Your first thought could be ‘okay this is another useless article’, but hey just a pep talk. Hear me out.
Wait, but what really is BODY SHAMING?
For your information, Body-shaming could be described as an act where, people are being told they’re too skinny, too fat, too pale, too tall, too short, lanky, spotty, not muscular enough, the list goes on.
It is always very easy to look at a person and say ‘you are fat’ or ‘you are too boney’ when you see them. Also, it’s like a general thing now to look at someone and say ‘you are a shorty!’ or make vain comments on how tall they are. It has become like a mandatory topic for most of our Asians specifically to make a comment on someone’s size and appearance at gatherings.
If you haven’t been to a gathering and an aunt who is plump herself hasn’t commented on your size or complexion, count yourself lucky because I haven’t been to one single gathering here without at least a handful of aunties commenting on appearances. (I am not exaggerating!)
If you are one of that kind of disparaging people then this is for you.
Have you ever thought for a second of the consequences your one lousy comment could create?
I’ll tell you what I learned.
According to bullyingstatistics.org a huge 94 percent of women and 84 percent of men are affected by body-shaming.
And a government report found 60 percent of adults said they feel ‘ashamed’ of the way they look.
The issue of body-shaming is seen to be one that affects all society, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, body size and shape. Some groups were seen to be ‘more vulnerable’ to body image concerns, including children and adolescents, according to the government report.
Having body-image issues and being verbally attacked for the way you look can be incredibly damaging to mental health.
The government report found body image dissatisfaction ‘undermines self-confidence’, and in turn contributes to a higher risk of depression. They believe promoting positive body image is ‘fundamental to addressing other social and public health problems facing young people’.
You find this act of body shaming not just in social media through indirect comments from fake profiles or direct comments but you can now see people making direct comments face-to-face, which I think is extremely hurtful and inappropriate.
Growing up in an Asian household, I have experienced many instances of body shaming. For a matter of fact, Asians are a lot that does not understand the seriousness of body shaming because for them, as I had already mentioned, this is just a part of their conversation.
What we need to understand is that if discrimination based on skin color is a serious issue then body-shaming demands equal actions for eradication.
Some take body-shaming as a very light issue because they are ‘only making a funny remark’ and soon this becomes content for there ‘meme creation’.
For those who take this as a trivial matter,
That person you body-shamed is someone who is already worried about how they look and NO! they are not happy with it.
That person you body-shamed hates standing on weight-scales because it stresses them out.
That person you body-shamed is eating all the junk and deteriorating their self to gain some weight.
That person you body-shamed is crying every time they look into the mirror.
That person you body-shamed cannot take happy bites of their everyday meal.
That person you body-shamed is already hurt every time they can’t wear their favorite clothes.
That person you body-shamed is already feeling worthless.
That person you body-shamed is starving their self to death.
That person you body-shamed is under a lot of physical and mental pain.
That person you body-shamed is now under depression.
If a futile comment of yours in the name of ‘being funny/sarcastic’ has made someone feel worthless and suicidal, if a meme you created in the content of ‘body-shaming’ for fame has become the reason why one cannot socialize anymore, you are a delinquent. If this does not haunt you, if this does not make you for a second regret a comment you’ve contributed to body-shaming then you are the biggest loser you’ll ever find in this world full of losers.
“Abs are cool. No abs are cool. Big butts are cool. Small butts are cool. Having curves is cool. Not having curves is cool. Being lean is cool. Not being lean is cool. Do you know what’s not cool? Telling someone else how they should or shouldn’t look.”
Photo Credit- @andreilazarev (Unsplash)