‘Why don’t you start dieting, fatty’? ‘You look no better than a skeleton, why don’t you eat something?’ ‘your nose is not perfect, fix it.’ ‘Heyy brownie, Why don’t you lighten up your skin? use these cosmetic products.’Often we are confronted with these kinds of comments by parents, siblings, friends, enemies, and schoolmates. This is seconded by the media too.
Body shaming is the 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. Negative comments about someone’s body size or shape and color may be extremely harmful to them, leading to low self-esteem, rage, self-harm, and even mental health disorders, such as body dysmorphic disorder. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, about 65 percent of people with eating disorders believe bullying played a role in their disorder. Negative weight and body image connotations have been linked to low self-esteem, social alienation, and poor body image, as well as being linked to the development of eating disorders
Renowned American model, television presenter, Ashley Graham stated that “It’s really important that we stop body shaming people online and on social media. The rude comments under pictures, comparing women “who looks better” posts – all that does is forces us to judge each other. It only sets us back and women, now more than ever, need to empower each other.”
We always have an unrealistic expectation of beauty, which is unfair. Every single human being is unique and beautiful in his own way. Comparing or judging on the looks is asinine. We must appreciate different forms of beauty. Every individual looks different and that is the beauty. Nithya Menon, a South Indian actress while promoting Mission Mangal opined that “We are born in a certain way. We should celebrate that. we should start it from childhood and never body shame anyone. I know people tend to talk to children about their skin color. At times, kids are called ‘Motu’ etc. Stop it right there. So much trolling happens on social media, it is ruthless! Stop expecting unrealistic beauty.”
Body shaming will still exist, however, we can choose to react in a healthy and positive way. It’s important to practice self-love and avoid allowing negative remarks to bother you. Additionally, if you see body shaming on social media, you should report it and flag it as inappropriate content.
The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) has actively campaigned against body shaming on social media and encourages people who observe it to report it to the organization through the Media Watchdog program.
In the end, what I strongly believe is “it’s our responsibility to love ourselves and choose to live life to the fullest. Be confident. Love yourself in your own skin. Ignore the haters and unhealthy examples. Always remember your waist size has nothing to do with your worth, you are worth more than you realize.