There are way too many opportunities to be body-shamed these days. Internet strangers might highlight the cellulite or acne you have in a photo despite the confidence you had to muster in its posting. You might subconsciously do it to yourself when you see a highly edited advertisement that’s far from realistic. These situations are common but being body-shamed from a significant other? It’s downright emotionally abusive.
Oregon-based Shelby recently tweeted screenshots of texts between her boyfriend and her and it quickly went viral. Her boyfriend made statements like “you’re definitely getting a beer gut,” and he’ll start being less attracted to her “if it keeps going.” He even added, “Also the main issue is your gut might stick out more than mine, and that’s just weird.”
Shelby tweeted, “I am 120 pounds. I have been for about 5 months. My partner said this to me. Am I overreacting for feeling hurt by this? I’m at a loss and just can’t even comprehend how someone who claims to love me can say this.”
Part of the problem is the way Shelby’s boyfriend spoke to her about the situation as if he was trying to help her when all he was doing was lowering her self-esteem. Commenting how “weird” it would be that her stomach is bigger than his only perpetuates the archaic notion that boyfriends have to be taller and overall the bigger partner in a heterosexual relationship. It’s 2018 and in case you didn’t know, women can be taller or weigh more than their boyfriends without the need of a second glance.
Shelby posted photos of her health journey and explained why her boyfriend’s comments were especially hurtful. Shelby said how previously, she struggled with being underweight. Once she became 20 years old, she finally started gaining weight for the better. She wrote, “I worked hard for this body. I am 120 pounds of pure growth.”
As for the boyfriend? He’s no longer in the picture. It’s clear that Shelby knows her worth especially when she texted him, “I don’t feel like I have to look a certain way for you…”
Shelby wants the experience to educate others about body positivity and has tweeted how she doesn’t want the attention to be about her ex, rather the learning experience. Her story is unfortunately all too familiar, and no one should have to put up with body-shaming in any kind of relationship, romantic or platonic.