Body shaming in our society starts from home and from a pretty early age. Bachpan se, we want children to look a certain way. For example, if they’re too skinny, they are hounded to gain weight. If they’re a little chubby, they are relentlessly bullied. As we grow up, the body shaming becomes integrated more deeply into our lives.
Doston se, teachers se, immediate family se – har jagah se criticism starts flowing in. And that’s really not okay. Here’s why:
1. It can have a detrimental effect on your mental health
Constantly being degraded when it comes to your body can lead to the development of depression over time. A general lack of self-worth that stems from the criticism can lead to poor mental health.
2. Body shaming can lead to severe self-esteem issues
If you’ve been a target of body shaming, it’s very hard to recover from the low self-esteem that you struggle with later on. You tend to only see the flaws that have always been highlighted.
3. It can cause body image issues as well
Despite being fit eventually, you tend to find faults within your body. A constant need to strive for perfection comes about. Except, you’re never happy with your progress.
4. It flies right in the face of the entire concept of self-love
Body shaming negates the entire concept of loving yourself and the skin you’re in. Instead of spreading positivity, negativity is all that one is left dealing with.
5. The criticism is almost never constructive
“Beta, thora wazan barh gaya hai. You should lose a few pounds.”
“Beta, kuch ziada hee patli hogayi ho. Eat some more, na?”
I mean, everyone has different rates of metabolism, sooo… kinda a lot harder than just eating or not eating, tbh.
6. You really don’t need to make someone feel like shit
What are you achieving by shaming someone over the way they look? Concern and belittlement are two different things. If you want to opt for the latter, well – don’t. It’s a pretty shitty thing to do.
7. Not to mention, it’s a tad bit hypocritical, tbh
Have you noticed how most of the people who are “concerned” about the health of others aren’t all that fit themselves? Moreover, why do these health concerns only apply to physical attributes? If there’s an overall “live and let live” policy when it comes to other matters, it should extend to this as well.
8. There’s a fine line between showing concern and bullying
Genuinely caring about someone is one thing. Incessantly bullying them about their body is another.
9. The targeted individual can actually carry the developed insecurities well into adulthood
Your discomfort with the way you are can carry itself way into adulthood. The insecurities tend to grow as you do. It’s honestly not a very pleasant feeling.
10. You really can’t just write someone off as unhealthy, especially when they’re trying really hard
You don’t know what people are struggling with. Perhaps someone is trying really hard to get in shape. Or, perhaps they simply cannot due to a medical disorder. You don’t get to be the judge of that, you know? That’s not really fair.
11. Some of the reasons given for “being in shape” really don’t make any sense
“Rishtay nahi ayeinge”
“Larkiyan pateingi nahi.”
“Kapron main fit nahi aogi.”
“Function se pehle wazan kam karlo.”
These reasons shouldn’t be a priority. But your health definitely needs to be.
12. It’s kinda sorta none of your concern
Genuinely, though. If you don’t care about someone, why is your naak in their business? Let them be, yaar.
13. There’s always a better way to go about helping someone
You know you could consult a legit nutritionist? Or help your friend eat healthy food. Maybe even help them stick to their diets. Or go jogging/gymming with them. There’s a lot more that can be done instead of dishing out faltu ki criticism.
Body shaming is never the answer. There are only downsides to carrying out body shaming. And the damage it causes is rarely fixed. It’s not okay to have someone hate the body they’re in, just because they don’t fall within the narrow range of beauty that society has decided upon. It’s time we let people love themselves, especially when it’s pretty much the hardest thing to do.
What’s your take on this? Let us know in the comments below.
Cover image via dawn.com