“I’m so ugly.”
“With those thighs, you’re never going to find a date.”
“At least you don’t look like her!”
“Oh,come on.You are too chubby to be attractive.”
“Hey buddy, start today, join some online fitness course and learn how to loose this weight”
“Men don’t like matchsticks dear!” “Don’t you get anything to eat?” “Where do all these go?”
All the comments above are familiar to us. It’s a shame that I have to write about this even in this twenty first century. A whole lot of people don’t care what is inside, they care what is outside.Body shaming has now become a trend. We all know the definition of body shaming; the practice of making critical, potentially humiliating comments about a person’s body size or weight.It is done by parents, siblings, friends, enemies, schoolmates, collegues and is often portrayed in the media. Who you are now is a bundle of opinions other people have given.It can be criticizing your own appearance or criticizing another’s appearance in front of them or even without their knowledge.
Growing up with self-doubt
I have seen the ugly side of body shaming even from childhood.A few of us are hurt being criticised skinny and for some it hurts when they are called bulldozers, JCB, whale and even more.Elders, especially parents and grandparents are participating in some championship to compare their children and grandchildren respectively with the neighborhood ones or in worst cases with the siblings. When one of the child is skinny, the other one is also bullied. ‘Do you eat his food too?’. From the beginning of their childhood they are hurt in heart. At times, children are compelled to overeat, so that others would think they are from a wealthy and prosperous family.
I remember how a newcomer in my class had to face ill-treatment because of the gaps between her teeth.Whenever she opened her mouth to say something, everyone would started laughing. That’s how she stopped talking in the class.She was afraid to take part in any extra curricular activities.I have seen my brother getting teased about his teeth too. But now I feel guilty for laughing at that.I could have reacted better.During college days one of my friend had to face severe body shaming.She was always bullied for being thin.This made her extremely concious of how she looks. She used to ask every other person she meets on how to gain weight. That’s how constantly body shaming hurts a person’s life.
I had a beautiful friend who was bullied because of her body type . I have seen, how guys act like good friends with her and once she leaves, how their eyes would be rolling behind her.This is so annoying.They call her different names similar to ‘hey fatty’.I have heard one among them speaking so ill of her body.Will he ever accept if it was his mother, sister or daughter ? I have always wondered how did she manage to smile back at everyone even though she’s bleeding inside.It has become the norm to criticize aspects of our bodies as some type of bonding experience with friends – if we all hate our bodies; it somehow makes us feel connected and united. WHAT?!!!
For decades the media has pushed unrealistic images of how the female body should look. But they knowingly forget to reveal that such bodies are product of years of discipline, diet, exercise – sometimes even photoshop or surgery! Sitcoms so frequently use overweight character’s bodies as the basis of many of the show’s jokes.The media has commonly portrayed overweight characters as the running joke of the show, resulting in “fat jokes” and a severe manifestation of self-doubt.
Commenting on someone’s choice of food or how much they’re eating, even in a joking manner, is body shaming and can be painful.They end up dieting in a toxic manner.
Fashion and clothes shopping is already a minefield because many mainstream brands carry limited sizing options, so finding something that makes you feel confident is hard enough on its own for plenty of people.
Recent statements deepen the belief in women that they have to appear thin, beautiful, and big chested to get anywhere in this world.
What about men? What about others?
Body shaming is not a new phenomenon for women.What about men? It’s not about the gender. Everyone is going through this now.
Psychiatrist Dr Shobhana Mittal says it’s high time male body shaming and body image get noticed. “We often talk about women body-image issues, but we forget that men are increasingly becoming victims too. In recent years there has been a spike in men being targeted and shamed for their bodies,” she adds. Men too points out their own or other’s appearance concerning weight, lack of hair or slim frame.
Men are body shamed and bullied for a lot of reasons like :
- Being too fat or too thin
- Skin tone
- Receding hairlines
- Size of body parts
- Profuse sweating
- Body odour
- Too hairy
- Not enough facial hair
And lot more. They are misunderstood on the way they carry themselves. They tend not to openly speak about it. They think reacting to all these would not make them look ‘Cool’.
In this modern era, even children are tensed of not having their body build up perfect. They end up doing unhealthy fasting and exercises which injure their body and muscles respectively. This leads to anxiety and pressure at this tender age. The advertisements children are exposed to everyday make them assume that if they are not tall and strong, they are not worthy.
It’s really surprising to see when a married man without six pack is grouped under a nick name ‘Family Pack’.When it comes to male fitness, the concept of six-pack creates more pressure.
Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Wentworth Miller, Vin Diesel, Rob Kardashian, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Sonakshi Sinha, recently Jason Momoa and a long list of them had faced bodyshaming. If this is their case, what about us ? That’s never a question. Whether you’re a celebrity or not, the pain is inevitable and can’t be erased.
Healing the Wound
Well, others won’t always see it.But the victim of body shaming feels the comments getting so deep into them.It stays there like a tattoo.Individuals with a history of trauma, depression, self-harm, low self-esteem, or borderline personality disorder are more likely to be affected by body shaming and potentially develop an eating disorder or engage in self-harm behavior.
National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) has stepped up to fight against body shaming on social media and encourages individuals who witness body shaming to notify this organization through Media Watchdog program.”We have to break through the model that insecurity sells,” Claire Mysko, chief executive officer of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), told the Healthline.
Start from HOME!
Let’s begin this journey from home. Parents need to do a reality check if they find themselves saying something to their child about their weight. Often times our own feelings about our bodies can bleed into what we say to our children.
You Are Not Alone
Dear readers, You are not alone. We all are in this together.Sad, desperate and jealous people always try to bring others down.They have a whole galaxy of negativity around them.It shows more about them, not us. They call you shameless, because they are afraid to live their lives. So, why should we bother about them? They’ll try to break you and make it difficult for you to sleep without tears in your eyes. They want to see you fail because they are already one.
Don’t reject yourself. Show the courage to leave from that toxic relationship where his subject of importance is your chest size and your body shape. Remember the push up bra you brought then; it supports you better than him.
They say real women have curves…
She has curves of inner beauty…
She has curves of love and spirituality.
Her curves are visible with her mind; calm and composed.
Her curves of character and humanity is what makes her special.
They say real man has huge body…
The size of his heart determines his happiness…
The love he provides you shows his real strength….
The concern and respect he gives is what makes him worthy.
Growing beard is not a sign of true men; respecting women is.
Art, thoughts and words are never confined to that perfect body type the modern world is chasing – an unrealistic fashion sense.If you are fit by finding balance with eating and exercise and if you’re healthy, nothing’s more important than that.
Love Your Body.
Tell them. Open up.
Break free from the trap they set.
Celebrate Your Body; Celebrate Your Life
Be You! Be that beautiful, weird and awkward You!!
BE THAT ‘SHAMELESS!!’
I Believe You.
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