Body Shaming In Popular Media

By: Staff

*trigger warning: fatphobia, ED’s*

The severe stigma that plus-size bodies are considered as “unattractive” or “unappealing” by children has been in the media for years. This negative idea can subsequently damage children in their life, leading to eating disorders and low self-esteem, thanks to cartoons and other media that have been sold to children. A shocking 2017 study showed that 84% of most popular children’s shows promote body shaming content. (according to @theunplugcollective on Instagram)

The popular children’s show Peppa Pig, for example, has been chastised for one of its episodes in which the main character urges her father that he should start “exercising immediately” because of his “big tummy.” This immediately conveys the idea that larger stomachs are considered grotesque, and that is simply because the character is plus size, he is labeled as “unhealthy.”

This can also affect other age groups as well, such as young adults.  

The notion that plus-size people are automatically perceived as lazy due to their bodies has a negative impact on many aspects of their lives, including their employment. According to safetymanagement.eku, 44 percent of employers who have recruited plus-size employees believe that the reason for their bodies’ appearance is due to poor lifestyle choices, while 57 percent believe that “obesity is a disease.”

Simple things like avoiding weight stigma in children’s shows is a great stepping stone for future generations, and avoiding eating disorders. It is never funny to talk about somebody’s weight, size, or whatsoever, and it shouldn’t be the laughing stock in children’s media.

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