The ‘skinny’ on political correctness.

Have you recently looked at the comments below Instagram models’ pictures? Not that I look at the pictures, no, just the comments. You might have noticed a trend.

They’re not so positive anymore.

What about more curvaceous women? Women whose BMI places them in the obese category – which isn’t as hard as you might think. Is it the same story?

It’s not.

We congratulate these women on their bravery, progress and beauty – and this is fantastic. Science knows that encouragement and positive reinforcement are far more powerful than judgement. 

It’s also much easier to lose weight from a place of confidence than from insecurity. And with a healthy weight comes an improvement in every aspect of our physiology – longevity, performance and mental health, to name a few. 

So how do we find ourselves with a knife in one hand and praise in the other? How do we build up one person only to tear down another? The answer?

Insecurity.

I’m guilty of this myself. I see wealth, I see beauty, and I see the success that I will never have; and what do I do? I attack. Maybe not in the comments, but my mind is filled with a cavalry charge of cynism. 

But what has this person done to me? So they have a good body – they worked hard for it. So they are wealthy – they sacrificed for it. So they are praised and popular – they built that image themselves. Maybe, even, they just got lucky. Good for them. Who knows, maybe lady luck will shine on me one day?

Whether someone is fat or fit, rich or poor, powerful or powerless, an insult is still an insult. Venom still stings no matter who it’s injected into.

If we can share humanity with those facing challenges we have conquered, then we can share it with those who have conquered the challenges we face.

When is being politically correct wrong? When insecurity is masquerading as political correctness.

Published in Psychology, Relationships
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