Opinion | Stop the shaming, please

Billie Eilish became the target of online body shaming, necessitating another discussion about body shaming because people don’t learn.



Billie Eilish wins for Top Female Artist during the Billboard Music Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. (Andrew Gombert/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Yujun Cai, Opinions Columnist

Earlier this month, a tweet with a photo of a famous female singer, Billie Eilish, walking on street, commented on the body of her and saying “in 10 months Billie Eilish has developed a mid-30s wine mom body.” Beauty is defined by the attractiveness of a certain person or object, which is then defined by personal aesthetics and public judgement. In our society, there is a commonly recognized fact that beauty is held “in the eye of the beholder.” However, there are always those failing to realize this fact and to try to generalize one’s own aesthetics upon everyone, arbitrarily judging others’ beauty and objectifying others’ identity.   

Obviously, the poster intended to body shame this girl. Without any personal judgement, “wine mom” has a negative connotation, prejudiced toward women who could not control their body weight and slenderness that has seemingly been taken as the symbolism of youth, health and beauty.  

The topic of “wine mom” being a negative phrase and how we arrived there is a topic for another time.

However, it’s ridiculous to solely judge a girl by exposing her photo in public and intend to make her ashamed of herself. 

Girls should not have to deal with body shaming — it’s common for every girl to be in the shape they like. The mainstream idea of an attractive woman isn’t for everyone and following the mainstream aesthetics never helps one to establish self-identity and confidence. One owns their body, and it’s their obligation to explore themselves — but morally, others should never joke about another’s body because that sounds funny. 

We don’t want to live in a society which keeps reinforcing us that girls should fit into size two or even size zero. We don’t want to establish an environment that everyone could never satisfy themselves. We don’t want to just keep our outfits perfectly, eating less and becoming nothing. If we allow the concept of “slenderness as beauty,” expanding its importance among the society and brainwashing girls without constraining it, the boundary of “being slender” could never reach the end.

I admit that being slender is beautiful in my eyes, but being in other shapes also possesses their different attractiveness.

It’s understandable and undeniable that every human being possesses freedom of speech. Even though this poster is presenting a somewhat offensive or inappropriate comment, it’s necessary to not constrain him from talking or force him to shut up. 

However, as someone with strong opinions myself, I could also have my comment on him, morally, and make himself ashamed of himself. 

What the post is doing is bullying. He is using the comparison between Billie’s body with a negative descriptive word and trying to find consensus from the public, and psychologically proving for her that her body is not publicly accepted and ugly. 

It’s sad and unfortunate that the original poster does this most likely because he’s trying to get clout and approval from others online. 

While it’s great that fans and other random people online pushed back against this post, it’s just a tiring old routine at this point. 

We don’t need to call Eilish a “hero” for body positivity, we don’t need to make an icon out of her — we need to stop shaming people for just existing as is. It shouldn’t be that hard.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.