Aishwarya Rai Bachchan the most beautiful woman in the world, officially crowned Miss World 1994, Vidya Balan, an actor par excellence, Sania Mirza, a sports personality bringing laurels to our country, the plight shown of a common girl who was termed overweight as per potential bride standards in the movie “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”, what exactly is common amongst them and many more such people? In spite of them being at the top of their professional or personal lives, they all have been Body Shamed at some point of time in life.
What exactly is Body Shaming?
An unpleasant or critical appraisal of a person’s body and size in conjecture with the increase or decrease in weight is termed as Body Shaming. Making fun of an overweight / obese / healthy / skinny person and terming it as an imperfection is an example of body shaming. A person is judged only by the way they look e.g. tall, short, fair, dark, thin, fat etc and all other parameters of their talent are subjected to jokes because of Body Shaming.
Why is it done?
Due to the constant presence of social media in everyday life, looking good/ flawless has become a priority and those who don’t confirm to it are looked down upon and criticized. It is also a way of bullying a person by Body Shaming and trying to prove your seniority or authority over them. It is also observed during parties or other types of social meets where people (especially women) start their conversations with “kaisi hai? Kitni moti/patli lag rahi hai.. Weight gain/loss toh nahi kiya!”
Impact of Body Shaming
Impact on Mental & Social Health:
A person at the receiving end of Body Shaming undergoes a lot of mental stress and trauma. They start critically appraising themselves and form a low opinion. They have low self confidence and esteem and feel that they are not good enough giving rise to suicidal thoughts. Anger builds up in such people and they distance themselves socially, to avoid negative remarks. They end up being loners and suffer from depression and panic attacks. Teens and young adults are usually most affected by this.
Impact on Physical Health:
Due to the constant criticism, the person tends to develop eating disorders like anorexia (person starves themselves to lose weight) or bulimia (person eats gluttonously). Person may feel comfortable to eat secretly when no one is around. Health complications like constipation, heart disorders, diabetes, dehydration, irregular bowel syndrome and menstrual cycles are extreme result of Body Shaming on physical health.
Effects on Diet and Nutrition
Body Shaming makes a person want to diet and loose/gain weight at any cost. Due to plus size or skinny tags given, people get on a mission of unhealthy weight loss/gain without consultation or proper diet and nutrition. The different types of short term diet do more harm to the body than any good. Extreme weight loss/gain can be due to a person abusing their body with starvation, pills, alcohol, drugs etc which even leads to severe health complications. One should try to adopt healthy ways of weight loss and gain.
Body Shaming is a very inhumane and narcissist way to undermine someone and it can have many repercussions on the person subjected to it. The practice of judging a person only by their looks should be immediately stopped. No one is skinny / overweight / obese by choice. I feel it’s more important to feel beautiful about ourselves. Its only one life we have got. Accept it as it is. Do not pay any attention to any comments. Just be as you are and try to be a better, fitter and healthier you tomorrow, by taking right measures; not for others, but for yourself!