For all our positive movement on the body positivity front, body shaming is alive and well, affecting women and men of all sizes and shapes — even ones that are hailed as “perfect.” Take Bridget Malcolm, for instance. The 26-year-old model might be strutting her stuff in lingerie on the runway for Victoria’s Secret, but she’s not immune to physical critique from others.
As she shared via a blog post titled “Body Shaming on Set,” Malcolm recounted one of the worst experiences she’s ever had at a modeling shoot, where she says she was shamed by multiple women, who ogled at her stomach, asked her to hide her hips, and ignored her out of scorn.
“…I had one lady refuse to look me in the eye, choosing instead to address my stomach with a sneer (I was shooting swim). I addressed her, smiled, and she didn’t even look away from my stomach, let alone respond to me beyond mono syllables,” she wrote.
It only got worse from there, with the model detailing the brow-raising treatment she received, being asked to “make my ribs show more whilst shooting, suck in my gut, and tied a sarong around my hips, to ‘hide them’. I got a high school level b*tchy up and down when I came out of the changing room (every single one of my 10 shots), and another woman just didn’t even register my presence.”
Malcolm is far from the first model to be shamed on set: Back in May of last year, size 2 runway strutter Ulrikke Hoyer shared her story of allegedly being fired by Louis Vuitton for being “too big.”
Still, the incident affected her deeply, with Malcolm not only forgoing lunch on set that day, but taking several months to get back on her road to recovery, which began with a panic attack over the photo below. “I thought my arms were fat,” she admitted.
As a result, she says she was forced to take a step back and reevaluate.
She’s come a long way since then, accepting her body, gaining weight “and not giving a f*ck about it,” and sharing her story in an effort to help others going through the same thing.
“Today, make the effort to let go of your body hang ups,” she wrote. “It will take time, but let yourself find what is right for you. No more trying to fit someone else’s f*cked up mold. Destroy it and take up your own space in the world.”
What do you think of Bridget’s story? Share over @BritandCo.
(Photos via Adam Jeffrey/CNBC/Getty)