This has got to stop.
It is bad enough when a celebrity or influencer’s comment section fills up with hateful epithets intended to body shame and destroy their self-esteem – which happens every time they post without fail. However, when these same barbed missives are hurled at a group of women by the biggest newspaper in Italy, a backlash is more than deserved — it is necessary.
Even in the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, women are still being treated like second-class citizens, and we are absolutely fed up.
It’s alarming – but sadly not surprising – when this sexist and misogynistic attitude is leveled at someone as successful as the lifestyle blogger Chiara Ferragni. On what should have been one of the happier and more care-free moments of her life, Ferragni took over Ibiza with her glamorous group of friends to celebrate her bachelorette weekend. While she rocked body-conscious looks that showed off a perfect figure only four months after giving birth to her son, Leoncino, the publication Corriere della Sera took the opportunity – not to congratulate the bride-to-be on her impending nuptials – but to accuse her and her friends of being fat by calling them “rotonde”. The photo the newspaper was referring to is above, and we have to ask, do a single one of those women look “rotunde” to you?
If you aren’t a close follower of Ferragni’s, you might miss her frequent posts about women supporting women, or her clear desire to be a positive role model to others. Yet, even if those facts aren’t present in your purview, one fact is inescapable: she is a human being. No amount of training can prepare someone for the downsides of fame – namely becoming a walking target for negative comments. No one with any modicum of popularity is immune, and that’s because we tend to think that if someone is successful, wealthy, beautiful, and generally well-liked, that they need to be taken down a peg.
The fact that a newspaper from her home country would post something so ugly (they have since amended the headline after Ferragni called them out for their disgusting body-shaming practices) is a clear indication of how sick society has become. From time immemorial, women have been treated as objects for public consumption instead of human beings. We’re in a time of great change, and it is heartening to see how swift and severe the backlash to this kind of behavior has become. The only problem is: It’s still happening.
While the newspaper’s behavior is vile, it was not an isolated event. There are dozens of publications that exist to objectify women and hundreds of thousands of articles that tear women down or reduce them to their body parts, which in turn, informs the behavior of the people who read them.
Let’s put a very hard to stop to that by saying – and there is literally zero gray area here – if you are ever inclined to tell someone what you think about how they look: don’t. Not once, not ever.