Fat shaming and skinny shaming are harmful. We need to stop allowing the media to pit plus size and thin women against one another.
This article first appeared on Plus Mommy and has been republished with permission.
Content Warning: This article and the podcast interview with Reid Cox talks about eating disorders and body dysmorphia.
On a warm summer’s evening, I found myself in West Hollywood at an event put on by actress and podcaster Alexi Wasser. Picture a group of around 20 women eating pizza, drinking beer, and talking about their feelings. And when I say feelings, I mean women were openly sharing intimate details about their relationships, eating disorders, and mental health struggles.
This Girl’s Night In event would’ve been my worst nightmare growing up a fat girl not too far away from LA in Orange Country. Beverly Hills, 90210 taught me all I needed to know about LA girls. Sitting in a room with a bunch of “pretty people” talking about their problems — no thank you!
For most of my life, I bought into the idea that skinny girls wanted nothing to do with a fat girl like me. My views shifted when I began a journey to body love at the age of 30. I started to recognized how skinny shaming is just as harmful as the fat shaming I’ve endured my entire life. My thin friends' body image struggles are just as valid as mine!
So I found myself in LA, with my dear friend Krista, amongst all the “pretty people” knowing that I am beautiful too!
Alexi lovingly facilitated her event and created a safe space for people to be very vulnerable. One after another, women shared heart-wrenching stories, including Reid Cox, an actress who opened up about her struggle with body dysmorphic disorder.
I left Alexi’s Girl’s Night In event feeling like I had just experienced something truly profound. If I would’ve gone to an event like hers in my 20’s it could’ve transformed how much I hated my body and felt threatened by thin women.
I desperately wanted to continue having this conversation but didn’t know how.
That was until a few days after the event when I received a message from Reid on Instagram. She told me how much she enjoyed connecting and wanted to stay in touch. I took a risk and asked if she wanted to be on my podcast. I wanted to continue this conversation about fat shaming, skinny shaming, and body image. Honestly, I thought I might’ve crossed a line, but I couldn’t stop thinking about her story. When Reid said she would love to come on my show, it blew me away.
Below you’ll listen as actress Reid Cox openly shares details about her struggles with body dysmorphic disorder and disordered eating. Reid and I share what it’s like to exist in bodies we’ve worked very hard to embrace.
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Fat shaming and skinny shaming are equally harmful in how they make the individual who is being shamed feel about themselves. We need to stop allowing the media to pit plus size and thin women against one another. People of all sizes struggle with body image and self-love! Let’s continue to share our stories, speak out when we see shaming, and support one another.
Be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes. Follow Plus Mommy via your favorite social media outlet (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter). The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) has a lot of resources to support you if you’re struggling with an eating disorder.