The year 2015 saw an upsurge of “Shamers”. A new term that proceeded after the birth of one of the oldest professions on social media which is online-hating. Thanks to those who feel they have the right to sit at the comfort of their mobile device, pad, tab or computer and type hurtful words at a stranger’s image.
People tell you more hurtful things online than they can in person and some even go as far as defending it under the guise of “it wasn’t said personally, so it’s different”. They probably know they’ll receive an average dose of hard-knock slap if it was said face-to-face.
Some people are so mean, especially in secondary school. They’ll hunt you down even on social media just to have a written laugh at your expense, forgetting that they aren’t able to create anything yet they tauntingly laugh at another human with a flaw.
Sometimes it’s hard to accept those stretch-marks, to accept that beautiful scar, that sagging skin, a half-cut breast, or whatever insecurities you have. I used to have an insecurity too.
I have this scar on my forehead that I got in an accident as a child. While growing up I began making mainly hairstyles that covered it. And I sometimes felt insecure when around girls with flawlessly clear skin. I even shied away from my passion TV presenting because I didn’t want people to remember me as the “the star with the scar”. Don’t get me wrong, I had insecurities but I wasn’t pitiful or anything like that. I only see it when I stare into the mirror and that’s like every time. So everyday I look at the scar and I think of my dad.
I don’t even notice the scar anymore seeing as there are those who are going through way so much even kids and I can’t help but appreciate my star scar and be grateful I’m not on the other side. Now, I love myself so much. Scar, flaws and all. I have an amazing personality and I try to be humble and learn anything that helps me intellectually. I have also met some of the most wonderful people in the world each battling with their personal insecurities but take away the physical and you’d love their soul.
Oh yes, Chiwetel Ejiofor has a scar too and I love him.
I remember one time Banky W openly came out and spoke about his insecurities. He even used it to make a hit record. My point is, stop hiding, stop feeling insecure, you are on a personal journey. You’re not here for anyone who won’t love you, flaws and all.
Make up can make anyone beautiful but confidence is the most beautiful quality to possess. When you are confident of your worth you become beautiful based on your belief in yourself and those around you won’t have a choice but to appreciate your candor.
These are real people with real flaws who decided to use the power of social media to break the silence and shut shamers up once and for all time. So when next you feel afraid to be yourself without the make-up and falsies, remember, you’re on a personal journey, you aren’t here for anybody.
In March 2015, Catherine Keeney had to make a choice when she discovered she had a 97% chance of getting breast cancer one day. She would either run a 50/50 bargain on her breasts and hope the one day never comes or take a preventative prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. She chose preventative mastectomy.
She had her husband take images of hr which she put up on her facebook with the comment “ok guys putting these pics up of my foobs I am in no way body beautiful as I’m not the fittest or best looking I’m just a normal woman but I want to show everyone that having a mastectomy is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of my fiance took these so no fancy lights or backdrops just me standing in my pj bottoms standing outside my bathroom haha (report them for nudity but it will get rejected anyway so there lol) if you don’t like seeing my scars unlike lol) I am proud of my scars and people who have went through a mastectomy themselves should be too”
Ciera Swaringen, a 19-year-old from North Carolina, was born with Giant Congenital Melaocytic Nevus, a dermatological condition that leads large moles to appear on more than two-thirds of her body. She was always mocked for the way she looked and shied away from high school boys who were the meanest. Finally, Swaringen realized ~*what makes her different makes her beautiful*~ and this year — making sure she got pictures of her birthmarks from all angles.
Michelle Elman, had had 15 surgeries, a brain tumor, a punctured intestine, an obstructed bowel, a cyst in brain and have lived for the last 21 years with a condition called Hydrocephalus. She always felt ashamed of her body and recently got courageous enough to wear and even post a picture of her flaws and all on Instagram. And the love has been immense, which is quite unlike Instagram which goes to prove that there are really real people too on social media.
She posted this comment with image.
PEOPLE WITH SCARS CAN’T WEAR BIKINIS This is what I have believed for the last 21 years of my life and when asked in January why I never wear bikinis, this horrible sentence came out of my mouth. I was shocked – at myself! I had had 15 surgeries, a brain tumour, a punctured intestine, an obstructed bowel, a cyst in brain and have lived for the last 21 years with a condition called Hydrocephalus yet somehow my scars have always been the hardest part. They make already awkward moments in your adolescence even more uncomfortable – like taking your top off for the first time in front of your boyfriend, and made me feel even more isolated in a world where I felt no one could understand. At age 7, I tried on my first bikini and after receiving a range of reactions from disgust to pity, it soon became easier to hide away and be doomed to a life of tankinis and one-pieces. Why did I believe this? Because over the years, I have learnt that my scars make people uncomfortable. I had become ashamed of my body and soon other people’s disgust became my own and this was allowed to be the case because of one simple reason – I had no one to talk to about it. Well in January, I started to talk about it – all of it, and I want other people to join in on the conversation. Every human has scars, whether there are emotional and physical – they are part of our story and we should be proud of them. About a month ago, I finally faced up to wearing a bikini and although, I love my body thoroughly and have for many years – this was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, yet once it was on, it was one of the most liberating feelings to know that I wasn’t letting two pieces of material stop me from being comfortable in my own body. My belief is that no one should have to feel ashamed of their body, whether you have stretch marks or a C-section scar.
When I was a little girl I hated my freckles but one day my Pop told me they were just a whole lot of beauty spots & that girls with freckles are special. Now I love them! ???.
After posting a gorgeous makeup-free photo showcasing her freckles, Australian singer and star Ricki Lee got a ridiculous amount of comments telling her the freckles were not cute. Not that there’s ever a good time to make someone feel badly about what she looks like, but the comments were especially bad as Lee was using the selfie to acknowledge how she’d grown to love a part of herself she used to hate. Finally, Lee commented it was “sad that there are people out there that are so miserable in their own lives that they will turn a candid moment and a beautiful memory into something negative and nasty.” She signed off by encouraging said people to get a life.
Even famous people have insecurities too.
At the age of 16, Matt Diaz weighed 465 pounds. Over the past seven years, he’s lost about 270 of those pounds, and while many have complimented his appearance since then, it hasn’t changed how he feels about his body. Diaz posted a video back in March about how insecure the excess skin from his weight loss makes him: “I can’t preach body positivity and hide who I am,” he said in the video while lifting his shirt. “I wanna control and like about myself the things that I can. But the things that you can’t fix you have to make peace with.” Millions of people watched and cheered.
I just fell in love with his realness. Take me with my flaws, this is who I am. Love me or Let me be. Kudos Matt. Please don’t cry. You’re amazing.
Leanne Hammond was another woman who was sick of women being made to feel like their bodies were something to be ashamed of. Her body comes equipped with a colostomy bag, something she has to live with after her bowel was found covered with polyps. “There’s nothing to be ashamed of because it shows the battle you’ve fought,” Hammond said “Life continues … anything that has the power to save your life should be flaunted!”.
At the age of 18, Leanne Hammond began noticing changes in her bowel habits. Soon after, she was diagnosed with familial adenomatous polyposis and had to have immediate surgery because her bowel was “carpeted” with polyps that could turn into cancer. She was left with an ileostomy bag — something many 18-year-olds wouldn’t have been able to deal with. Not only is she dealing with it, but she’s also chronicling her journey on Facebook and helping others in her situation.
Be grateful you can take a dunk on your own. Be grateful for all your flaws and begin to love yourself.
“I have dealt with negative body image ever since i can remember. I made this video not only to explain a little more about myself, but to let anyone struggling with this same issue know they are NOT alone. if you have no support, let me know and i will be your bathtub full of support. i love all of you, please let me know what you think!” – Genny Zuniga
Genny Zuniga takes shaming shamers to an entirely different level and we applaud her for it. Share your insecurities, it might be all one needs to stop feeling alone.
Photo Credit, Cosmopolitan, Facebook, Instagram