Body shaming seems to be just one of those things that will never fade away. Pick up any magazine or turn on the TV to any show and all you can see is body shaming. How many shows boast of a stellar cast without any bodily imperfections? We all are guilty of doing it even if we believe we don’t.
And body shaming isn’t just about weight. A lot of people are under the impression that body shaming only includes picking on overweight or obese people. That is not the case. Body shaming consists of being ridiculed for anything that is related to the shape of your body.
Has someone ever told you that your hands look weird? Or how broad your shoulders are? How long your nose is? Or how big your feet are? These are all examples of body shaming.
We have all at some point in our lives been a victim of body shaming. No one is safe from it.
Pick up any magazine and it will have hundreds of articles telling you how to appear slimmer, or how to look tall, or how to lose weight in days. I have yet to come across an article with the title “You are perfect the way you are”. Most are only focused on telling people how they can change for the better. Like you are somehow missing out.
Most people are under the impression that these kinds of antics are only aimed towards women but that is just not true. Men go through body shaming just as much as women. They are taunted for not being tall, not having an athletic body, having girl-like features, among many other things.
Even celebrities are not safe from being body shamed. In fact, celebrities face even more criticism for the way they look. They are even more pressurized to appear perfect so that the general population can look up to them. If a celebrity gains weight, he or she is scrutinized by the media. The latest example of that is Carrie Fisher, who was criticized for “not growing old beautifully” after her appearance in the new Star Wars movie, and Rihanna, who appeared curvier in the latest string of photographs.
Words hurt people. If someone tells you that you are fat or if a magazine tells you that you need to get those lip injections to be exactly like Kylie Jenner, they are pointing out that you are not perfect.
The impact of such words is humongous on people. There have been certain cases where people have actually died while trying to lose weight or by changing the way they look. They are so pressurized by the society that they feel guilty for being who they are. There are many cases of people starving themselves or undergoing dangerous surgeries to change their appearances all because society refuses to accept them.
On the other hand, many people consider genuine, good advice to be a form of body shaming. For e.g. if you are obese, your friend or loved one might tell you to eat healthy things or adopt a healthier lifestyle. This is not body shaming. They might be genuinely concerned for you and your health. And being obese is in fact, not a good thing. There are many problems that you can face, from diabetes to heart diseases to untimely death. You need to understand what the people around you mean when they talk about your body.
So how exactly can you stop body shaming? Well, the first thing for that is Acceptance. You need to accept yourself the way you are. You need to tell yourself that you are beautiful and those who tell you otherwise, are wrong.
If you are a body shamer, then you need to rethink what you are about to do. You need to re-evaluate the situation and ask yourself: How would you feel if someone said something like that about you?
You need to show compassion and be humble.
Body shaming needs to be stopped and that can only happen if you believe in yourself. You need to stop giving into these magazines and websites that tell you that you aren’t good enough. You need to think positive and you need to make others realize that you are perfect just the way you are!