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The many aspects of Body-Shaming

Body-shaming is an act through which one practices humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about a person’s body shape or size. It involves improper and unnecessary comments about a person's body. It can be about our own body or may concern another person. Furthermore, it ranges from a person's size, age, hair, clothes to food, or level of perceived attractiveness. For example, criticizing someone's body can make a person feel ashamed of themselves, or criticizing your appearance through a judgment of another person, includes body-shaming. It is as harmful as bullying. It can lead a person to depression or voluntarily hate their appearance, resulting in severe emotional trauma.

Body-shaming might be a joke for some, but it's harmful to person targeted. Many try to joke about it on social media and insult their bodies or how they look, and also some try to take a comic outlook about it. It's not only on social media but people who are close to us also commit body-shaming like asking someone to lose their body or gain more weight or calling them fat, motu, patlu, short, etc. It doesn't matter how it manifests, it often leads to comparison and shame, and influences the idea that people should be judged mainly for their physical features.

Our body is a dress, a veil that we wear, ever since the day we are born. So, rather than criticizing, we should accept what we all have. In this world, no one is completely perfect, so it's normal for our bodies to look whichever way they are comfortable being in. Agreeably, it is not an easy task. And sadly, it becomes the subject of TV shows or movies to criticize a person’s body or to make people laugh. Especially, people who are playing the "fat” character are typically the subject of criticism and comic relief. Trending behaviors of celebrity fat shaming on social media hold a vast potentiality of severe consequences.

Nowadays, we are more into social media or broadcasting media. It has a huge influence on our daily life. We frequently approve our lives by it. The media emphasizes that attractiveness is an important part of relationships and interpersonal interaction. It shows the importance of beauty. Even in advertisements they show how to look beautiful to catch everyone's attention, and if you are not attractive you will not get attention or a job and also in 64% of movies or dramas shows how unattractive people are evil, cruel, or unfriendly. And it has a huge effect on people from a young age.

Suicide because of body-shaming is the fourth leading cause of death in 15–19-year-olds. Extensive levels of body-shaming possess the threat of inflicting negative emotional effects, including a reduction in self-esteem and other issues such as eating disorders, anxiety, body image disturbance, body dysmorphic disorder, and depression. Also, body-shaming can lead to serious depression, especially when people feel their bodies cannot meet social criteria because they are not good enough or start to hate how they look.

One of the most common reasons for body-shaming is weight. Most people think having a thin body is more attractive than a healthy body and mock it. We often come across comments like "She will appear more pretty if she loses some weight ", "You need to lower your amount of food intake", “Oh there, see the need to book two seats, etc. That's why most people are focused on fat body-shaming. However, it is not only about that, but the scope of body-shaming is also wide, and all thoughts are not limited to only fat shaming. Body-shaming can be anything about a person's body, it can be their hair, color, height, look, weight, etc. Mocking about someone's hair color or someone's skin is body-shaming. Body-shaming is different from gender to gender. For example, if some guy doesn't have facial hair, people will feel shame about it that he looks feminine or gay, or for a woman who gets facial hair, she will get body shame about not being feminine.

In addition, laughing about someone's age or clothes is also body-shaming. Many people mock about it like, “they are too old to wear makeup”, “he is too old to wear that kind of cloth”, “she doesn't look good in that kind of cloth”, or “you don't fit in that cloth”. Additionally, news articles showing photos of how "bad" or "old" celebrities look when not wearing makeup are also body-shaming. Initiating negative comments about someone's wrinkles or loose skin is another form of body-shaming.

Body-shaming makes a person feel very bad about himself or herself, which causes many problems, but as long as you avoid learning that thing, no one can hurt you. Love your body, love yourself for the way you look, appreciate every single thing you have. We only have one body, and we should love ourselves. Other people will always have something to say, and you can’t please everyone. Many people cannot accept the fact about their body, start to get depressed, and started to follow an unhealthy routine. No amount of therapy can help you if you are not showing acceptance towards your own body. It is human nature to attack particular spots but doesn’t let this get to your head. Start loving and accepting your body. Stop hiding! Take the lead and make moves to come out of situations that make you uncomfortable.

It may be socially acceptable for people to mock and body-shame others, but you don't need to participate. Because everyone feels bad when you make fun of their body, or it can happen to you too. Hearing cruel comments can be devastating and humiliating, which can affect a person’s self-esteem.

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Tags: #shaming #bullying #body


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