Aussie Model Rebecca Judd Slams Media Obsession With Body-Shaming

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Hurrah! Another woman calling out the media for their relentless obsession with body shaming women. We saw recently how Jennifer Garner damned Hollywood for making her feel like she’s not worthy or beautiful because she has a bit of a stomach after having three kids. The crux of her message was that women’s bodies are all different, and the media should do a better job of promoting empowerment and sisterhood, rather than jealously and bitchy comments.

While we are huge supporters of all the curvy women campaigns springing up, it’s important to remember that there are naturally thin women who shouldn’t be shamed now that trends are slightly swinging the other way. Australian model, TV host, mom of 2 and WAG Rebecca Judd has lashed out on her personal blog at the ridiculous and bitchy articles written about her body on a regular basis.

You may be asking “why are GTHQ reporting on something potentially negative, when they’re all about inspiring, empowering and positive news?” Let us answer. Because a lot of what Rebecca says in her post is what we are feeling, but because she has personally experienced the backlash being that she is a public figure, she is well-positioned to make some thoughtful comments and clearly articulates how the media plays a part in all of this.

Now that we have that straight, let’s examine what Rebecca wrote in her post titled ‘OMG Do You Eat?’.

The post was prompted after she was alerted to the fact that the Daily Mail was publishing a string of articles all focused on her body image, but each one slightly contradictory. She blasted some of the headlines such as “Rebecca shocks with scary skinny Instagram photos,” to “Rebecca looks healthier while showing off her new curves in response to public backlash”, “Rebecca sports healthy body shape” and “Has Rebecca lost weight again? Rebecca appears to have shed a few kilos while showing off her decidedly trim pins.”

She says the media needs to get a grip, because it is not news. Isis, Ebola, wildfires, and planes being shot out of the sky are.

“Media organisations are so powerful in the way they influence our social conscience. The way society talks about topics, the language they use and the perspective they take. To have a publication like The Daily Mail continually judging women’s bodies (yeah not men’s- funny that hey?) has a flow on effect in society. Likewise the discussion of body types on our own chat shows (Today, Mornings, Sunrise etc.) has a similar effect. We wonder why there are so many nasty, negative internet trolls out there and we also wonder why so many women have body issues- ummm, probably because they read The Daily Mail,” she said.

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The media has a responsibility to drive conversation that is effective, constructive and educate readers in a way that doesn’t foster negative attitudes. Or so you’d think.

“I urge media organizations, especially The Daily Mail, to take some social responsibility and be better role models into discussions about body type and health (or even better, stop discussing people’s bodies altogether- it’s none of your business and it’s certainly not important). In order to curb the growing trend of people judging one another based on appearance, how about our media organizations lead by example. Lets not use women’s bikini shots and tell the audience that someone’s too thin or too fat and thus that makes them a bad role model. I would argue that the only bad role models are the media organizations continually judging these body types.”

She has some damn good points. We’ve seen how celebs like Jessica Simpson have spoken about the cruelty she faced in the media during pregnancy, and even Kim Kardashian was the subject of plenty of tabloid fodder during her pregnancy, a time which should be celebrated in a woman’s life, not shamed.

And if the media chooses to perpetuate horrible messages, then that’s how society will continue to think. It is a vicious cycle, but one that can be broken the more people like Rebecca speak up for those who can’t.

“Healthy comes in all shapes and sizes. Some people are naturally thin, some people are naturally bigger, some people are more athletic in tone, some people have minimal tone. We are all different  and we are all NORMAL. This is the message we need to project, not ‘Is Rebecca Judd a bad role model for being thin?’ ”

“Lets educate our children on what it takes to be healthy- that is a good diet and exercise. Let’s not educate them on how to bitch and judge other women’s body types. If you’re skinny or bigger but you’re healthy, that is all that matters- that needs to be the message. I note that these Daily Mail articles are all written by women. Women judging women- what’s new?”

The “healthy at every size” message is one that still causes many divisions in online discussions. Plus size blogger Virgie Tovar has spoken about how a large women touting confidence in her size is seen as promoting obesity and unhealthy body image. Australian model Robyn Lawley who is the first plus size model to be in a Ralph Lauren campaign, but has been very vocal about body shaming, saying the way we talk about naturally skinny girls being “too thin” is just as damaging a message as dissing women who embrace their curves.

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The point is that if we are ever going to get past being valued and judged only according to our looks, it has to start with us. Women in the media, we implore you to stand with us and many others who choose to promote empowerment and sisterhood. That old saying”women are their own worst enemies” couldn’t be more true, as we can see by Rebecca’s post.

The added conversation about mothers and their bodies post and pre-baby is something that doesn’t need to be a point of hatred or jealously. Rebecca has pointed out in a previous blog post about “mommy bullying” that when we complain about celebrities posting images of weight loss, breastfeeding or even talking about giving birth, it should be a cause for celebration, education and community, not division.

Now that we as everyday people are content creators, bloggers, vloggers, and online influencers, lets use our voices as a powerful antidote to the poisonous attitudes that leak into our culture from a young age and teach us to bring each other down. Women, we can be each other’s most powerful ally, it all comes down to a choice.

And to all the celebrities, mothers, and women experiencing bullying because of your body or physical appearance, please continue to speak publicly about it and be a voice for those who can’t. Your vulnerability can be a powerful source of hope for other women.

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