Many lives are made complicated by such forms of humiliation, which may start as an unsolicited comment for someone, but reaching out to the other person can often leave a defining deep trace for a long time unnecessarily. Because of the broader possibilities, this phenomenon is now gaining more spotlights, but unfortunately, it has been present in society for a very long time.
Body shaming is something that has been becoming a common thing in society nowadays. Only a few percent of people take body shaming as a source of motivation, but for the rest, it is just a path leading them to the darkness of low self-esteem. We think it is okay to make fun of each other, but we never know when we might say something offensive and end up hurting that person. A body is one’s own and doesn’t require anybody’s criticism or standards to make it desirable.
A report from the UK says that girls are more dissatisfied with their body appearance than boys. The survey said 46% of girls have not been satisfied with their body images, and this had been causing stress in their lives.
Have you ever heard of the term body shaming?
It means criticizing the physical characteristics of practically anyone of their hair, skin, body hair, body weight, wrinkles, etc. I recently found out that it also means “actions aimed at humiliating or ridiculing someone because of their appearance.” When I learned about the meaning of this phrase - it clogged me. Body shaming and bullying do not discriminate against any age group. Judgments and comments affect every age group.
It is the source of body image disorders and self-esteem problems that often spread like wildfire on social media. On many social media profiles, you can find a thousand examples by just scrolling through the comment section. More so, that is exchanged on the private messages.
The examples where we hear someone withering 40 degrees in trousers because they have spoken to their feet before, or a young girl embarks on wild hair removal with completely reckless because of someone’s mocking remarks, are common.
This phenomenon is far from accepting the diversity of society and representing human diversity, even though we all represent them by being different and at the same time representing them.
It is not at all right that we wade into the world of others with our unsolicited comments, the most modern version of which is, unfortunately, the sending of messages and comments created by fake profiles, splashed with swear words, even crossing the boundaries of cyberbullying.
Some people try to find humor in degrading someone else’s body, which is highly undesirable. The world is too big to have one sort of view to show beauty. It is time to break the mold if we want to stop body shaming in all forms. Body shaming is promoted by the media as well. Slut-shaming, weight shaming, body shaming, color shaming, make-up shaming are some forms of humiliation that are normally seen in society. No matter how you look, whatever you do to your body, they will shame you.
Love yourself as you are without being victims of stereotypes or aesthetic canons of a beauty of which there is no definition because beauty is subjective and changes according to culture and country of origin. It should be normalized, to never justify your actions to anyone with what you do to your body. Unrealistic beauty standards imposed on the youth by the fashion industry should start acknowledging many body types and beauty standards. The personality can be far more beautiful in a person, which is disregarded, in such areas.
Remember that there are fragile people around us who may not have the experience, maturity, and strength to like them as they are and may feel compelled to justify themselves or respond to comments from people.
Love each other as you are women and mothers, and unite in this, as more you accept yourself, the more you do not justify yourself for how you are. And soon, there will be no aesthetic canon defined as better than another, and there will be no more those who will feel better or entitled to point the finger at other women or to exhibit their body feeling better than another. You are all beautiful, and you are all wonderful and unique.
It is a crime, and you do not know anyone’s history or background, so you have no right to body shame them for being fat, thin, ugly, fair, dark, grey-haired, short, and tall. We should come forward and spread awareness about body shaming and try to stop this act.
We live in a culture that is fatphobic and normalizes the blaming and shaming of our bodies. It is easier to externalize our feelings of discomfort, inadequacy, or anxiety by blaming our bodies. But bodies are not to blame. They are not the enemy. How do we change our pattern of body bashing?
Finding self-worth outside of our bodies:
Become more aware of unhelpful thoughts we have about our body and internalized fatphobia.What are you telling yourself that weight loss or having a different body would bring you? If the answers are things like, “I want to have more confidence”, instead try asking - “how can I do that in the body that I have right now?”
- Counter Conditioning - learn about the health and every size movement. One proven way to improve body image is to surround yourself with body diversity.
- Finding things and passions to pour your energy into that have nothing to do with your size - connecting with friends, hobbies, art, and music.
- Surround yourself with encouraging friends.
- Repeat positive affirmations every day.
- Learn how to be in the moment.
Body Shaming also affects Mental Health.
These are some of the effects-
Social anxiety– In this, a person ignores and springs to avoid social interaction because he/she is afraid of being bullied.
Depression–Depression is a state which leads a person to death. By bullying or body shaming, a person feels lonely and lives alone. This increases the feeling of low self-image, self-worth, and self-esteem.
Eating disorders– Because of excess eating, a person leads to diseases like; Anorexia: in this state, a person does not want to eat anything. Second is; Bulimia: In this, a person eats a lot of food. Sometimes they lose control of overeating.
It cannot stay that way. As a woman, I have to be perfect. These were always my thoughts, and I cried very often. It is our choice, and it is my choice and our life. We have to make choices about how we want to live. Others are no one to judge us. This body is yours. It’s taken, over a decade or two to love it. It shouldn’t be thrust upon us to be a certain size or petite; you should be healthy, happy, and love yourself.
The problem is that I saw all the people like that, all different from me. I never reflected myself in something, and I was convinced that the wrong one was me, and then let us also put the load on 90% of relatives and friends (to whom I do not blame because if we live in a fatphobic society, I have been affected by it too). Now it is time to end these useless negative thoughts because it is depressing to have society tell others how they should look. After all, otherwise, life does not start. Life is here and now, and we should live it in the body we have.
But until that moment, I will continue to remind you that the body you have, which takes care of you, protects you, and which is your home, should never be condemned to look different, out of the ordinary, and not to be someone the body of another. Before you make any type of comments about someone, think whether it is necessary or try putting yourself in their shoes. Again, autonomy and self-determination are the keys. The point is, we should not be hung up on what is perceived as fitting a knowledge base, or what a person’s goals are. We need to let people live their authentic truths and lives.
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