On Sunday, Feb. 4 Lady Gaga performed at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, and the world went crazy; millions took to the internet to praise the singer over how incredible of a performance everyone thought she put on. However, along with the praise, came thousands of comments on Gaga’s weight. Many said that they were too distracted by the singer’s body, which they thought was too large, or not up to par for the outfit she was wearing. Many people, commented that they did not enjoy the performance because of this, and that she should have covered up if she was not going to be in perfectly in shape for the big day.
Twitter users @TRYKHOCKEY and @oh-tuesday were a few to name of those who body shamed the performer.
The criticism that Gaga received for the way she looked during the performance brings to light a real problem that our society always faced. That is, the way we view the bodies of women. Gaga did not appear anywhere near overweight during her performance—some may say that she even is on the skinny side of being a healthy weight. Regardless, Gaga looked healthy, strong and confident throughout the half-time performance, which some are also suggesting is one of the best Super Bowl Halftime performances of all time.
So why is it that so many people criticized her for the way she looked?
Lady Gaga had a small pouch of belly fat that could be seen when she showed her stomach while wearing tight shorts during the performance, and that makes her normal. For reasons unknown, this was problematic to some that they claimed it distracted them from the entire performance. This only solidifies the fact society has a major problem with accepting women regardless of what their bodies look like. People today still judge others based on their size or how many rolls they have or do not have.
Students here at Colorado State University were not shy of reacting, but the reactions were the opposite of the body shamers online.
“I didn’t think so at all,” said freshman student Brandi Fox. “I mean, I noticed she doesn’t have this like, crazy, rockstar body, but I don’t think she’s fat at all. She actually looked like a normal person. I can’t believe someone would criticize her for looking like that.”
Many students feel the as though the CSU community is a place where body positivity can outshine body hate, however.
“I think that this is a really inclusive campus, like if you look at here compared to other campuses, there’s a lot less pressure, the issues aren’t as bad because I feel like people here are a lot more accepting,” Fox said. “But at the same time, we have a really active community, and it’s very easy to see other girls and feel self conscious, and think badly about yourself.”
“I mean at least within the people I hang out with, we’re not very judgmental, as long as you have a good personality and are nice to people and want to be our friend, you’ll be fine here,” says freshman student Madison Jara
But people are beginning to believe that the future looks brighter in terms of body shaming, and that the world is changing the way it thinks of women’s bodies.
“Especially with the upcoming generation I think people are becoming more accepting, and with younger generations too. My younger sister is already accepting her body, but my mom is not fat at all and she’s the one who is always saying ‘oh I have to lose this weight.’ It seems kinda like it’s the older generation who think more that they have to look good for other people, whereas now we’re just kinda like, hey man if you don’t like me for who I am, then that’s it,” Jara said.
“I think it’s all about comfort and what they want to do, how they want to present themselves, and what they like. People should be able to just do what they like, what they feel comfortable with,” said another student Casey Lugli.
Whether or not the problem is fixable is up to us as a society.
“I think the problem is definitely fixable, as long as there’s positivity between everybody, that’s what’s gonna do it. Just stopping the hate and the judgement, and telling people from a young age that those small little comments you make have a lasting impression,” Lugli said.
“I think people should wear what they think it’s cute, you shouldn’t have to cover up and be like ‘oh I don’t want people looking at me and judging me’ no, like if you think that polka dot bikini is cute, wear it because you like it. As long as you feel comfortable, then flaunt it. I think that’s what matters. You should be working out to be stronger and be healthy for yourself, not because you need to look a certain way for someone else,” Jara said.
Gaga herself would agree with these statements. In fact, the singer took time to respond to the hate and let people know that she is above body hatred.
“I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too,” the singer responded. “No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions. thank you so much everyone for supporting me. I love you guys. Xoxo, gaga.”
When certain situations arise where someone is shamed for being themselves, it can bring forward the issues that our society still faces today about accepting people for who they are and loving them regardless. There are many ways that we as a society need to change the way we look at others. One of the ways that we can begin to stop judging women based on what their body looks like is instead focusing on their talent, intelligence and character. We can help this by doing our part to make sure that CSU continues to grow in its acceptance of diversity.