Opinion: An open letter to “shamers”

Samantha Karam

Shamers, you know who you are. You’re those people who hate on another person’s body type, lifestyle choices, physical appearance or character traits.

If I were to describe someone to you, chances are you would have something negative to say about them. You target people for being too big, too small, too confident, too sexually active, too conservative, too ugly and too pretty. The list goes on.

You discriminate against people who act or look a certain way. Whether this discrimination takes the form of dirty looks or blatantly rude comments, it exists and that’s a problem. It’s ridiculous how prevalent shaming is in our society.

It seems like no matter what someone does or looks like, they can fall victim to your judgment.

Your cruelty is everywhere. You shamers make fun of the quiet kid for being too weird. When you criticize celebrities, most of the time it has nothing to do with their talent, but everything to do with how they look.

You are relentlessly shallow. You go on and on about how all these characteristics gross you out and how people need to change themselves. Why should someone change who he or she is just to better meet your standards?

I don’t understand why you think verbally abusing someone is ever OK. It really bothers me because I think everyone deserves to feel loved for being exactly who they are.

I think your shaming is just an extension of your ignorance. We may have become more advanced as a society, but you shamers are holding us back from reaching our full potential. If someone wants to embrace him or herself, what gives you the right to try stopping them?

The loudest voices of your community, like YouTuber Nicole Arbour, choose to use the Internet as an outlet for shaming. People are fighting back with positivity, but for every empowerment campaign on social media there are thousands of negative, heartless comments on videos or pictures. 

That’s the scariest part about this whole shaming issue. There’s a potential shamer in each of us.

Of course, I don’t agree with the actions of everyone else who exists on this planet. But I also can’t say that negative thoughts about someone else haven’t crossed my mind.

However, it’s not my place to tell that person off and ruin their day. Instead, I choose to live my life how I want to and give others the freedom to do the same.

Shamers, you’re just stimulating negativity and that doesn’t lead to effective change. Also, understand a person doesn’t need to change his or her life to meet your approval. It’s not realistic for you to expect that.

If you don’t like something about someone, deal with it. Even though I hate having to see your insults clog up my newsfeed, all I have to do is keep scrolling. One day, I hope you find coexisting that easy, too.

Samantha Karam is an opinion writer for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].