Ancient Hindu scriptures say that the body is just a vessel for the soul to practice worldly functions and that it should be treated as such. More than five hundred years later, these words of wisdom are often forgotten, and we can see the world becoming exceedingly obsessed with the idea of a “perfect body”.
How to Overcome Body Shame
Society around us has created an unrealistic standard for both, men and women. Everyone around us is striving hard for the slimmest waist or the most buffed up muscles. We spend lakhs of rupees at the gym each year and invest in various fad diets in the hopes that we might finally reach the desired result to overcome the body shame. In this tiresome process, we often forget that the human body is flawed and unique. The body reacts differently to all stimuli and expecting it to change form by stereotypical techniques is a major waste of time. Investing all our time, energy and attention into “fitness” to achieve the most amazing body is toxic and futile.
Body Shaming and Social Media
Body shame is a big part of this vicious cycle. Social media has made it easy for people to target others and spread hateful comments. The anonymity of sitting behind a screen and attacking someone’s bodily features is alluring to those who detest the world. They target that one innocent soul, just to release their pent-up hatred.
You are not Motivating
In fact, most people who indulge in body shaming believe that they are actually helping the victim by motivating them to get in shape. Majority of them don’t understand that every individual’s body works differently and obviously, their body type will differ. By tormenting them about their bodies, we are just making them anxious about something which shouldn’t really matter.
Zero Size or Curve is Everything?
Skinny people are attacked about being “anorexic” while curvier people are given a hard time just because their body type differs from those models on the front covers of fashion magazines. The fashion industry promotes impractical figures which can never be achieved without serious body modifications or Photoshop. Many clothing brands have started to cater to only a particular size range that is considered ideal. A small change like this is also a major deterrent for those who are already conscious of their bodies.
Repercussions are Quite Severe
Girls and boys are starting to worry about their figures at the bare age of ten. It may sound funny, but it just goes to show how much influence the media has on the minds of young children. Teenagers have started to starve themselves in order to lose weight, not understanding the implications of no nutrition. Such tendencies often result in eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, where people start to obsess over what they consume, and how much weight they gain. Easy enough to understand, the repercussions are quite severe. Many cases end in paralysis, infertility or death. It is important for everyone to understand exactly what a simple comment can do to a person’s life.
What Celebs Say?
Several celebrities have spoken up against body shame and shared stories about how they have been body-shamed as well. Popular American singer and songwriter, Billie Eilish, said in an interview that she usually sticks to wearing baggy clothes because she is afraid of being body shamed.
Sometimes It’s Health Condition
Another fact that most people conveniently forget to consider is hormonal disorders. Many people suffer from obesity or anorexia because of the hormonal imbalance in their bodies. While there are tons of medical options to counter these, nothing can cure them. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypothyroidism or diabetes can lead to drastic weight fluctuations. Hence, taunting people about something where they are helpless is insensitive and nasty. It is foolish to comment on someone’s body when one is not aware of their condition.
Fitness or Obsession?
While it is no crime to want to be healthy, this “fitness” is slowly creeping into obsession, where one does not give the body any breaks. They keep on at the gym and over-work their muscles in hopes of a faster result. Being so body-oriented is definitely not healthy or safe. If you feel you are slowly exceeding your ideal body mass index (calculated by taking a ratio of your mass and height), then it is necessary to take up a sport or a fitness regime to maintain the fat levels in your body. There are multiple disorders to which you can become susceptible to if you are even slightly overweight. Exercise is important to keep your body disease-free, but it should be kept in mind that overdoing it can lead to critical complications.
Give Space and Don’t let Humanity Die
Much like war, body shaming has no real winner. It harms the one who instigates as well as the one on whom it is inflicted upon. Stop body shaming, even if you do it casually or mean it as a joke. You might never know how one of your “harmless” statements may affect someone’s life.