Australian swimmer Leisel Jones

Women’s bodies have always been up for discussion, but as our society has become more and more driven by the unattainable ideals of celeb physiques, many women are finding themselves under the mean-spirited eye of the Fat Police.

I blame the Internet for our exploding mean girl culture, which critiques every single thing anyone does, whether they deserve it or not.

It seems like you can’t go out your door without someone whipping out a cell phone and posting a picture to one of the many social networks, asking, “IS THIS REAL LIFE?!”

But it’s not just online. People have taken to tearing apart just about anyone they deem unfit. Recently an Australian newspaper came under fire for running a poll asking whether or not one of its Olympic swimmers is fat. You know something is wrong when we’re debating whether or not a well-decorated, highly trained athlete is overweight. Really? Really?!

This isn’t unique. Throughout her career, many critics have bemoaned Serena Williams’ weight. Apparently her tip-top physical conditioning means nothing in light of her ample hips and thighs. And how could we forget about the New York Times reviewer who felt New York City ballerina Jenifer Ringer had eaten “one sugar plum too many.

Instead of focusing on the very real issues many Americans (and those in Western countries) face with weight and obesity, some folks have taken things to the extreme, labeling normal bodies fat, and those who have a few pounds to lose, morbidly obese.

What’s the result? Are the Fat Police’s hyper-critical tactics working? Not so much. Waistlines continue to expand. So instead of shaming folks into feeling bad about their weight, perhaps a new approach is in order: encouragement.

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