Although the word body shaming might sound new to a lot of people, but what it really is – is something people have been experiencing or doing for decades.
Body shaming is the action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size.
Body shaming is done very, very casually in our society because we conform to extreme standards of beauty. Any woman over the weight of 45 Kg’s somehow automatically becomes “fat” & even if she hasn’t noticed (she has), don’t worry – she’ll be told by everyone that she meets the ‘beta bahut healthy hogai ho’ standard until she drops back to 45.
Similarly thin bodies are also shamed. Mercilessly calling someone a ‘dhancha‘ (skeleton) or saying you’re concerned they’ll fly away if the wind blows a little too fast is body shaming. Telling anyone that they don’t have enough curves or too many curves is also body shaming.
When people are called out for their constant shaming- their usual response is that “I’m only doing this to motivate them to lose/gain weight”, “it’s for their own good he/she doesn’t know how fat they’ve gotten man”, “mein nai bataun gi toh kaun bataye ga”. Koi bhi nae. Because it is no ones job to dish around advice that was completely unasked for.
But in all seriousness, these statements can be really detrimental to someone’s mental health.
Mostly the stress caused by hearing negative things about ones body can become a major trigger. Often causing people to stress-eat which in turn might make them gain even more weight – See? Not motivating at all.
Someone who already might not be feeling great about themselves do not need to hear it from outside sources too, they’re self depreciating as it is. You don’t need to come in & knock down their self esteem even more.
Depression is also a huge factor stemming from body shaming. (No wonder it’s the worlds leading cause behind suicide). You don’t know where someone’s mental health is, you don’t know how close they are to their breaking point. Even if someone seems to laugh off your casual body shaming, they might not be doing so well on the inside. Be more thoughtful.
These are just the tip of the iceberg, body shaming is something that’s really harmful for people. Both physically and mentally. The fact that it’s so casually done in our lives is really hard to wrap around our heads. Everyone is fully aware of what their words might do to someone. They have an effect – why not let that effect be a good one?
I hope we move towards a society where no one body shames. But until then we should all come together and shut down the people that shame others. Stand up for someone if you see it happening around you. Slowly we can definitely put an end to body shaming.