September 21, 2023

Influencer on why it’s dangerous to compliment people’s bodies

TikTok influencer Brooke Schofield explained the truth behind her weight loss and why she hopes it will change the trend of commenting on people's bodies.  (Photo: Todd Williamson/E! Entertainment/NBC via Getty Images)

TikTok influencer Brooke Schofield explained the truth behind her weight loss and why she hopes it will change the trend of commenting on people’s bodies. (Photo: Todd Williamson/E! Entertainment/NBC via Getty Images)

A TikTok influencer responds to an influx of comments about her rapid weight loss.

Brooke Schofield, who has more than 263,000 followers on the social media platform, recorded herself speaking about the reaction she got after a period of rapid weight loss. The influencer explained that the cause of her body change had a negative source and pointed out the danger of commenting on other people’s bodies.

Schofield’s statements were sparked by comments from a follower, who said, “I’m not gonna lie, I think ozempic is a working girl, not hate.” Ozempic, an injectable medication containing the active ingredient semaglutide, is used to treat type 2 diabetes and has also been associated with weight loss. Many stars, such as Jessica Simpson, have pushed back the rumors that they take these types of drugs for weight loss, while others, such as Shahs of sunset star Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi, have come out and stated that they use semaglutide medication for weight loss.

“Trigger alert: I’m going to talk about weight loss, so if that’s not your thing, scroll,” Schofield said. “Late last year I lost a lot of weight really fast. I lost, I mean, 20 pounds in a month. And pretty much all my comments since then have been about that. If you look at a photo of me in a bikini or a video of me in a bikini , the search bar is like ‘Brooke Schofield, before and after’, and all the comments are ‘oh my god you look amazing’ ‘you’ve never looked better’ ‘wow what have you done.'”

Schofield added that she was initially quite flattered by all the comments and said she understands people mean them in a complimentary way. However, the compliments made her assume there was something wrong with her pre-weight loss body.

“It’s really dangerous to do that because I never thought I looked bad before. I had a lot of self-confidence before and the number of people who have put so much emphasis on how much better I look now? Like, phew,” shared Schofield. “Full transparency, I lost weight in the least healthy way possible. I didn’t eat. Not on purpose. I went through the worst breakup ever. I couldn’t eat. I was so anxious I couldn’t eat for months, okay “No Ozempic was involved.”

Schofield continued, explaining that her weight loss wasn’t due to lifestyle changes, such as dieting more or exercising. “I literally unintentionally starved myself because I was sad,” she said, adding that she is very happy now.

“And you know what happens when you’re happy? You start putting on weight again,” she noted. “But now I’m terrified of putting on a pound because there’s been so much emphasis on my weight loss and how good I look or whatever.”

Schofield concluded by asking followers to “be careful about commenting on someone’s body,” even if your comments are said “with good intentions.”

“You don’t know how someone lost weight,” the social media personality said. “Unless you know someone is actively adopting a healthy lifestyle and stuff, probably don’t comment on transformation or weight loss.”

What do experts say about complimenting weight loss?

Many experts echo Schofield’s sentiments, stating that comments about weight can be dangerous because you never fully know what health issues someone is dealing with.

“Maybe they’re struggling with an eating disorder, maybe they’re going through something in their life that has affected their relationship with food, or maybe they have an illness,” Chelsea Kronengold, communications director for the National Eating Disorders Association, told me. USA today in 2021.

While before-and-after weight-loss photos have become commonplace on social media, health experts note that an emphasis on how much better a person looks afterwards can still be detrimental. Dr. Anisha Patel-Dunn, psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer at LifeStance Health, previously spoke to Yahoo Life about what happens mentally when someone hears that.

“At that point there’s a visual implantation in your brain of what you want to look like, or what you used to look like, which is almost always disconnected from reality,” explains Patel-Dunn. “This happens most often in younger people who are more impressionable.” This creates the idea in the person that ‘they themselves are not good enough as they are’.

It all plays into the larger societal problem of our obsession with weight, says Janet Lydecker, a professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. She previously told Yahoo Life, “Just the preoccupation that Americans have with weight, and with weight being part of attractiveness, and a source of power, especially, but not exclusively for women, there’s a lot of pressure that we all feel in this culture to manipulate our bodies.”

Which celebrities have spoken out about social media comments about their bodies?

Several celebrities have spoken out about their struggles and triumphs with body image, especially due to the public’s incessant comments while dealing with health issues. In 2018, Gigi told Hadid To tempt that when people said she was “too big for the industry” in her early years of modeling, she really struggled with undiagnosed Hashimoto’s disease.

“For those of you who are so determined to find out why my body has changed over the years: you may not know that when I started @ 17 I hadn’t been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease; those of you who calling me ‘too big for’ the industry saw inflammation and water retention as a result,” Hadid tweeted at the time.

In April of this year, “thank you, next” singer Ariana Grande took to TikTok to explain that in times when people were complimenting her body, she wasn’t actually living a healthy lifestyle. So she suggested that people “should be more gentle and less comfortable commenting on people’s bodies no matter what.”

“[Even] if you think you’re saying something good or well-intentioned…we just have to work on not doing that so often,” Grande said.

In 2021, Jonah Hill also asked his followers not to ma
ke comments about his body, even if they are positive ones.

Hill shared in a now-deleted Instagram post: “I know you mean well, but I kindly ask you not to comment on my body, good or bad. I just want to politely let you know it’s not helpful and that it doesn’t feel right.”

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