Begone with Body Snarking!

A friend of mine taught me a very interesting word a few months back.

Body Snarking.

I’ve heard the word “snark” before so that wasn’t anything too new, but I didn’t realize that the concept of body snarking had become as widespread as it has.

Body snarking is quite simply the negative comments that we say about other people’s bodies.  The problem is that body snarking has become more and more of a hobby amongst girls and women of all ages.  They criticize and demean other women’s bodies in order to either get someone to laugh or to make themselves feel better.  Worse yet, it’s become a whole industry and people are making money off of body snarking.

Any way you look at it, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Not too convinced?  Here is the Wall Street Journal article that got me thinking.

It’s pretty messed up if you ask me but then again, I’m not innocent.

I have to admit that I’ve body snarked before.  It wasn’t meant to be as cruel as it was, but I’ve been programmed that its okay.  That’s the part that’s pretty f**ked up.

Why did I think it was okay, accepted and even encouraged to be so nasty to other women?

Because it’s everywhere.

We’re obsessed with celebrites and when some photographer catches them not looking picture perfect, we all relish it and can’t wait to look at the pictures.

Some would argue that it’s just because the body snarkers have bad self esteem, but if you ask me it goes way further than that.

It’s not as simple as low self esteem.

It goes way deeper than that because the rise of youtube, facebook and other social media sites gives absolutely zero privacy or protection against  a bad hair day.

If you’re famous, you can’t really dare to leave your home without being ready for someone to catch you on camera- that is, unless you don’t really care.

If that’s the case, I applaud you.  You are a rare person who can do that.

So what’s the alternative?

To not criticize other people’s bodies?

To be a little nicer all around?

Is that even possible with the spread of instant gratification pictures, videos, and comments?

Nothing is sacred anymore.

While body snarking is a huge issue, the lack of privacy is even bigger.

Celebrities don’t dare heading into public even a little undone without expecting negative comments from the media.  Now it’s gotten  to the point where average, everyday people are feeling the same.

Not only is that super scary, but it’s doesn’t bode well for kids.

As far as we’d have to worry about ourselves when it comes to dealing with negativity, we have so much more to worry about when it comes to teenagers, pre-teens and even younger kids.

You see, adults- most adults anyway- have a higher capacity for criticism.  We aren’t prone to taking as much crap as kids are.  We can use our thicker skin to shake off the comments but kids aren’t at that point  yet.

So not only is body snarking really awful for adults to deal with, it’s just as bad or even worse for kids.

So what do we do about it?

It’s not like there’s this magic formula to raise self esteem, to quiet our tongues when we want to get all snarky on the chick walking down the street in something you don’t think is appropriate.  It just doesn’t even happen that way.

The only thing that could possibly curb body snarking is for any or all of us to stop putting our body image crap onto other people.  The more comfortable we are in our own skin, the less we’ll want to tear other people down just to make ourselves feel better.

So much easier said than done!

Raise your hand if you have absolutely no body issues….


Okay, so if we all have some issues- not a bad thing by the way- then we need to address the source of those issues and I have a sneaking suspicion that the chick walking down the street is NOT the source.

She may be annoying the crap out of you when you see her but the real issue is that she’s doing something that you either really want to do or really don’t want to do.

I’ve been told by some very wise people that the people who piss you off the most- the ones you have the strongest reaction to- are perfect mirrors of yourself.

Meaning, you object the most strongly to those people who embody something that you are fighting against inside of yourself.

Seriously scary, isn’t it?

So how do we fight against that?

Maybe the next time you see her, you think twice about what you say or what you think.  She’s one person away from you, one person away from your sister, your mother, your daughter, your best friend.

Maybe the next time you start snarking, you’ll look at that woman and wonder what it is about her that is getting under your skin.  What part of her are you most identifying with?

Maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to turn that mirror of yours back onto it’s rightful owner and figure out what the real issue is.


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