“Sow. Lard ball. Cow. A mistake of nature. I hope you're raped. No, out of respect for the rapist. Water heater with legs. You disgusting bitch. I see you and I vomit. It's clear why you want black people in Italy. Let it go, you pig. Go around with the burqa. I'm not insulting you that nature has already insulted you. Poor your partner, who wakes up every morning and has to see you. But then you won't have a partner. You should be lesbian. You should just shut up.”
Michela Murgia, Italian writer
Is Body shaming a problem in Italy?
YouGov, the largest online data catalogue available, made a European survey about body shaming. Really important are the data that tell us how many people don’t even have the ability to understand that they are victims of it. People whose bodies do not correspond to the "ideal" canon are insulted or discriminated against - one-third of people in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Spain have already experienced this on their skin. In most cases, being a victim of body shaming is not an isolated case: among Europeans who have suffered discrimination, 36% have suffered more than ten times.
These data are based on a sample of 9823 people representing the population of Denmark (1039), Germany(2064), Finland (1007), France (1024), Italy (1030), Norway (1008), Sweden(1017) and Spain(1017), and were collected in April and May 2019 using the Omnibus methodology.
43% of Italians feel conditioned or under pressure because of society's standards of beauty. In this kind of social context, it is not surprising that, more than in other European countries, a movement that promotes a constructive message such as Body Positivity is appreciated by most people (79% of Italians vs. 48% of the European average) and that the need for social movements and public discussions on the subject is very much felt, believing that in this way the problem of body shaming in our society can be significantly reduced (67% of Italians vs. 47% of the European average).
Nutrimente onlus, an association for the Prevention and Knowledge of Eating Behavior Disorders, made a survey conducted on approximately 4,000 Italians between men and women aged between 18 and 55 and carried out through online monitoring on the main social networks, blogs, forums and dedicated communities (Woa methodology, Web Opinion Analysis). The parts of the body particularly targeted were the legs (48%), followed by the belly (45%), back (41%) and hips (35%). The consequence is that body shaming affects self-esteem (45%) and causes increased states of anxiety (43%).
And yet, according to the data 48% of women claim to be judged.
The most sensitive about body shaming are adolescents aged 18 to 21 (32%). Younger girls particularly suffer because of body defects, especially when highlighted by their peers. In second place are girls 25-32 years old (27%) who suffer slightly less than young teenagers, but are often cornered by the comments of the boys and the slim and toned body of their friends.