NO MORE SHAM­ING

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - ANA VECIANA-SUAREZ

Pic­ture this ab­sur­dity.

You’re run­ning through your neigh­bour­hood, keep­ing your strict four-times-a-week train­ing sched­ule for the Around the Bay Road Race. It’s hot. It’s hu­mid. You’re sweating. Your heart is pump­ing. You’re push­ing your­self to the max.

Then some stranger stops you to tell you to get a new sports bra.

Do you punch him? Do you ig­nore him? Do you write about it on so­cial me­dia?

Mi­ami res­i­dent Michelle Kirk, 30, posted about just such an en­counter on Facebook.

“He was like ‘your boobs are sag­ging,’ and then he tried to ex­plain the health as­pect of it,” Kirk told a re­porter. “He was like, ‘They’re al­ready head­ing south. I don’t think you want that.’”

Kirk’s mes­sage, along with a photo of her flip­ping the bird, has gone vi­ral. And there’s a good rea­son for that. Women are fed up with the body sham­ing, a ridicu­lous cam­paign that makes us feel “less than” sim­ply be­cause we aren’t “per­fect.”

“You are the rea­son why women have in­se­cu­ri­ties,” Kirk wrote to the “nasty old man” who, at the very least, lacks both tact and com­mon sense.

She said she didn’t give the man a piece of her mind when he con­fronted her be­cause she had her 18-month-old daugh­ter in a stroller with her.

No wor­ries. A mes­sage tends to be am­pli­fied on so­cial me­dia.

Un­for­tu­nately, though, that power goes both ways. And yes, while there’s al­ways been plenty of catty re­marks to go around in a world ob­sessed with phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance, so­cial me­dia has el­e­vated the fin­ger-wag­ging to un­prece­dented nasty heights. Too of­ten it’s women do­ing it to each other.

Ear­lier this month a Play­boy model fat-shamed an un­sus­pect­ing woman on Snapchat when she posted a photo of the woman naked in the gym. After she sparked a huge back­lash, Dani Mathers, who was Play­mate of the Year 2015, apol­o­gized pub­licly.

It breaks my heart to hear pre­teen girls dis­cuss di­et­ing when their weight is not the is­sue, but their per­cep­tion of their bod­ies is. Then again, what can we ex­pect when we’re sur­rounded by the un­re­al­is­tic (and prob­a­bly air­brushed) photos of mod­els so thin — or so buxom — that the rest of us of av­er­age weight and bra size are left to won­der about what’s nor­mal.

But of course we don’t need tabloids to twist the idea that beauty ex­ists in ev­ery body re­gard­less of shape. We don’t need Snapchat to de­hu­man­ize each other, ei­ther. We do a pretty good job of cut­ting each other down the old-fash­ioned way. Kirk’s en­counter on her run cer­tainly proves that.

GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Some stranger stops you to tell you to get a new sports bra. Do you punch him? Do you ig­nore him? Do you write about it on so­cial me­dia?

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