Showing posts with label bodyshaming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bodyshaming. Show all posts

15 July 2015

Thoughts of the Week - School Uniforms

 photo thoughts of the week_zpsnc9pp9q4.jpg

Today I am talking about school uniforms and the policies that schools have with regard to them.

When I was going to secondary school in the early nineties, the school rules with regard your appearance were simple.   For the girls you could either wear a knee length skirt or plain black formal trousers i.e. no leggings.  As long as the trousers were of the right material and your skirt was nearer your knees than your bottom, you were good to go.

When it came to non-uniform days, I don't recall anyone ever getting set home for inappropriate dress.  Shoulders and arms were bared on these days in the warmer months and no boys, or male teachers for that matter complained of being distracted by them.  No educations suffered as a result of a boy, or male teacher come to that, being able to see my knees.

Fast forward to 2015 and you would be forgiven for thinking that attitudes towards school uniform and female students had actually gone back in time.  Female students are treated as if they are term time Lolitas, there only to distract boys and entice teachers.

Let us put it in a plain and simple way. 

If you are sending a girl home because you can see some or all of her shoulders,
YOU are the problem, not her.

If you are sending a girl home because teachers/male students are distracted by her, the teacher and YOU are the problem, not her.

If you force a girl to wear a "shame suit" if her clothes violate the dress code, YOU are the one that should be ashamed.  Give her parents a letter giving them a time period to rectify situation.  DO NOT PUBLICALLY SHAME HER.

If you insist that girls have to wear non white t-shirts over their swimming costumes, YOU are the problem.

If you think a girl is "too young" to be wearing an outfit,


14 July 2015

The Disabled Overweight (And Why We’re Not Unicorns)

Today on the blog I have the lovely Hazel guest posting for me from Frocktopus.  Hazel is talking today about size shaming and the disabled overweight.  This is a fantastic read and I am so pleased that she agreed to post for me.

As much as I don’t want to believe it, unicorns don’t exist. The nine year old inside me is crying just typing that. I on the other hand do exist, and as much as we all like to feel a little like we’re special snowflakes, there are literally millions of people just like me on this planet - I’m overweight and I’m disabled.

I’m writing about these things for the ever fabulous curved opinion today because this blog is all about body positivity and Vicky has written some amazing posts about the plus sized movement, which sadly goes hand in hand with talking about size shaming.

Often I’m essentially excused from size shaming, not because I’m of average BMI (on my scale of awesome fictional characters from Flat Stanley to Jabba the Hutt I happily sit just shy of Vicar of Dibley) but because I’m disabled. A fact people seem to forget when vilifying under/overweight people.

“That’s me!” I shout.

“Not you, you’re exempt” they blush. “Besides I don’t think of you as fat”
some of the nicer friends say.

“Do one” I say, hitting the Facebook block button, passive aggressive as ever.

These are people that would, quite rightly, be in uproar if someone said “But you can’t help being black” or “But I don’t think of you as a woman.” These are not valid excuses people, if you’re going to make sweeping statements and presumptions about a subset or society, it’s a good idea to stop, look left and right then think, can these people be expected to live up to my ideals, and should they be expected to?

Shaming people on the basis that 'people can do stuff but they won’t' is presuming you know someone's situation better than they themselves (something I regularly try to check with my ‘Am I being a dick?' filter.) Not everyone is able to cook healthy food, eat healthy food and exercise regularly enough to be an ideal weight. 

If you’re thinking a group of people aren’t doing something they should, it’s probably a good idea to take into account the subsets of that group that sometimes cannot physically do those things, be it by poverty, carpophobia or disability.

Another often touted belief is 'It’s wrong to have an unhealthy role model'. This is not only saying large swathes of disabled people can’t have a role model, it’s saying large swathes of disabled people can’t BE a role model, which is discrimination by omission (a law/rule/belief that isn’t specifically aimed at a subset of people but accidentally persecutes them more than average, for example losing job security for taking long periods of time off work discriminates parents by omission.) 

It’s important for all people to have someone that can make them feel like they aren’t a freak and that they can accomplish something great, whether that’s being an Olympian or getting out of your PJs by noon (FYI I am in my PJs at 11am writing this, I bet Tess Holiday’s in a fucking power suit by this time of day). 

This attitude towards over/underweight disabled people is not only pretty discriminatory but I do not believe it’s about health. Size shaming often masquerades as concern for health but it’s only a small portion of apparent health people can see on the surface.

Whilst I’ve been told probably over a hundred times in my life that I’m overweight, I have never once had someone in the street yell "Oi, Your blood sugar is low”. There are many ways people can be healthy and unhealthy (for example I’m teetotal) but there is an inordinate emphasis on extremes of weight due to societies revulsion.

Phobia and revulsion are very closely linked psychologically, that’s why when you have blood taken you’re sometimes asked to lay down on a table, because if you’re scared you don't faint, if you do it’s due to revulsion, even though the mind computes them both as the same thing. and what is concern? Come on, you know where I’m going with this, fear for another person. 

So body shamers,  we know you care, it’s just we don’t need your compassion/revulsion. What we need is for you to stop and think “Is this discrimination by omission?" "Am I presuming people I know someone's situation more than they do?" Am I being a dick