Yesterday I found myself scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed (like most of us humans do every 3 minutes) when I came across with a post featuring two pictures of Wentworth Miller.
The post, by Facebook page The LAD Bible, showed a pictured of a shirtless and tattooed Wentworth, next to a picture where he had some more weight. The message said:
‘When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald’s monopoly….’
My first reaction was to comment on my friend’s sharing. But then I decided to have a look at the comments on the original post and….shocker! It was utterly disappointing.
It was like reliving High School all over again.
On the other hand, I could not stop thinking about how different would those reactions have been if, instead of two pictures of Wentworth, the would have posted two pictures of…let’s say…Taylor Swift.
Not sure about you, but I can see that making it to the main page of every blogging webpage!
Needless to say, when one engages in this type of behavior, someone’s bound to get hurt. A few hours ago Wentworth Miller addressed the issue:
This was soon followed by a public apology by The LAD Bible:
Now, while I appreciate the fact that they apologised…I can’t help but think that, had Wentworth not addressed the issue publicly, the meme would still be around there. And, in fact, it probably is!
Looking at the apology note, it also seems like the publication of that ‘meme’ is only undesirable because Wentworth had health issues at the time of the second picture. And this is when it get really plain wrong.
Body-shaming is not okay. Whether there is a health issue behind it or not.
Body-shaming is an awful and cruel way to make ourselves feel better by pushing other people down and criticising them.
It shows a complete misperception of ourselves, and creates a completely irreal sense of entitlement over other people’s bodies and/or looks.
And this is specially true to the LGBTQ+ context.
I have already addressed this topic in previous articles like Real (Gay) Men (Don’t) Have Curves and Men’s Standards Of Beauty Around The World; and this seems to be an issue that will keep growing and growing.
And yes, I am aware that internet can be cruel…we make jokes and memes all the time. But we should know where to draw the line, and when to stand up and say ‘Wait a second. This is not okay’.
Because if it we make it okay to shame a person for being just the way he/she/e is (specially if that person is going through a rough patch), then we haven’t learnt anything, have we?
I would love to continue this articles with more thought on the subject…but it would only overcomplicate something that is very simple.
Just…do the right thing 🙂