Body shaming modern torture


By Tom and Dee and Cousin Key



Dear Grandparenting: I would welcome some common-sense advice about my granddaughter. I will not name her, because the last thing she wants just right now is any attention. She wants to hide herself away because she is ashamed of how she looks. More specifically, she wants to hide herself away because of what other people say about how she looks on the Internet and cell phones. Sometimes a perfect stranger she has never met will make fun of her figure.

I cannot imagine why these sick people get a kick out of making my granddaughter feel bad about herself! There are millions of women who move up to plus-size clothes. It’s no big deal to be a little big. At least I don’t think so. I didn‘t think my granddaughter was taking it too seriously until she broke down and admitted she had passing thoughts about what it would be like if she was dead and didn’t have to put up with it anymore. Can you say suicide? I talked her down and she’s OK, now but this shame thing she is going through obviously can get the better of her. What do I do to help my granddaughter get through it? She is 10 years old. Old Wink, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania

Dear Wink: Overweight people make easy targets, and too many grandchildren today feel like the whole world has them in their sights. “Body shaming” is the name for this modern torture. Any bodily imperfection makes a grandchild fair game for being subjected to a campaign of jokes and ridicule that often plays out over assorted Internet platforms. It becomes grandchildren’s worst nightmares, imagining all the new ways people have dreamed up to make them miserable for yet another day.

America is plumping up all over. We’ve all heard about the “epidemic” of overweight children, but adults on average weigh about 30 pounds more today than they did in 1960, according to federal government data. But grandchildren get the brunt of abuse, especially granddaughters who don’t measure up to the social constructs of ideal beauty — those perfectly proportioned goddesses and thin waiflike creatures that seem to float on air across magazine pages and Internet photos. Even they are careful. It’s not unusual for a queen bee to snap off dozens of cell phone “selfies” before finding one suitable for public posting.

The nation is waking up to this version of living hell on earth and extending greater support to shaming victims. A handful of plus-sized female role models are fortunately showing the tormented how to fight back. Funny lady Amy Schumer is among the actresses who are loud and proud of their bodies. The trick, of course, is self-acceptance and realizing you are not alone and isolated in your misery. Role models help, and so do grandparents who care enough to help with the healing. If the mere whiff of suicide rears its ugly head again, get her into professional counseling ASAP.

GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK

Lorenzo Rivers from Snohomish, Washington, likes to “say that I am up for anything. Bring it on! What makes me so confident? I am battle tested. I am a survivor in the new extreme sport called grandparenting.”

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2016/05/Tom-and-Dee-byline.pdf

By Tom and Dee and Cousin Key

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.