In this modern society of awareness and moral conscience, we may have improved the situation as well as the mentality of people from 20th Century but we still have miles to go. A big issue in our current society is Body-shaming. Now, what exactly is Body-shaming?
Body shaming is one of the most common forms of capitalizing on the insecurities of a person. By the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition:
“Body shaming is the act or practice of humiliating a person based on their body type by making critical and/or mocking statements about their body shape and size.”
Body shaming is a form of bullying in which the physical image of an individual is targeted. For anyone, young and old, their looks and appearance are an especially sensitive subject matter. This is due to the fact that there is a clear correlation to who we are in the way we portray ourselves. Although body shaming refers to the physical appearance of an individual, it can affect both the mental and physical aspects of the life of a person negatively. If an individual is body-shamed, they will be compelled to rethink who they are and how they present themselves.
Owing to the heavy influence of social media in our everyday lives, when it comes to beauty, we are inundated with images of perceived perfectionism on a regular basis. In addition, public photos are acknowledged in an open forum by public comments and likes, which provide feedback, both negative and positive.
In terms of diet, exercise, and fashion, celebrity trends appear to pave the way for how a person should look based on what is considered “cool” and famous by demand. If individuals do not follow these patterns, they can be seen as odd, and shamed for it.
People are shamed for everything, be it their weight, their skin color, their height, their hair, body/facial hair, etc. and this affects their daily lives, they start hate going out, meeting new people, looking in the mirror, getting their pictures clicked or even doing the most basic thing which most of us love to do, shopping.
We all have grown up watching media and reading magazines that show us a stereotypical standard of beauty and forces us to fit in it in order to be considered desirable. We are told that if we are not a certain type then we are ugly, unwanted, and sometimes even losers.
This is a lie. This needs to stop. We are more than the numbers on our weighing scale and measuring tapes, we are more than how tall we are or what skin tone we are on the shade card, we are complex beings made up of our intellect, our mindset, our thoughts, our stories, our hard-work, our contributions and our emotions. We are so much more than what we look and that is why we should matter more than just our physical appearance.
So, we need to ask yourselves again, if we know the impact body-shaming, if we are aware of the negative consequences body-shaming brings on our physical and mental health, if we know how wrong body-shaming is, then why do we still do it? Why is body-shaming so normalized?
Kritika is a freelance content writer with Femsay.com