A TikTok influencer is responding to an influx of comments regarding her rapid weight loss.
Brooke Schofield, who has over 263,000 followers on the social media platform, recorded herself talking about the response she got following a period of rapid weight loss. The influencer explained that the root of her body change had a negative source, and noted the danger in commenting on the bodies of others.
Schofield's statements were sparked by the comments of a follower, who said "Not gonna lie I think that ozempic is working girl no hate." Ozempic, an injectable medication with the active ingredient semaglutide, is used to manage type 2 diabetes, and is also associated with weight loss. Many stars, such as Jessica Simpson, have pushed back on the rumors that they use these types of drugs to fuel weight loss, while others, such as Shahs of Sunset star Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi, have come out and stated that they do use semaglutide medication to slim down.
"Trigger warning: I'm going to be talking about weight loss, so if that's not your thing, scroll," Schofield said. "At the end of last year, I lost a lot of weight really quickly. I lost, I want to say, 20 pounds in a month. And since then, pretty much all of my comments 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 will be like 'Brooke Schofield, before and after,' and all the comments are 'oh my god you look amazing' 'you've never looked better' 'wow what did you do.'"
Schofield added that she was initially quite flattered by all the comments, and said she understands that people mean them to be complimentary. However, the compliments made her assume that 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 was really confident before, and the amount of people who have put so much emphasis on how much better I look now? Like, oof," Schofield shared. "Full transparency, I lost weight in the least healthy way possible. I wasn't eating. Not on purpose. I was going through the worst breakup ever. I couldn't eat. I had such bad anxiety I couldn't eat for months, okay? There was no Ozempic involved."
Schofield continued, explaining that her weight loss wasn't due to any lifestyle changes, like increased dieting or exercise. "It was me literally unintentionally starving myself because I was sad," she said, adding that she's now very happy.
"And you know what happens when you're happy? You start gaining weight back again," she noted. "But now I'm terrified to gain 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 commenting on anyone's body," even if your comments are said "with good intentions."
"You don't know how someone lost the weight," the social media personality said. "Unless you know somebody is actively really trying and adopting a healthy lifestyle and stuff, probably don't comment on any 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're never fully aware of what health issues a person is dealing with.
"Maybe they're struggling with an eating disorder, maybe they're going through something in their life that has impacted their relationship with food or maybe they have an illness," Chelsea Kronengold, communications lead at the National Eating Disorders Association, told USA Today in 2021.
While before-and-after weight loss photos have become common on social media, health experts note that the emphasis on how much better a person looks in the after can still be detrimental. Dr. Anisha Patel-Dunn, Psychiatrist & Chief Medical Officer at LifeStance Health, previously spoke to Yahoo Life about what occurs mentally when someone hears that.
“In that moment, there is a visual implantation in your brain of what you want to look like, or used to look like, that almost always ends up being disconnected from reality,” Patel-Dunn explained. "This happens most frequently with younger people who are more impressionable." This creates an idea in the person that "they themselves are not good enough as they are."
It all plays into the larger societal issue of our obsession with weight, says Janet Lydecker, 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, particularly, 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 regarding social media comments on their bodies?
A variety of celebrities have spoken out about their struggles and triumphs with body image— particularly due to the public's incessant comments while they dealt with health issues. Back in 2018, Gigi Hadid told Allure that when people commented she was "too big for the industry" in her early years of modeling, she was really struggling with undiagnosed Hashimoto's Disease.
"For those of you so determined to come up w why my body has changed over the years, you may not know that when I started @ 17 I was not yet diagnosed w/Hashimoto's disease; those of u who called me 'too big for the industry' were seeing inflammation & water retention due to that," Hadid tweeted at the time.
Back in April of this year, "thank u, next" singer Ariana Grande took to TikTok to explain that in times when people were complimenting her body, she was actually not living a healthy lifestyle. That's why she suggested that people "should be gentler 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 should really work towards not doing that as much," Grande said.
Back in 2021, Jonah Hill also asked his followers to refrain from making any sort of comments on his body, even if they're positive ones.
Hill shared in a now-deleted Instagram post, “I know you mean well but I kindly ask that you not comment on my body, good or bad I want to politely let you know it’s not helpful and it doesn’t feel good."
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