1/7/14

The Self-righteous Act of Shaming

And what it's teaching our children. In today's society there seems to be a growing popularity to shaming people. The individuals doing the shaming come from a self-righteous stance.  Let me define "self-righteous" for you. Though I'm sure you know what it means, there's something about seeing the definition that makes the word hit home a little harder.


self-right·eous 

[self-rahy-chuhs, self-]  Show IPA
adjective
confident of one's own righteousness, especially when smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions andbehavior of others.

*according to dictionary.com

It's the "smugly moralistic" part that really ticks me off.  Let me give you some examples.

We've all heard of slut shaming. It's the act of making a person feel guilty because the dressed or acted in a provocative way.  i.e. "If she wouldn't have dressed like that, she wouldn't have gotten raped." But now shaming has gone beyond that.  For Self-righteous Shamers there's no holds barred when it comes to what they chose to shame. If you can adjective it, they will shame it.

What about the Fit Shaming, Body Shaming, Mom Shaming that Carolyn Erikson received from her Instagram post four days after pregnancy with her sculpted abs. She was shamed for being obsessed with fitness, having "watermelon boobs" and "matchstick legs" (dude, everybody has watermelon boobs after giving birth...they're full of milk!), being a horrible mother for focusing on her body instead of the baby.  No one commended her on keeping up with her fitness through pregnancy when most slough off (like me), or that she has a genetic predisposition for abs, or that she posted on her Instagram a bazillion photos of her baby, the baby's room and baby stuff.  No, they chose to focus on this ONE picture to rip it apart.  To shame her.  Granted her post-pregnancy body is unrealistic for most people, doesn't mean we should shame her for being the anomaly.

How about the Fan Shaming? Football fan, Jason McKinney flipped out when Auburn won the Iron Bowl. In the ESPN video he mentions the worst comment was when somebody said, "Probably didn't react that way at his wedding or when his children are born."  His response, "Who reacts that way at a wedding or when their children are born?"

Or recently, the death of Paul Walker brought on Celebrity Shaming. Totally made that term up but it happened. Within my own Facebook timeline I saw countless posts from people shaming those who mourned his death. Their self-righteous stance, that thousands of people die everyday in car crashes and no one mourns them. My response, well, I didn't know them. I felt like I knew Paul Walker because of all the movies I saw him in.  And just because I mourn for Paul Walker doesn't negate the lose of all those other unknown people who died in the same way.

There will always be some pessimistic bitter person with a double-edged sword looking for the opportunity to cut you down. If you're proud of your body, you're narcissistic. If you're not, you have body image issues.  If you're fanatic about something, you're a maniac. If you're not, you're lackluster. If you're a fan of celebrities, you're an idolator. If you're not, you're a superior egotist.

Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way condoning a child to obsess over a celebrity or body image or whatever the case in question. That's where parenting comes in.  You teach your child how to admire someone, not worship.  You explain the importance of health and fitness, not how to be skinny. What we are teaching our children with self-righteous shaming, is that if we take moral high-ground we have the right to say whatever we want, even it it hurts others. It's a form of bullying, plain and simple. It goes back to the ancient old proverb my momma used to tell me, "If you ain't got anything nice to say, keep your mouth shut."


Update: More to my point, I went on tumblr and saw this on skinny shaming

2 comments :

  1. Well said. It's a sad state of affairs when shaming is higher in frequency than generosity of spirit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said, Leslie. People are quicker to cut someone down than lift them up. It is a sad state of affairs.

      Delete

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