Why We Can’t Stop Bodyshaming

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Firstly, let us establish what exactly is “body shaming”? Body shaming is passing inappropriate negative statements and attitudes toward another person’s size or weight.

This raises a few questions in one’s mind:  Should we really be judging people on their body sizes and weight? Why do we think it is alright to make anyone feel insecure just because they’re underweight or overweight?

The reality is that in a superficial world like ours, it has become so important to look desirable by standards set by the media. Any sign of body imperfection, particularly being overweight, will bring down the wrath of society.  It’s honestly heart wrenching to see young children feel so conscious about how they appear or look at such tender ages. The problem is that we do not realise how this perception is shaping personalities and mindsets of our coming generations. The fact that children nowadays understand it is undesirable to be too fat or too skinny is what says it all! Hardly a day goes by in the world without someone being body shamed. They say that making overweight and obese people feel bad about their size does not encourage them to shed excess pounds and may even make them put on more weight. Research suggests that it has an adverse effect on a person’s confidence as well.

Celebrities subjected to bodyshaming have often demonstrated grace and badass self-confidence to shut down the haters. Have a look:

celebrity-trends-2015-08-emma-stone-cannes

My great hope for us as young women is to start being kinder to ourselves so that we can be kinder to each other. To stop shaming ourselves and other people for things we don’t know the full story on—whether someone is too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, too loud, too quiet, too anything. There’s a sense that we’re all ‘too’ something, and we’re all not enough. This is life. Our bodies change. Our minds change. Our hearts change. Things are always evolving . I hope we can be supportive of each other and try to really have each other’s backs, especially when we don’t know the whole story.

celebrity-trends-2015-08-melissa-mccarthy-red-carpet

When media described her as “tractor-sized.” Mellisa McCarthy said it wasn’t the first fat-shaming comment she got. She said : When The New York Times asked me about it, I said, “I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate. I just thought, that’s someone who’s in a really bad spot, and I am in such a happy spot. I laugh my head off every day with my husband and my kids who are mooning me and singing me songs.”

A recent article described a 15 year old girl in Pennsylvania asks Hilary Clinton how she would undo some of that body shame, damage so girls understand they are so much more than just what they look like, during a campaign. She also added, “It’s really hard for me throughout school to see the pain Donald Trump inflicts on my friends, especially at such an insecure time as middle school and high school.”

Trump and his derogatory fat shaming comments on various women during recent campaigns have raised questions worldwide. But the good thing is that there is no moral ambiguity here. As a society, we’ve come to collectively agree, at least in public discourse, that body shaming is an incontrovertible sin. No one should feel bad about their bodies! It is a detrimental and impressionable practice that does more harm than good no matter which gender it is inflicted upon.

It might surprise us, but body shaming is a phenomenon faced within families and inflicted upon us by our closest people. We must put this mindset to an end starting right from our homes. Let the degree of acceptance towards others increase irrespective of appearance and let us extend kindness and empathy towards others!

 

 


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Amna Kazi

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