Double Standards & 'Slut Shaming' | Emily Bashforth

Double Standards & 'Slut Shaming'


Double standards and what is known as "slut shaming" have existed for as long as I can remember. They've always been there and it saddens me that people of my generation are growing up knowing no different than to shame people for their clothing choices, particularly in the celebrity world.

I feel strongly about this topic, as I know many other people online do. You will actually find that the majority of the people you meet, particularly young people, never want to body shame and don't agree with being negative about what people choose to wear, however, it is a concept predominantly perpetuated by the media. If it wasn't for magazines, newspapers, crappy gossip sites and social media, such shaming would cease to exist. It does exist though. Slut shaming and double standards are real things and we cannot allow the media to influence our views and allow us to see their disgusting opinions as the right ones. The press already have a ridiculous amount of power over our actions and thoughts but it is vital that you stick to your guns on this one, listen to the people around you whose opinions are genuine and not effected by a wage slip and open your eyes to the world of shaming people for their outfits.

It is now impossible for me to go about a day without reading degrading comments about the outfits women choose to wear. People in the limelight are subject to nastiness every day regarding their appearance. Women are absolutely slated for their clothing preferences when they probably only wanted to wear something because it was comfortable and they felt damn good in it, but sadly, they cannot even do that now without being victims of name calling. On the other hand though, we have male celebrities, who seem to be able to live their lives much more freely than women in the spotlight. Now, I am not saying that being a man in the land of celebrity is the easiest thing in the world because I know it isn't. Every aspect of celebrity has its cons, every aspect of life has it's cons. Male celebs face horrendous bullying in other areas that women are privileged in, although, I do not think it is absurd of me to say that affluent, young, fit, famous men are a lot better off than women in terms of how far they can "push the boundaries" before being pounced on by the public and I think it's true that people turn a blind eye to a LOT of things famous men do, not just in terms of what they wear. However, staying on the subject of clothes, in a nutshell, men can wear what they want and nobody will care yet a woman is, for some bizarre reason, still expected to dress in a certain way and conform to societies expectations of "the ideal role model," however, that being said, when she does conform to those expectations, she is still slated. Women who are celebrities cannot win and cannot wear what they like without being slut shamed.

Let's take the music industry, for example. It's the perfect place to go if you want examples of double standards. For example, men write songs about their love lives all of the time, Ed Sheeran is famous for it, however, when a female songwriter does the exact same thing, it isn't seen as romantic, it is seen as crying out for attention, psychotic, as if she'd dependent on a man and has nothing more interesting to write about. Take Taylor Swift, she pens beautifully written tracks about her relationships and is bullied for it every single day yet when the likes of Bruno Mars, One Direction, Shawn Mendes and Sam Smith sing about messy breakups and feeling betrayed, they are victimised, not portrayed as obsessive, needy or "needing to just get over it."

Back to clothing, we have Jason Derulo, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, and there are probably more too. They have performed pretty much whole concerts without a shirt on and the audience is filled with screaming fans and their social media mentions are flooded with compliments on how gorgeous they look. Then, we have the likes of Little Mix, Fifth Harmony, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, the list is endless. They are unable to even wear a pair of knee high boots without everyone losing their shizzle. As soon as they dare to flash their midriff in a crop top, they are inundated with mean, unnecessary hate comments on how they "need to put more clothes on" and "stop being so slutty."











Granted, not all comments are hateful and many are wonderful messages from fans, telling the girls how beautiful they are and, although it would be nice to focus on those, I think it is vital we focus on the minority here because they come from people whose perceptions seriously need altering in order to create future generations who actually accept people without questioning their decisions. We cannot just ignore things like this as they will only get worse. We cannot just sleep on the fact that a man goes topless and is a hero but, when a women doesn't wear long sleeves, she's a slut. We need to sort out these people who are doing 2+2 and getting 71.

I don't know about you, but every time Little Mix perform nowadays, afterwards they are labelled as prostitutes and slags for their outfits which usually simply consist of shorts, crop tops and boots. They also like to wear leotards. Their outfit choices should NOT cause them to be associated with names which have negative connotations. Please can somebody tell me why it is seen as acceptable for a man to walk around naked on a beach yet when a woman wears a bikini, she's showing off and is showing too much skin, despite the fact that she is simply dressed appropriately for her surroundings and actually cares more about having a nice time than what she is wearing? Why is Jason Derulo actually PRAISED for going topless but Little Mix are shamed? I understand how, in the past, this could have happened. The female body has always been so much more 'sacred,' if you like, and has always been seen as something that should be hidden, but I thought that we lived in 2016, no? We have come so far as a world. We have accepted a variety of sexualities, religions, races, and lifestyle choices yet somehow are still unable to comprehend the fact that a woman might not want to completely cover herself up all of the time? We do not need these double standards, especially as there are so many other issues in the world which we should be focusing our attention on. Is Little Mix wearing miniskirts really more important than the millions of children who are dying of starvation in third world countries?
As for the double standard thing, men and women are now more equal than ever. I know that we do have so much further to go. There is still a gender pay gap and females are still excluded from many areas and it is frowned upon when they even attempt to do "manly things," for example, a woman cannot bang a nail into a wall without someone passing comment on how she's doing DIY without a man. However, I do think that, by now, we should have realised that women want to be equal to men and they do not deserve to be bullied for something as pathetic for getting a bit of thigh out. What did all of those women campaign for all of those years ago? Did they die for us to live in a world where men are praised for things women are scolded for? Did they sacrifice their dignity, health and livelihoods for men to be seen as saints and women as sinners? Did the protest tirelessly for men to be seen as superior? No, they campaigned for gender equality and we have a duty to continue what they started in order to make our world equal in all forms.

So, STOP with the slut shaming. Stop having meltdowns every time a woman wears something on stage that isn't a maxi dress. What does truly upset me most is seeing how many of the harsh comments female celebrities receive come from OTHER WOMEN. Whatever happened to supporting your fellow woman? Do not just do so when it suits you. When being oppressed by a man, women stick together but when being oppressed by other women, women tend to turn on each other and just jump on the hateful bandwagon - say what now!? If you want to be seen as equal to men then you must treat other women as your equal. There is no hierarchy here. Men, support men, women, support women, men, support women and women, support men. Ladies, bring UP your fellow females and stand up and speak out against slut shaming and double standards. Get your voice out there and allow the media to hear what you have to say to help put a stop to their cruel articles. I get that you'll probably think Justin Bieber looks hot when he poses in his underwear for Calvin Klein, but do not support and praise hum yet bully other girls for wearing a pair of skinny jeans and showing the world that, believe it or not, they do actually have a bum.
Older women, Mothers and Grandmothers, quit with the "She dresses like a prostitute so she is a bad role model" nonsense. Firstly, who are you, who are any of us to say what a good role model is? Martin Luther King JR was a good role model and so is Kim Kardashian, both for different reasons. No, Kim Kardashian did not protest endlessly for equality for black people and change the world, but she is a confident person and inspires people to live their lives however they please and to just do them without caring about what criticism they may face. ALL of us are a good role model in our own right. Secondly, should the amount of clothing a woman wears really dictate how worthy of the title "role model" she is? Don't be silly. She isn't going to dress like that 24/7 and why are we CONSTANTLY using people's bodies against them? Bodies are all beautiful things which deserve to be celebrated, regardless of how much of them are on display. Praise people for their bodies rather than slating them. We were all born with one and why does it matter if some people fancy showing theirs off a little more? Are we not always protesting for people to love their bodies and who they are? So why do we take all of that away and go back on ourselves when we shame people for being confident in their own skin? Speaking of confidence, does confidence not make somebody a good role model? If Little Mix are going on stage in figure hugging leotards, is that surely not a reason to admire them? Not many people would feel comfortable with doing that but they love their bodies so much that they're prepared to put them out to the world, despite backlash being inevitable. They are showing people that it's okay to celebrate your own appearance. Would you really deny your daughter or granddaughter the chance of looking up to someone who is happy with who they are? Besides, just because she admires someone who wears a short skirt once in a while, that doesn't mean she is going to dress like that herself. Honestly, they really are JUST CLOTHES and some people just like to wear more than others. It actually isn't that much of a big deal. What IS a big deal is the fact that women are hated on EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for being comfortable in themselves and showing skin whilst men are congratulated and respected. No matter how many items of clothing a woman wears, she should be respected. Nobody has to be modest to be respected.


We live in a gorgeous world filled with gorgeous people. Appreciate the beauty around you instead of criticising it. I understand that it can sometimes be easier to just opt for negativity and that positivity is hard work, especially if you don't particularly agree with something someone is doing, but I promise it shall be worth all of that hard work. Heard the saying "if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all?" Take it in and live by it. You will soon see how much of a difference it makes. Stop allowing clothing choices to dictate your perceptions of people. Everybody is more than their clothing. There is a real person inside of it. Stop sexualising everything that women do and allow them to celebrate their bodies freely in the way that men can. Do not claim to be a Feminist and then hate on your fellow human beings for what they wear. I was 150% DONE with double standards before I was even conceived and I only hope that, one day, we, or at least our children, shall live in a world without them which peacefully praises men and women equally. Besides, do people not have better things to be doing instead of picking apart other human beings for something as simple as wearing a bra without a top over it? Like I previously mentioned, it is 2016, people have skin and some like to show it off. Personally, I think the less we allow slut shaming and double standards, the more likely we are to see a rise in body confidence in general. Do you ever consider the fact that some people don't feel confident in themselves as they don't feel able to show their body off without receiving backlash? You ought to feel grateful that someone is choosing to share their body with you. If YOU want to wear clothes, wear them, some people don't and that is FINE too. Just get over it. Please.

Be sure to let me know your opinions on this subject. <3

Love, Emily :) xx

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