My mission is to create awareness on the menace of body shaming- Model, Yinka Olowokere Wilson

-Yinka Olowokere Wilson

She’s a model and the originator of No to body shaming’ movement, Yinka Olowokere Wilson said she started the movement to encourage those people shame to feel good about themselves.She talks about the impact of body shaming on people in society and her upcoming event.

“The decision to start a movement that creates awareness on the menace of body shaming was informed by my personal experience. I am a professional model and beauty queen though I am not tall or slim enough to fit into the society’s stereotype of a model.

I started my modeling career in 2014 while in school, as a beginner in the profession, I faced a lot of shaming and side comments from fellow models, makeup artists, photographers, and costumiers. It is extremely sad to get a job and be treated like trash on the job because you are not the ‘right’ size. I hated the fact that people had to apologise for things they clearly have no control over like, genetics. I have been constantly shamed in the profession so much that my insecurities led to ruminating on the menace of body shaming.

“My findings from interacting with other models and people generally revealed that even the most ‘perfect’ has at one time or the other been shamed, made to feel uncomfortable in their skin and made to apologise for being the way they are. These experiences and many others made me to create the initiative. My goal is to encourage more body complimenting, self-love, self-confidence, and to be unapologetically comfortable in our own skin and not tolerate anyone who tries to project their insecurities as a way of shaming.

Talking about her focus on body shaming, Olowokere said; “Shaming is deeply rooted in our culture as it’s a way to discourage bad habits. Body shaming is a type of shame that involves us consciously or subconsciously comparing people to others based on the Eurocentric and ever changing beauty standards. Sadly we are shaming people of physical attributes that cannot be corrected. When does the colour of one’s skin, height, shapes and size become a bad that we should be shamed for? Who made these beauty standards that we are being forced to abide by?”

Body shaming is a mental issue that can be disguised as care or encouragement when in the actual sense it is not. This is why I am particular about the movement.

“Now a lot of people can relate. Our statistics from the previous year showed that about 50 percent of the people that came in contact with the project shared their experiences with body shaming and encouraged the movements and also reposted on their social media. Twenty percent do not know what body shaming is at all which we are glad to enlighten them. Five percent think we should speak to people that have been bodyshamed to grow thicker skin. The other 25 percent are passive which I believe with this year’s project, we will have better turnout.

“No To Body Shaming 2.0: is to encourage more body compliments. We know we can’t eradicate body shaming in the society but we want to encourage body complimenting and sensitise the general public about the menace of body shaming (éèbúara).

“I would say, stop shaming people. From my research, people that body-shame others do so to feel better about themselves, unfortunately, they feel victimised when they are treated that way. So stop shaming people. You don’t know what they are going through or what they have been through. Instead of commenting on their looks, a simple compliment would do.

Secondly, parents should stop comparing their children to others in a bid to encourage them to do better. Many times children like this turn out with really low self-esteem or become bullies themselves. Other children are not the same as yours; they don’t have the same abilities. Encourage your children to do better for themselves not in comparison to other children who may have different realities from your child.”

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