Body shaming in 2020|Fighting Shapes, Sizes, and Society

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 FIGHTING SHAPES AND SIZES

To begin with, for the past few months we have all been talking about mental health and how important it is to be mentally healthy and stable. According to research, your physical health is responsible for only 20% of your well being, whereas, 80% is affected by mental health. Since we all know its importance, it’s time we talk about the challenges that affect your mental health and how you can overcome them. Let’s tap the most obvious topic that we do not talk about enough.

Photo by Retha Ferguson from Pexels

        “Hey, you would look prettier if you were just a little slimmer!”

        “Omg!! Do you even eat?”

        “Build your body. That’s not a man’s body.”

Our topic of discussion today is body shaming. Let’s start by understanding what is body-shaming?

In simple words body-shaming is when you are judged by your weight, being called fat, thin, skinny, etc. Basically being told to be a certain size to be likable.

Effects of Body Shaming

A person who is body-shamed either stops eating or eats way too much in order to fill the void and that affects their mental health. It causes stress, mood swings, and irregular sleeping habits. In a country like India, body shaming is only a woman’s issue, where women are expected to be slim, fair, and have flawless skin. But this is not always true. Men around the world face body shaming as well. They are expected to be tall, fit, well-built, etc. As much as this affects women it affects men as well, though we don’t speak about it much.

Big misconceptions are often created because of the encroachment of social media in our lives. Celebrities have drilled in our heads that everybody likes only a perfect body. Anything other than that is just bleh and ugly! This creates a lot of pressure on someone who’s already struggling with the body they have. This pressure from society, the media, and the family can lead to suicidal tendencies as well. Research from the Mental Health Foundation showed that 1 out of 8 people (13 percent) considered taking their own lives because of concerns relating to body image. This research was done in March and 4,505 people were polled. This here is the ugly truth. 

Tips to overcome Body Shaming:

• We are no one to judge and that is where we need to start. STOP JUDGING.

• Every time you see yourself in the mirror say positive affirmations like :

"I am who I am and I love every inch for me in the way that I am."

• Block whatever is toxic, even if it’s a friend.

• Self-love is the goal. You got to eat what you like, dress how you like and listen to what you like. There is no opinion that matters more than yours.

• Ask for help if needed. There is nothing wrong with sharing your problems with a therapist or a close friend. If it makes you feel better do it!

       “I have been plumpy since childhood and nothing much has changed, I was bullied by my seniors and my classmates always. Was put on a diet since I was 10years old and it did affect me mentally and I could never understand it. As I grew up I realized that what society says is not the truth. I started to love myself, I started to eat what I liked and gradually I became a positive person. I try to make myself better because I want to and not because someone expects that out of me.” 

– Anonymous

Conclusion

Let’s join hands and be supporting, encouraging, and motivating. We need to also understand that body-shaming does not affect women alone. It’s been harming men as well and somehow it adds up and leads to toxic masculinity. We also just expect a man to be a certain way too! Body shaming is an issue that will not be solved unless everyone learns to accept their own body. We need to stop letting the so-called society define what is beautiful and what is not.

 “I am not going to sacrifice my mental health to have a perfect body.”

Demi Lovato

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