That whole Selena Gomez Met Gala #backfat #bodyshaming thing

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Selena Gomez MET Gala
Getty Images via Daily Mail

Selena Gomez wore a dress to the 2015 met gala that exposed her back. If you haven’t been keeping up with your celebrity gawking activities, you might have been unaware that Selena has put on a little weight. You know how that goes. Or maybe you don’t.

The Vera Wang dress that Selena wore to the MET Gala exposed her back. And it just so happens that her weight gain shows in her back. So the pictures taken of her from the back exposed a little adipose tissue in a way that some people felt was unflattering. It started numerous conversations about back fat and body shaming.

We don’t know anything about Selena Gomez’s life. We don’t know what’s behind her weight gain. And we’re not sure it matters. After all it’s just weight. She’s going to lose it eventually. And even if she doesn’t, what’s the big deal? She’ll still be who she is. Weight gain doesn’t change you into somebody else. It just alters your outward appearance.

What we do know is that sometimes a girl gets to a point where the burden of trying to stay thin becomes a bit too much. As she gets older, it gets harder to maintain her figure through means of self-deprivation. We’re not saying Selena ever deprived herself of food. We don’t know anything about her eating habits. We’re speaking for our own experience growing up in a world where a girl feels like she has to be thin in order to be worthy of admiration.

Editor’s insert: In my teen years I would could go days without eating much of anything. I could survive on 1 snickers bar per day (some days skipping eating altogether). But starting in my 20s it became more difficult to starve myself and workout obsessively to stay thin. I still fought to stay thin, at one point flirting with bulimia. But the lifestyle that was necessary to keep up in order to stay thin took a toll after so many years of doing it. 

When you’ve been depriving yourself of food for years, you get to a point of becoming frustrated and depressed. Because you want to eat. But you feel like you can’t eat. Because if you eat you’ll gain weight. And if you gain weight the whole world will notice and make you feel like a fat blimp.

Even out here in the real world that is what we do. We criticize a girl when she’s thin. We tell her to go eat a sandwich. When she eats a few too many sandwiches and gains a few extra pounds, we taunt and tease her and make her feel ashamed of her bigger body. She’s constantly trying to dodge criticism about her body. The fact is, a girl just can’t win. So sometimes she has to take a break from giving a bleep. Right now Selena appears to be on such a break. And people need to leave her alone. She’s happy with herself and that’s all that matters. Her purpose in life isn’t to do what everybody else thinks she needs to do in order to make them happy. It’s to do what she needs to do to make herself happy. And she appears to be doing that. Maybe all the back fat body shaming folks should get busy doing the same for their own lives.

1 COMMENT

  1. We’ve had a couple of comments on this article posted to your facebook page. One of the comments gave us a perspective to consider. Does Selena, because she is in the public eye, have an obligation to dress in a manner that respects the public’s sensibilities?

    Written by Crina Firmosa (via MyFashionWants facebook page) – Well I dissagree! She is a public figure and she should look 2 times in the mirror before puting on a dress like that! Don’t get me wrong, I think she looks ok with a few extra pounds but she should dress accordingly. Just my oppinion

    This is of course the opinion of many people, not just Crina. And we respect Crina’s point of view and we can even see her point. But we have to wonder (and this is not a criticism but a question being asked for the purpose of conversation and discussion):

    What does being a public figure mean in relation to how someone should look and dress? And who controls this? In other words does Selena or anyone else who is a public figure owe the public to dress in a manner that doesn’t offend the public’s sense of aesthete? And who makes the rules for how one should dress based on one’s body type? And are these rules based on universally scientific facts or on opinions as to what is attractive and what is offensive?

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