I’m disappointed seeing the world’s reaction to celebrity body modification. The scandal of the moment is, well… I never thought I’d publish an article about Madonna’s butt, yet here we are.
There’s a moral distinction that needs to be made when it comes to expressing a negative opinion about someone’s looks (not an inherently bad thing) and shaming someone for not aligning with what you think they “should” look like.
Most everyone can agree that:
- Supporting and understanding women, in a culture of insane pressure, is good, and
- Shaming women for not fitting cultural ideals of beauty is wrong.
But I’d add, more specifically, that shaming women for not fitting cultural beauty ideals is wrong whether or not they decide to make alterations to their faces or bodies.
It takes a special kind of arrogance to shame someone because they didn’t conform to your opinions.
It takes a special kind of arrogance to shame someone into making different choices because you want them to conform to how you think they “should” look.
The following Twitter commenters agree that Madonna’s fake butt (whether implanted surgically or padded under her clothes) looks awful. However, consider the different ways in which they express that same opinion:
“Nothing against plastic surgery but I hope Madonna’s new booty is a complete joke. It looks terrible. I’m hoping it’s just padding.” – @BritUhNieHope
“#WhyHasntAnyone Told Madonna That Her Butt Implants Are Horrible” – @KyraSpears
“I’m so mad Madonna got her butt done and it look disgusting” – @Naudiaaaaaa
Negative opinions mixed with prescriptive, shame-inducing language:
“Madonna, you’re too fucking grown for all of this fuckery. fake ass? Stop it.” – @MrDane1982
“Wait! Madonna got a fake ass now?!? Smh y’all gotta chill with this plastic surgery” – @AyBro
“Disturbing!, many times plastic surgery is worst than the natural effects of aging. BTW Madonna you are 60 just accept it…” – @dvorlando
All of these comments are harsh, judgmental, and hurtful. (Words matter.) But notice which group of comments shames women and tells them what to do with their bodies. (The internet can be harsh… Check out Baby, It’s Cold Online.)
Tip of the day: Consider whether your goal is simply to share what you think, or whether your goal is to shame others into conforming to your own personal worldview.