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One Direction's Liam Payne teaches tweens about fat-shaming

Jenna Birch is a health and lifestyle writer, lipstick enthusiast, aspiring yogi and diehard Wolverine based near Ann Arbor, MI. For more information, visit jennabirch.com or follow her on twitter @jennabirch.

Liam Payne's weight sheds light on an age-old problem

The One Direction singer gained a few pounds. It happens to everybody, and his weight is still perfectly normal. But the Twitterverse did what the Twitterverse does when celebrities gain a little weight, and began hurling insults Liam's way after seeing more belly and less abs in a bathing suit picture.

Thankfully, Liam seemed resilient and responded with a hilarious picture on Instagram. Complete with a pillow-belly for a gut, he professed, "I mean OH MY GOD I'm just so fat these days I think I need help! quick someone take the cookie jar," before posting another picture of his 100-percent healthy BMI.

It's never easy to hear that f-word, whether you're a man or a woman, celebrity or not.

Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian, Tyra Banks, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Christina Aguilera (to name just a few) have all been bullied for their bodies — and we all hear about it. Whether we're involved in the criticism or just a casual bystander listening in, it's a huge problem. While celebrities might be the biggest targets of fat-shaming, they may not be the biggest victims.

Women, just like you and me, probably soak up all this body talk the most. And like it or not, many of us automatically take it to heart. We like to compare apples to oranges, whether it's rational or not. It's just how we operate.

Now, consider this: The average American woman is about 5'4", between 140 and 150 pounds, and wears a size 12 or 14. Most celebrities fall in the size 2 to 4 range. When we hear a celebrity getting admonished for her weight, what do we think? I can tell you what I naturally think: If she is 'fat,' then what am I? That thought has been ringing through our collective consciousness for years, and will continue to as long as we encourage a culture of fat-shaming.

What about young girls who are growing up in a world where the pressure to be pin-thin is intense? According to a new study from Florida State University, the earlier a young woman begins dieting, the more likely she is to exhibit extreme weight control measures (like self-induced vomiting), dangerous alcohol habits and obesity into her 30s.

The consequences of that behavior are far worse than those few pounds of added weight.

More on body acceptance

Shopping with a teen who has body acceptance issues
Dear women, it's OK to admit you're pretty
I may be fat but I beat my eating disorder

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