We have all heard the saying…let your haters be your motivators. We, unfortunately, live in a society full of hate. But we have a choice. We can it let hate stop us, or we can let it push us.
Hate comes in many forms. You see it with bullying, with racism, with sexism, and even closer to home…with fat shaming. It comes in both words and actions. But just as real as hate in its many forms is, so are the consequences of hate.
Hate In Action…
For years, as far back as the history records, you can see examples of hate. You see it in slavery, you see it in various forms of persecution..be it religious, political, or whatever, you see it in every day life.
Various groups have made a name for themselves based on their hate or biased. A couple of examples of this are the Ku Klux Klan and the Hitler-Nazi regime. These groups are/were focused on white supremacy and what they consider to be purism. They are collective groups that spread their message by whatever means are necessary to them..including murder.
While it is most commonly talked about concerning children and teens in school situations, bullying is everywhere. You see it is schools, yes, but it is also seen commonly in the workplace. While the common name used in the workplace may be harassment, it is the same thing. It is one group of individuals trying to exhibit what they perceive as their own power over others.
While I have experienced many forms of hate in my life, the one that probably hits closest to home is fat shaming. Fat shaming is defined as “…the action or practice of humiliating someone judged to be fat or overweight by making mocking or critical comments about their size…”. While there are obvious instances of fat shaming, a lot of the time it is seen in not so obvious means, an often time people may not even realize that they are doing it.
We have all heard some of the comments…”You’re not fat, you beautiful.” and “She’s so pretty for being a big girl.”. These comments are just a small example. Here’s my question, why can’t we be both? And most times, the people that make these comments aren’t even thinking about the words that were spoken, and probably meant nothing hurtful by it….but that isn’t the end effect most of the time.
When you see hate in action, what do you do? Do you stand back and watch it happen or do you intervene? I think the response depends on the situation, honestly. I would never advocate for someone to put their life in danger, but there are moments when you should come to the aid of others. There are ways to take a stand publicly. Social media is huge these days. One suggestion is to record instances of hate and post them to social media. Let the world see what you encountered. Show that it is real.
You can also use the hate in the world to make a change. One of my favorite examples of this action is Jamie Lopez. This is a woman who was shamed due to her size, who had faced hate in action; but she took all of that and created something beautiful. She opened Babydoll Beauty Couture, the first salon designed to make plus size and BBW women feel just as glamorous as their thinner counterparts. Jamie is a role-model for me. She has taken all the hate and shame thrown at her, and used it to inspire and encourage her. And she has fought to provide a safe space for big women.
Are you a victim of hate? Have you been bullied? Sometimes, we are able to deal with things on our own. But, sometimes it’s just too much. There are times when dealing with the hate, in whatever form, can cause damage such as depression or even thoughts of self-harm. If you or someone you know is dealing with this, please get help.