A lazy scroll past social media these days and we see it, the same attitude, replaying in different scenarios; a drop-dead gorgeous lady shares a “casual” suggestive thirst trapping selfie, the men can’t help but bombard with lots of likes, taking to the comment section splashing all kinds of thirsty emojis. “The nerve!” It irks an army of women commenters who go on a rampage, muttering and typing all manner of obscenities, all too eloquently shaming and calling out them out for their small perverted minds and lewd thoughts – “How dare sexualize a woman every freaking time! – “I mean how desperate can you be really??!”
Flip the switch; a good looking guy poses shirtless, shows off ripped abs, on social media, women not too subtly take over, from thirsty comments to heart-eyes emoji and the likes, yet
it’s all in the good books for them; dubbed good old cute, harmless, silly fun.
One rule for her. One rule for him;
The world we live in gives different dictates depending on gender. What applies to the man, doesn’t apply to the woman, most times that is. In Nigeria for example, when a woman adds a lot of weight, she gets fat-shamed, but when it’s the guy, he gets hailed for living the “good life.” When a woman cries, it’s second nature and yes, good for the soul, when a man gets emotional and lets the tears drop, he’s dubbed a sissy and told point-blank to MAN UP! A woman with many body counts is considered loose, a prostitute, but the man is hailed THE god!
Yes, the woman bears the brunt most often than not but matter of fact, both genders are growing vulnerable to attacks each passing day; While the woman tends to be body-shamed more because her body parts are more visible, the shape of her boobs and behind become subject of dissecting, it doesn’t exclude men from falling victims either.
Social media has been an active participant in propagating this hurtful trend, quite visibly hosting all manner of cruelties and boosting negativity and growing the trends; bullying, body shaming, and fat-shaming reaching an all-time high.
Thankfully in more recent times counter approaches such as body positivity movement, preaching acceptance, self-love, and beauty in diversity have begun dampening the fire.
Ironically, while the media has tried to play mediator, it has in no small measure contributed to fuelling the fire fanned by the advertising and entertainment worlds. Tons of headlines screaming about victimization through sexual objectification of the female body, the harmful impact of portraying women for the pleasure of men as well as women being body-shamed greet us by the minute, but it turns a blind eye to men getting objectified, harassed and body shamed. Men are being judged too by their appearance in almost every sphere.
Sexual objectification, reflected in mainstream pop culture has sadly become normalized in our everyday world; advertising, movies, tv screens, you don’t even have to look hard to find it. Society places emphasis on beauty and sexiness which ultimately does a big dip on self-esteem, breeding pressure, anxiety, and therefore scrutinization of appearance, trying to match up to impossible standards just so they can feel “wanted,” often trying to measure up to sexual ideals and other people’s expectations and perception of them. This is particularly harmful to the emotional well-being of both sexes, leading to such vices as rape, depression, self-harm, drugs, etc. Granted, most of us love attention but being desperate for attention, affection, or approval is crossing the line.
Wrapping up; Body shaming and sexual objectification should not be normalized and no, double standards should never be a thing. Whether man or woman we are more than just our body parts meant for fulfilling sexual desires and fantasies. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable with their bodies and love themselves wholly without feeling insecure, judged by appearance, or sexually harassed, and yes, each individual deserves equal amount of respect, maintaining a culture of living by the same rules.
Written By Yvonne Williams.