Putting an end to body policing in the media

By Korrien Hopkins


Demetria Obilor, a local traffic anchor with ABC affiliate WFAA in Dallas, made headlines for her inspiring response after a woman body-shamed her on social media. Since then people all over social media have been showing their support, while many others are shaming her for simply being herself.

“I’m waking up from my Friday nap to some controversy, but a whole lot of love,” Obilor said in a video she posted to Twitter. “The controversy is coming from people who aren’t too happy with the way that I look on television saying, ‘Oh, her body is too big for that dress. It’s too curvy.’ Or, ‘Her hair, it’s unprofessional, it’s crazy. We don’t like it.’”

Women are continuously being policed to live up to societal expectations.

More specifically, women of color and black women, in particular, have been consistently scrutinized and body-policed. This includes being shamed for attributes that are seen as desirable on women of other ethnicities. What is “hot” on the Kim Kardashians and Iggy Azaleas of this world is often seen as “ghetto” or “inappropriate” on women of color.

Obilor told ABC News in a statement that “helping to cultivate confidence and self-esteem” in women and girls “is something that I put my entire heart into.”

“For so long, women have been marginalized and prescribed a narrow-minded concept of beauty. We have to shatter all of that and unite to shape a better, more tolerant world for the future,” she added. “We need to embrace every body type, every color, every hairstyle … at the root of it, we are all human and no one should ever be discriminated against based solely on the way that they look.”

Obilor is using her platform to show that her hair and body is just as professional as those with more European features that society is more comfortable with. The media should continue to show the uniqueness of all people. Every news anchor doesn’t have to look the same and shouldn’t be shamed for how they are. It is up to us to stand up and accept diversity. To see Obilor so unapologetically curvy and curly is very inspiring to me and many women around the world.

To see people around the country are supporting her is even for inspiring. It shows us that we have a platform, as well. With this platform, we can accept and uplift each other, putting an end to the haters.