Editorial: Stop commenting on other people’s bodies

By Editorial Board

Two weeks ago, Ariana Grande posted a video to TikTok responding to fans who were concerned that she was perhaps battling a sickness or eating disorder. In the video, Grande assured everyone that she was okay and encouraged everyone to be gentler with each other because one person’s version of healthy might look like someone else’s version of unhealthy.

Grande’s situation is the most recent example of women who have felt the need to make explanations for their bodies. Selena Gomez recently shared how she copes with public criticism about her body from her time as a child star to now as she deals with weight gain caused by medications used to treat lupus.

We need to stop treating each other like posts on social media, where we can like or dislike or comment freely without restriction or regard for the person behind the profile. Stop sharing your opinion on other people’s bodies. No one wants to hear it.

Hollywood has a longstanding tradition of exploiting any clickable storyline, with body shaming being the top one. All of this goes to show that even the Hollywood elite, who are supposedly the closest anyone can truly get to the ever-unattainable beauty standards we have for bodies in the U.S, aren’t exempt from this obsession with humbling people.

Gen Z has not escaped the body image trap. According to the American Psychological Association, 50 percent of teens and young adults who, for just a few weeks, decreased their time spent on social media, saw significantly positive changes in their body image and self esteem. It’s clear that social media use in Gen Z has a huge impact on how we view ourselves– and by extension, each other.

Earlier this month, following the release of the Barbie Movie trailer, longtime leading man and resident romantic interest “it boy,” Ryan Gosling, came under fire for his looks in his portrayal of Ken. Several viral tweets circulated, including one since deleted Tweet that showed an image of Gosling that was edited to make him look much older than he actually is. Social media users repeated one after another: “He’s too old to play Ken.”

Regardless of whatever dream cast you have for Barbie, the Gosling slander feels personal, unnecessary, and rooted in the same patriarchal ideals plaguing women in the entertainment industry. The constant pressure to be thin, young, and beautiful forever is completely overwhelming and overshadows not only the talents of entertainers but their humanity as well.

The comfort the general public feels in expressing opinions about strangers bodies online is merely a reflection of the culture we’ve created around body image; we’ve been indoctrinated into believing we’re always meant to be aspiring to some new standard, and despite the popularization of the phrase “body positivity,” there’s nothing positive about this constant battle for validation against judgment.

We’ve all grown entirely too comfortable with commenting on each other’s bodies. In the age of social media, we all have constant access to a never ending rabbit hole of highlight reels of friends’ and strangers’ successes.

We are constantly comparing ourselves to others, so when you post about how this celebrity is too fat, too old, or too thin– your friends of all shapes and sizes see exactly what you think of people who may resemble them in some way

We aren’t entitled to each other’s bodies.