New trend: #shamershaming

Bobby Shipman

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Using comedy to poke fun at someone is all fun and games until said person dies as a result of suicide.

Last week the so-called YouTube comedy sensation Nicole Arbour posted a video that was met with icy responses—deservingly.

Arbour chose to use her self-proclaimed comedic talents to put down overweight people, claiming that obese citizens do not deserve the same respect that homosexuals and those with disabilities have fought for.

YouTube reportedly removed her video, which I was not necessarily a fan of being an avid supporter of free speech and all, but I was glad that I didn’t have to see her disastrous commentary flooding my Facebook homepage anymore.

Unfortunately, despite an outpouring of disapproval over her desperate viral stardom attempt, many people (who are no longer on my Facebook friends list) found her words amusing and even commendable.

Sadly, some of them (who will remain nameless) were members of groups of people who have faced century’s worth of persecution for their lifestyle choices.

It’s depressing, with the progressive movements that have occurred recently, how quickly some people forget.

Shaming someone for his or her body type because it doesn’t fit a specific “ideal” is never OK.

Although no one, at least to my knowledge, committed suicide as a result of Arbour’s video, bullying victims are still between two to nine times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts.

Fat-shaming is bullying, and should be stopped, not encouraged.

Another type of shaming that has been all too present lately is slut-shaming.

Everyone is familiar with Kim Davis’ dastardly attacks on same-sex marriages, which she guised under the claim of defense  against religious freedom intrusion.

Many took to social media to call Davis out for her hypocrisy, but some took things a little too far by also commenting on the nature of her love life and criticizing her appearance.

“I’m fine with people writing about the intersections of hypocrisy, morality and religion in a nuanced way, but I’m not fine with … calling her a ‘slut’ or a ‘whore’ for being married multiple times,” wrote Matthew Facciani, a blogger at Patheos.com. “If the point of attacking these people is to demonstrate that we won’t stand for bigotry in this world, then the tactics I’ve mentioned here are failing miserably.”

Diminishing someone based on their appearance or lifestyle choices only makes it OK for others to shame us for our appearance or our lifestyle choices.

That doesn’t seem like a great way to go through life, does it?

Honestly, shaming people based on stereotypes is a disgraceful act and downright tacky. It just makes the shamer look bitter and heartless—and it’s not funny.

Instead of promoting shamers like Arbour or the slut-shaming Davis meme-ers because their responses arouse mild chuckles, let us (the social media inclined) go viral ourselves.

I encourage everyone to shame—shame shamers, that is. We’ll fight fire with fire.

Let’s take to social media and call out bullies for their despicable behavior with the hashtag shamershaming.

The hashtag will work as a way to call attention to people who use social media as a conduit for negativity.

Simply retweet, comment on or tag bullying posts with the hashtag. But don’t bully them in return. Just let them know you disapprove. Our form of “shaming” will be a beacon of positivity and will work to destroy the reputation of a traditional shame.

That’s right, Regina George, I will never cease trying to make #shamershaming happen—not while people’s lives are at stake.

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