Sitting in my history class one morning, a classmate told me I was "cute." I blushed for a split second, my confidence increasing ever so slightly, but before I could even respond another boy shouted "nah, she's like a five or a six." I was crushed.
This bodied my 14-year-old self for weeks, but to be honest, this was a memory I had forgotten about until recently. I didn't remember it until Charli D'amelio, one of the biggest stars on TikTok, tweeted about the body shaming she's been receiving online.
D'amelio tweeted, "STOP TALKING ABOUT MY BODY! it's not your place to tell me if i'm losing weight or gaining weight," on Monday. And fans have noticed that ever since, she hasn't posted any videos on her TikTok account.
D'amelio has been open about the body shaming she's received ever since she started her TikTok account. While some might argue that this focus on one's appearance is vain and vapid, I would respond: Why would people go out of their way to bash the appearance of young women?
Before the time girls are even in middle school, we've been conditioned to compare ourselves to each other and pick ourselves apart. It's not just being vain -it's been conditioned in us by a society hyper-focused on appearance.
"The tendency to focus on women's looks and bodies instead of their character traits or abilities - even in situations where looks should not matter - is quite widespread. Men, as well as women, tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows," according to Psychology Today.
Regardless of the fact that D'amelio is only 15 years old, conventionally attractive and successful, she's ridiculed for her appearance. And it's not just her, TikTok stars like Addison Rae have also come forward: "I've seen 5-10 tweets & TikToks today talking negatively about my body and weight ... it makes me feel insecure, but luckily I'm looking at it in a different light. i've been very motivated to start eating better and working out everyday to become the healthiest version of myself!"
It's sad to hear this and it's disheartening to see D'amelio and Rae bullied by men and women twice their age. It's sad that TikTok, an application that's supposed to be fun and lighthearted, has become a place where people are attacked for how they look. Where can women go where they aren't critiqued for how they look?
Being called ugly isn't going to stop their millions from rolling in, but it's damaging to them and damaging to the kids watching them who wonder, if they're ugly or fat, what am I?
They're kids, I was a kid, and so were you when someone made a comment about how you looked. Sadly, it probably wasn't the last time.
The body shaming that we see on TikTok reveals faults in society that have been around for centuries, but if anything, I hope all the teenagers and 20-something-year-old women who are speaking up against the body shaming on TikTok push to end this cycle of body shaming and ridicule.