What’s the Point of Body Shaming

“Oh, I knew you were a swimmer, your shoulders are huge! Must be a nightmare finding stuff that fits your body;” “Wait you swim? But you have boobs…” “How can you sprint if your arms are so short? Wouldn’t you be a lot better if you were taller and longer?;” “Where are your abs?”

Based off of those comments, I’ve created the image of a chunky dwarf with T-Rex arms. But last time I checked, I was actually a human being who happens to also be a student athlete. I am a 5’4″ swimmer on a good day, which (in case anyone has forgotten) is the average height of a female in the U.S. Would I be faster if I was taller? I honestly have no idea and I never will because I’m not. But why do people feel the need to try to make me feel unqualified because my body doesn’t fit their mold for what a swimmer should be? There is no “you-must-be-this-tall” to swim mark, my shoulders aren’t measured in hopes of meeting a team requirement, I’m not punished for lacking a six pack, and guess what? No one is kicking me off the team for having boobs. So, again, I ask: what’s the point of body shaming? Why should I think that my body isn’t good enough to do what I want to do?  I was recruited to a D1 school with the body I have. With my “manly shoulders,” with my “shortness,” with my “big boobs.” I did not get recruited because I had a six pack, because I met a height requirement, because I fit a body standard. There is no body standard. Whether you are an athlete or you are a person, there is no requirement to do what you love. So cut the shit with body shaming. And instead try letting people feel proud of what they’ve accomplished in the body that they have. I sure as hell am, and no standard can take that away from me.

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