Body Shaming: The body in itself is perfect the way it is and shaming is something that needs a permanent pause. Body shaming is known as the action or practice of expressing humiliation about another individual’s body shape or size; a form of bullying that can result in severe emotional trauma, especially at a young age. Body Shaming is something that is witnessed by most people at some point in time in their lives. Today, in the present era, having a perfect body shape, height and complexion has become the basic parameter for forming an opinion about a particular person. And consequently, every second person is unwillingly compelled to hear statements like: “You are fat, You are so skinny, so on and so forth.
This article is a medium to oppose such unsophisticated thought processes that lead to the building of such vague beliefs amongst people. God has made each and every being in their own image and likeness thus no human surviving on this planet has the right to poke fun at another person. Henceforth, it is important to understand that criticizing oneself and others on the grounds of some of the aspects of physical appearance is highly unacceptable. Such criticisms can lead to building up a vicious circle of judgment which in turn can be detrimental to every person’s mental well being.
WHY DOES BODY SHAMING OCCUR?
Being bullied for being overweight or underweight can be deeply hurting. Growing in front of a mirror can ingrain the conventional notions of beauty and can lead to major self-esteem issues amongst many. It is important to accept an individual as they are. Being distinct in terms of physical attributes is more appreciable rather than opposing anyone for their external appearance.
Today, the trending era of being fit and slender has resulted greatly in creating undue pressure over people. The message which proliferates through social media and other sources is evoking an unhealthy behavior in the individuals to change their body type so as to conform to the norms of the community. This may even lead to self-harm and injury. Thus, this should be permanently stopped.
WAYS IN WHICH BODY SHAMING MANIFESTS
Most media and other beauty platforms emanate the idea of having a perfect body figure and an appropriate height and complexion. Such a belief
thus indirectly implies that one should care enough about their body shape and size. And if one lacks behind in it they are presumed to be below the mark. However, this belief is absolutely misleading and untrue. Body Shaming manifests mainly in three ways which can be enumerated as :
- Criticizing one’s own appearance through a judgment or making comparisons to another person. For e.g. “ I am not that slender as her, or I am short-statured and I don’t even have an average height.” Etc.
- Criticizing another’s appearance in front of them and embarrassing them for their physical attributes.
- Criticizing another’s appearance behind their back and without their knowledge.
No matter how this fallacious concept of body Shaming perpetuates, it often leads to comparisons and shame among individuals and encourages the thought that people should be judged mainly for their physical features. This concept is completely wrong.
Moreover, this concept is being normalized on a large scale. Body Shaming has become a common trend and occurs amongst both boys and girls. Many Tv shows and movies have provoked the culture of being fit and in shape. They disguise overweight and underweight as a joke on people which often makes people feel conscious and inferior. This trending behavior of celebs and eminent personalities is so pernicious that it is next to impossible to estimate the potential outcomes.
HOW TO OVERCOME BODY SHAMING ISSUES
Challenging this issue is actually a great deal and requires a lot of effort to face these harsh situations with courage and rationality. In conditions like these, a great step would be to express one’s true sentiments without feeling obnoxious about their own body shape. But here are some other ways of handling these challenging situations more prudently. They are as follows:
- PRACTICE IDENTIFYING THE SITUATIONS THAT UPSET YOU
It’s unlikely that you will be mad at someone because they are breaking out or more likely that you are upset about being rejected and embarrassed. Practice recognizing such situations and think and reflect over them and try verbalizing them, to the extent that it becomes a normal phase for you.
- CONFRONT TO THOSE WHO PERPETUATE BODY SHAMING
There are many who are a part of provoking and encouraging the idea of body shaming and see it as a basic parameter of judgment. So rather than being upset about what such people say to others about you or what they say to you, it is better to confront them. Once you have realized that you are unique and perfect the way you are, You just need to talk about this to whosoever is a participant in this act. Discussing with people who mock you for your appearance and telling them how disheartening it can be if the same the incidences happen with them each time can be quite helpful. Telling them why such statements bother you, with valid reasons can support and boost your morale to a great extent.
- GETTING IN TOUCH WITH PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE WHO ARE BODY POSITIVE
The best method of handling such an issue is to connect to those people in your life who are absolutely body positive or body neutral. Having conversations with anyone who celebrates their body for what all it can do and who don’t hold negative opinions about anyone merely on the basis of their looks and appearance. Such a way out is the best-known method of being contented about how you feel about your own body. Spending time with such people can be helpful to you while you are struggling with your own internalized body shaming. Moreover, it will help you to view yourself and others in a more positive manner.
- FINDING OUT THE THINGS YOU LIKE IN YOUR BODY
Appreciating your body and loving it the way it is, is the most effective and known remedial solution to this problem.
Despite your body image struggles, try finding out things you like about your own self. Indulge yourself into any activity that makes you feel happy, pumped up, and positive. Spend time loving and accepting your flaws.
- FOLLOW A HEALTHY SCHEDULE
Not because you want to get slimmer or fit but because it will help you feel confident, light, and active. For an energy-filled day sticking to a healthy schedule is an important requirement. As an unhealthy schedule may lead to many anonymous detrimental health consequences. Thus, it is better to grow and inculcate a habit of practicing a healthy schedule.
Not everyone in this entire universe is perfect and flawless. Rejoicing over how you feel about your own self and confronting it in the best suitable form of expression is the one and only way to fight back this problem. One cannot hide and run from facing the negative comments from society but you can definitely try and face these situations wisely by following the easy way outs stated above. Thus, “You are not a mistake. You are not
a problem to be solved. But you won’t discover this until you are willing to stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself.” — Geneen Roth.
Aiyasha Angel Briscoe | Campus Ambassador
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