We are frequently exposed to depictions of alleged aesthetic perfection. Celebrity-driven food, exercise, and fashion trends frequently establish the ideal of how individuals should look. According to experts, those who do not follow these trends run the risk of being stigmatised and labelled as odd. What might add to a person’s insecurities is when others make an effort to conform you into society’s preconceived expectations of a perfect physique while simultaneously bashing and belittling you for the lovely body you possess.
Body shaming is described as “The action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size” in the Oxford Dictionary.
The way we conduct ourselves is a pretty clear reflection of who we are. Weight is only one aspect of physical appearance; other variables are body shape, style, clothing choices, haircuts, and makeup—either too much, too little, or none at all. Body shaming can be harmful to one’s mental and physical well-being. When confronted with body shaming, a person could be forced to reconsider who they are. This could have an effect on their social, emotional, and work life.
“I had to put up with free advice from “caring” aunties and grandmothers alike as a teenager with larger breasts than the rest of her age. Some recommended bras that held on to you so tight that you couldn’t breathe. Ofcourse, hiding a part of you is more important than comfort. Others weren’t so lenient in their advice, my breasts were to never see the light of day and be hidden under layers of duppatta”, shares a 24 year old woman, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Ageism is not a factor in body shaming. All ages, including the elderly, are impacted by judgments. Additional anxieties that older people may have include a decline in their ability to walk, impaired vision, hair loss, wrinkles, and related concerns. All humans will experience these normal alterations as we become older. But that does not mean that it is simple or easy to get used to. People consequently start to feel anxious as they get older about how their bodies are changing and how they look. When other elderly people, their children, or strangers body shame them for it, it might aggravate their anxiety.
We are risking a lot of a person’s health under body shaming. It has the potential to lead to social anxiety, depression, anorexia, and other eating disorders can arise from feelings of loneliness and self-pity. Controlling their food intake may lead people with eating disorders to assume that their appearance will improve and body shaming will stop. The obvious reaction would be to steer clear of situations where you might be publicly bullied. As a result, one may end up withdrawing and avoiding social situations.
If you’ve endured body shaming….
Because it can have serious psychological and physical repercussions on a person, whether they are young or elderly, bullying someone based only on their appearance is wrong and cruel. Remember that you are not alone and that you have control over how you respond if you have personally experienced body shaming. Remind yourself to take a more moral stance in order to: Do not change who you are in response to what others have said or thought about you. If you’ve felt self-conscious about your appearance due to your weight, consider seeking expert advice to manage your physical health in a positive manner. For emotional support, confide in individuals who are truly close to you and whom you trust with your insecurities. Finally, and most importantly, learn to appreciate your body more each and every day. Keep your strength and embrace it for what it is.
“Like a bee stuck in a spider’s nest, parts of me, tried to escape the narrowness of people’s minds. Many years later and much wisdom gained, I decided to cherish the rainbow in a world that admires monotint. Then began the life saving journey of self acceptance”, said the anonymous woman who is elated and upbeat today.
Why wouldn’t we all want the same thing for us?