Over the past several months it seems like Donald J. Trump has gone viral for multiple reasons, many from his own doing. The presidential hopeful can’t stay far away from controversy. Just about any time the Republican candidate takes to Twitter, we’re guaranteed to see people clamor to dispute what’s being said. It’s a given.
It seems like most opinions surrounding the business mogul are either hot or cold. Though the majority of the time it appears most people aren’t happy with the man who won America’s choice fair and square. So when Trump went viral late last week for a reason he wasn’t directly involved with, it caught the internet’s attention instantly.
Perhaps that is because something new and fresh was finally surfacing around the election but, more likely, it’s because passions are at all extreme high. The continuous rise of social media has given the general public a voice that can reach beyond geographical limitations. Many times that can be a beautiful thing when people are given the power to share life-altering stories and find a community they feel they can finally relate to. But there’s also a list of cons that follows the privilege we have been given to express ourselves.
That’s when we use this tool to embarrass and tear down people. The hashtag #NakedTrump began generating buzz across all popular social media networks with over 38,000 tweets sent out regarding the incident on Twitter alone. It wasn’t long until Facebook followed suit, placing it in its trending column. While the hashtag was self explanatory, what I discovered out of sheer curiosity was unexpected.
A group by the name of Indecline had resurrected a statue of Trump that was rather outlandish to say the least. No matter whom you are voting for this year, it’s easy for anyone to realize how harsh the depiction of the presidential candidate turned out to be. There Trump stood overly engorged with unsightly veins popping out and one very specific area made to be basically microscopic.
If you’re having a hard time following me, just think about the one area a man wouldn’t want to appear small. It left me astounded to view what could only be described as the ultimate humiliation of a fellow human being. As I scrolled through my Twitter feed I discovered that many posts were making fun of him, often pointing out his bodily flaws. It was nothing short of cyber bullying. While I’m fully aware that Trump can take care of himself, I couldn’t get over the immense hypocrisy that was occurring right in front of my eyes.
For several months we’ve been seeing the rise of body positive advocates and anti-bullying campaigns. And yet, in this one instant, it seemed that all of the constant progression of those platforms had come to a complete halt. Why are we so willing to throw our morals out of the window just because the person in subject is someone we don’t like?
I couldn’t help but take offense to the jeers towards his weight. As a plus size woman myself, finding that society is still judging body size and using it as an insult is nothing less of discouraging. Despite the efforts to show acceptance in our culture, Americans are still body shaming. The worst part is that it’s done with a sense of pride, being showcased on social media for the sake of a few likes or retweets.
Trump is one example of how we as a people still find body shaming to be entertaining. We will only see true breakthrough when we choose to stop engaging others in mocking someone for their appearance, even if it is someone we don’t like.
The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.