  Being husky my whole life, I've never really have that much confidence looking in the mirror, or even showing myself off to other people.  And part of the reason why that was the case was because of thoughtless comments from people who publicly shamed me because I was fat.

Here's fact.  Did you know that male eating disorders are becoming more and more evident, especially in young men aged 15-24?  There is even an organization for men who have eating disorders called "NAMED", where men can seek assistance.

It's why I couldn't stand by "comedienne" Nicole Arbour for her thoughtless and cruel fat-shaming video that she seemingly has no remorse in making.  I honestly think that if we had less people like her in the world and more people who were understanding, then maybe there wouldn't be this much stigma about body types.

The fact of the matter is that most of us who are fat want to lose the weight, not necessarily for vanity issues, but for health reasons.  And frankly, people who feel the need to treat people like garbage because they happen to weigh more than they do...they might think that they are doing us a favour, but really they are just contributing to the shattered self-esteem that some of us have.

I was the person who when someone told me that I needed to lose a few pounds, I would grab a box of Twinkies and eat the whole box right in front of them to get them to leave me alone.  But that doesn't work.  It just gives them more incentive to be cruel. 

You want to know what does work?  Building people up.  Being part of a team.  Support from friends and family.  To me, being around people you love is a natural appetite suppressant.  Trust me.  It works.

So you know what, Vin Diesel?  I support you.  You go out there and you show off your body like a man.  Anyone who says anything nasty about you...well, you just ignore them.  Or brag that you are worth millions.  Either way, it'll shut them up.

Who knows?  Maybe one day, I'll find the courage to be topless in public.  I just know that today's not that day! 

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