What is Body Banter?
Sizeism, or the discrimination of size is an incredibly widespread type of bias that most people don't even realize they have, or don't view as a form of discrimination at all, which causes us to carry out our judgments ruthlessly and carelessly.
For example, body size descriptors like “fat” and “thin” are used all the time, but hardly anyone gives a thought as to how these words are almost always tainted with positive or negative connotations, from the very moment that they are used.
More notably, these descriptors are becoming correlated with not only one’s attractiveness, but also one’s status of health or even one’s morality. In other words, being thin is not only more beautiful, but seen by many as necessarily healthier and even sometimes representative of a better personality or inner value.
This is dangerous, because this message teaches us to struggle against our own bodies and minds, sometimes even to the point of death in some cases, simply to conform to the rigid molds of the ideal body type.
Being affected by body image issues doesn't always manifest into a full-fledged eating disorder, and I think that it really doesn't need to reach that extreme end of the spectrum in order to be considered a serious issue. It is ignorant and irresponsible for us to avoid speaking up about body image issues just because because it doesn't appear to have a “significant” enough effect on a “significant” enough number of people.
Staying silent, whether it is because we think that the topic is too insignificant or because it seems too sensitive to speak aloud about, is indirectly expressing agreement to the existence of this discrimination and showing ignorance to its consequences.
We must first acknowledge and identify when and how we are displaying forms of size discrimination, be bold enough to voice our ideas and ask questions, and in doing so inspire further discussion and contemplation of these issues amongst a larger population of people. Big change starts from every person making the effort to give the issue at hand a little thought.