An End To Shaming

Christina Youn, Co-Editor

On June 16, 2016, Arianna Quan was the first Asian-American to be crowned as Miss Michigan. Born in Beijing and naturalized at age fourteen, her platform was about the acceptance of differences and appreciating diversity.

But unfortunately, she was attacked on social media with hateful comments regarding her appearance; she supposedly wasn’t “beautiful enough” to be crowned Miss Michigan even though she had fairly won the title. Those who took their negative comments to the Internet claimed that Quan was not beauty pageant material, that she represented neither Michigan nor China, that she was was “too ugly.”

However, our shaming society must be put to an end, wherever and whenever it should occur. Quan was not the only person to recently be attacked on social media for the way she looks.Plus-size model and body activist Ashley Graham was unfairly body shamed as well. After posting a picture her hairstylist had snapped on Instagram, Graham received the feedback that she looked too thin to be a plus-size model.

Comments that she was fake and starting to conform to Hollywood’s standards were posted and Graham ended up taking the picture down due to the magnitude of the shaming. The truth was that Graham hadn’t lost any weight at all.

However, not only has Graham been body shamed for looking too thin, but she has been criticized for the opposite as well. When cellulite was spotted in her legs, it sparked the criticism that Graham encourages unhealthiness and even obesity.

On the other hand, the reality of the situation is that Graham has been a huge advocate for a healthy lifestyle in which an individual feels comfortable in his or her own body. Graham has gotten shamed for looking both too thin and also too big, but this shaming must stop.

Without knowing the entire story, shaming is occurring everywhere, especially on social media.. As a society, we are constantly looking for the criticisms that must be pointed out, and are failing to look toward the whole truth and what is being done correctly. For instance, while Quan was attacked on social media for “not being beautiful enough,” it is important to realize that she also won the talent portion of the Miss America Pageant with her impressive piano performance.

This is not to say that she is not a gorgeous individual, but it must be noted that thirty percent of the final score of this pageant is based off of the talent competition. Being able to win such a rigorous and competitive portion of the test should be celebrated, but many individuals felt inclined to criticize instead.

Fortunately, both Quan and Graham were able to fight the shaming. Quan has continued to voice her opinion on acceptance while Graham wrote a letter to express herself. While it is fortunate that both women were in a situation that allowed them to stand up for themselves, it is important to realize that many people cannot.

We must combat our shaming society and the first step is to try to understand and humanize these individuals. Rather than resorting to the shaming of individuals, we must be able to see the situation in a positive light, or at least make a true attempt to understand the entire story.