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Public Food Shaming

Posted by Lisa Meade

Have you ever had this experience? You are walking down the street and eating an ice cream cone or some other food and suddenly you hear someone commenting on whether or not you should be eating, how it will make you fat, maybe you don't deserve it... Public food shaming is a painful act that more often than not is inflicted upon women than men. This article explores what is, why it occurs and some of the ways we can put an end to it.

Public Food-Shaming Is The Insidious Type Of Street Harassment No One Is Talking About

Author: Emma Gray

"Hey, girl, you shouldn’t be eating that. You’re gonna get fat!”

Of all the things you want to hear while walking to the subway at 11 p.m. on a Friday night, a man screaming at you for eating frozen yogurt on the sidewalk is not one of them.

It took me a moment to register that the “girl” the man was yelling at was me, a 26-year-old medium-sized woman leisurely strolling across town after a late-night stop at 16 Handles, armed only with a healthy serving of froyo and an assortment of toppings. Once I realized I was being spoken to, I stopped in my tracks, too shocked to do anything but turn and look at the man who had interrupted my I’m so happy I’m eating these delicious ice cream-like processed chemicals internal monologue. He responded with a leering look and a nod. I walked away, my cheeks flushed with shame, instantly reverting to the most insecure version of myself.

It was a humiliating and startling experience. So startling that I walked halfway down the block, threw the remainder of my frozen yogurt -- I couldn’t stomach even one more bite -- into the nearest trash can and got on the subway in a daze, a thread of mixed messages running through my mind: That guy was an asshole. Why didn’t I turn around and tell him to f**k off? Am I fat? I’m fat. Whether or not I’m fat, it doesn’t matter. Why am I letting some random dude make me feel like crap? It was goddamn froyo! I’m disgusting. I'm probably going to die alone. I’m not fat. I’m so fat.

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