Body Shaming has become a common thing which affects the lives of many young people today. Receiving unfavourable remarks about one’s appearance might influence how one can feel about one’s body and cause anxiety, embarrassment, and self-consciousness. However, there are strategies for handling criticism and gaining body acceptance.
Body shaming is the act of degrading someone by using unflattering or disparaging remarks about their appearance. Negative remarks may be made about a person if they are underweight or in regard to a particular body area, in addition to shaming someone’s body because of the size such as “Fat”, “thin”, “short”, “tall”, etc.
Many young people today are not satisfied with their looks and have being criticized by others or to one self. One may harshly criticize oneself if they are unhappy with their weight or physical appearance. Even worse, one can say things to themselves such as, “I feel so bloated today,” or “I need to quit stuffing my face with food”.
In today’s world we can encounter that due to the increase use of social media platforms, adolescents and youth’s are so much influenced by the beauty standards that they see in social media’s such as Instagram, Facebook, etc. Nobody is immune from external expectations to look a certain way and in any situation, comment about one’s body, which is unnecessary. Whether a person himself/ herself is the one who is body shaming oneself or someone else, there are solutions available. One may cultivate body positivity and learn to view themselves with more empathy and openness. Appreciating ones beauty and size is decreasing in today’s world which should be replaced by complimenting oneself or others to boost ones confidence
Adolescents are so much more vulnerable to body shaming, weight shaming, and appearance-based shaming.
In the teen years or college days, ones attitude and beliefs about body image and self-esteem are largely influenced by ones family members, peers, and social media. One might think that only teenage girls are the victims of body shaming, but boys can also be affected.
They may be particularly concerned about not being muscular enough in relationship to the popular concept of masculinity. We find that, body shaming is most often about body size, but negative comments about any facet of a person’s body count as body shaming.
Some of the main reasons why many college students faced body shamming are:
- Weight: One of the most common reasons that people are body shamed is because of their weight. Someone might be body-shamed for being “too big” or “too thin.”
- Body hair: Many girls are very conscious about their body hair. Since hair grows in the arms, legs and private areas, many people have the idea that women should remove all of their body hair, or they won’t be “ladylike”. They are expected to shave. Girls with more body hairs are being commented and shammed.
- Food: Food-shaming is generally done in relation to body size. Many young people are concern about their body size and scared of body shamming that, the intake of food is being chosen accordingly not realizing the healthy or unhealthy food.
They are concern with other people’s remark on the quantity and the item they eat. Some even comment on example like, “They look like they don’t need to be eating that” which is an example of food- shaming. One can also food-shame oneself. For example, one might say, “I’m so fat, I shouldn’t eat this piece of cheesecake”.
- Age: Ageism/age-shaming is discrimination or bullying towards people because of their age. This usually focuses on the elderly or the older population. Age shaming may sound like, “They’re too old to wear that much makeup.” Making negative comments about someone’s wrinkles or loose skin is another form of body- shaming.
This is the time where one should emphasize importance on how one can turn body shaming in a positive way especially those victims who have faced this situation.
In past few years, it has become clear that efforts are being made to shift the emphasis away from body shaming and toward more acceptance and appreciation of one’s appearance. Body-positive hashtags have been used by social media sites to increase their followings and combat deeply ingrained stereotypes based on looks. The pursuit of acceptance of oneself and others is the goal of body positivity. Learning self- compassion and changing ingrained cultural ideas take time and effort. One can modify their all-or-nothing mindset and begin to see themselves as a whole person, but one cannot control what other people say or do.
There are some simple steps where we can overcome body shaming. It is necessary to develop self one and substitute critical self talk. It is very important to control how we used social media and manage our time and socialized over food with friends and loved ones.
Speaking with a trusted friend or relative for advice and assistance should be given importance rather than searching answers in internet.
We all need to stop body-shaming ourselves and cultivate self-compassion as the first steps in defending ourselves from body-shaming.
It is important to keep in mind that, one’s health state is more important than how one look, and that should always be ones top focus. There will always be days when we don’t feel or look our best, but don’t let this undermine your feeling of worth or self-worth.
Young college students like me should be nice to oneself and understanding the self care is vital personal being. As Doctors advice us, we need to re -energize your body and mind, engage in physical activity, consume wholesome foods, socialize with people you care about, and spend some time outside.
It is very stressful to be the target of body shaming. One needs to strive for a healthy physique, which is distinct from our desire for perfection. We can all improve one’s self-image by focusing on the good things about oneself rather than retelling oneself unfavorable things.
There is a need to promote body positivity to others and one’s own body. Confidence and acceptance of one’s own body is required for the hour. We need to avoid bullies who engaged themselves on body shaming in various ways
It is important to help our fellow friends who are in need of friends if they are shamed by others. Tell them how much you value them and how worried you are about them.
Encourage and remind them about their wonderful sense of humor, how smart they are, their adventurous spirit, or highlight a particular talent they have.
One should not have to accept or participate in any activities that include body shaming, or tolerate such words or actions. One would never want that to be done to oneself and one should know that it can cause real problems.
We can strengthen our care, compassion and connection with others and with ourselves by working on speaking kindly about our bodies and ourselves, as well as by identifying features in ourselves and others that we enjoy and value.
It can feel like a challenge to speak positively about our own bodies in a world where so much focus is put on what is wrong with us. But doing so is good for you, and it also prevents harm to other people.
B.A. 5th Semester
Department of English
Modern College, Kohima