The Spare Room: Shame On Body Shaming

Dear Fellow Men,

Hey. How are things? How are the kids? I hope all is well. I know we haven't spoken to each other in a while, but I felt the need to address something very important. Something that not all of you are guilty of, but it's still something worth talking about.

Guys... we have to stop body shaming women.

Some of you have probably already heard about the thunderstorm of hate that a certain someone stirred up on Twitter (he's an idiot that doesn't even deserve his name being mentioned) after he posted a video of himself at the Royal Rumble. In the video, he is heard referring to Nia Jax in some not-so-flattering ways based on the way she looks.

Why do we do things like that?

If you dislike Nia Jax because you think she's a bad wrestler, that's fine. You can dislike her in-ring attire, her entrance music, her finishing move, the facial expressions she makes, her acting ability, or anything else along those lines. That's your prerogative, Bobby Brown. What we're not going to do, though, in 2018 is look down upon wrestlers because they look a certain way.

Can someone explain to me what a body type has to do with a wrestler's in-ring ability? Daniel Bryan looks completely different than Samoa Joe, and they both look completely different than Shawn Michaels, who looks completely different than Kurt Angle, who looks completely different than The Rock, who looks completely different than Ric Flair, and so on... but all those men rank right up there on the list of all-time great performers. During the recent NXT Takeover: Philadelphia event, my wife and I were having a discussion about how Kassius Ohno looks now compared to how he looked in, say, 2006. Ohno himself would be the first to admit that he's put on weight since then, but you know what hasn't changed? His in-ring skills. His cardio. His athletic ability. Compare him to someone like Johnny Gargano, who doesn't appear to have a single bit of body fat on him, and you have two totally different body types who can still tear a building down when they step between those ropes.

The women of wrestling are no exception. Trish Stratus, Lita, Beth Phoenix, Chyna, Victoria, Alundra Blayze, Ivory, Molly Holly, Mickie James, Michelle McCool, Natalya, Nikki Bella, AJ Lee, Paige, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Bayley... they're all some of the most decorated and celebrated women's wrestlers in WWE history, and they all have a different body type. Some are taller. Some are skinnier. Some are bustier. Some are leggier. Guess what? It's just like in real life!

Let me get back on track by saying that the worst part about that dunce's video is the fact that there is also video of his daughter playing with a Nia Jax action figure and referring to Nia with her own set of unflattering names. This is the kind of garbage that we want to teach our children?

Before anyone chimes in with the "IT'S JUST COMEDY" rationale, save it. I don't need to hear it. I'm a fan of some "offensive" comedy. I like, or have liked, television shows that push the envelope of good taste. I've laughed my ass off at stand-up routines from the likes of George Carlin and Patrice O'Neal, where pretty much nothing is sacred and off-limits. I've been known to make some not-so-politically-correct jokes myself. This goes beyond mere jokes, though. Again, this is the type of thing that kids hear and think is alright. Little girls are getting negative body complexes at younger and younger ages. I know of elementary school aged girls who want to go on diets because they hate the way they look. Do you realize how messed up that is? Girls that are seven or eight years old aren't supposed to want to starve because they think they're fat. They shouldn't even know what starving is.

I'm getting really sick and tired of these negative character traits being passed on from generation to generation, making things worse in the world. Young people have body complexes because of older people. Kids are racist because their parents are racist. Children are looking at alcohol because mom or dad is an alcoholic and that's how they cope with everything. When are people going to fully understand that everything they say or do, even if they label it as "comedy", is something that will be witnessed by someone impressionable?

Does Nia Jax have the stereotypical body of a women's wrestler? No. Does Nia Jax need to have the stereotypical body of a woman's wrestler? No. She's perfect in the role she plays, where she knows she's bigger than everyone else, and she uses that to her advantage. That's been a money making story that pro wrestling has been telling for decades. Even WWE has been successful with it, whether it was Bull Nakano challenging Alundra Blayze or Chyna chasing after Ivory at WrestleMania 17. The world needs people that are different. Different looks, different bodies, different thoughts, different philosophies. Nia Jax is different. Point blank. Period.

Fellas, if some of you can kindly pull your heads out of your asses, we can try to move forward as a gender. There's a reason wrestling fans get viewed the way we do by "outsiders". Why not help to fix that instead of showing the world that we're garbage human beings looking to get YouTube subscriptions or Twitter retweets?

Next week, I'll talk to you about how wrestling fans portraying a "character" on the internet is something else that needs to go, posthaste. Until then, tata.

Sincerely,

Aaron Hyden

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