Body-shaming is one of those avant-garde expressions that is put to use to refer to an activity where someone tries to make one feel inferior for having a body that doesn’t kowtow to society’s archetypal norms of beauty. We all have been part of this – in school, hostel or even at home; be it your best friend whining about how much weight you added over summer break or your family pertaining to those daily prods about your inattention to diet or even you tumbling into the pits of eating malady just because your boyfriend called you ‘chubby’. Fat shaming, disproportionate breast size, not having an hour-glass figure and even having dark skin – all of these fall into the category of body shaming for women while men have to deal with insults on their small height, lack of muscles and being fat. By all means body-shaming is that bug which manifests when we start comparing our looks with that of someone else’s, criticize another’s appearance in front of them and even talking about your idea of someone else’s body type behind their back is not what cultured people do.
By now most of all are acquainted with the impression that sustaining an optimistic stance on life takes work – mental work, commonly. Unlike us, the scenario is far different with older generations as no likely positive inspirations existed back then as lifeguards against body-shaming. So make use of the boon your generation has offered, gather up your grits before anyone else sets beauty standards for you and in case you need support, let our tips have your back.
Stand up for yourself
Fatness is perceived as undesirable by most people and they barely can fathom the concept that all body types are beautiful. So next time when someone condemns your looks, don’t just curl up inside. Speak out that’s in your mind and be clear with your message. Remember, your motive isn’t to humiliate them in turn. Instead your wisdom lies in recognizing their suppressed body-phobia and touch them on that. Stand up against such bullying not for the sake of recollecting your integrity but for showing how much you believe what you’re about to say. Now you know what your reply is going to be when someone says, “You look so fat!” Swap that “No, I don’t” with an unflinching “What is wrong with fat anyway?”
Befriend more body-positive people
As much as it is lethal to undermine others on their body structure, nastiest is when you yourself lose self-belief and self-love. I am aware how situations or some ignorant people can make you feel disgusted towards yourself but that is where your strength lies – to fight it. In order to do that, make your circle full of body-positive people. Thin, skinny, fat or dark – identify those who neither gossip about others’ looks nor are ashamed of walking out on the street with a head held high. Trust me, they know the answers to your apprehensions and the more you surround with such optimists, you gift yourself the ability to make your life beautiful.
Ignorance is bliss, sometimes
Some comments are simply best not attended. If you have few jolts in your life who like to see you provoked with their overwhelming comments, it is easier to try to ignore them completely. Truth is, your benevolence must be unspoiled for the ones who have scope and not for the desperate. Sometimes trying to correct somebody or make them see your point becomes more gashing than you predicted. Plus, not everyone understands your journey or even ‘need’ to.
It makes no difference if you hurl out insults for the sake of taking your own stand. You don’t have to forcefully make others see your point. Educating people about a concept means changing their mind and for that patience and truth is what is needed. Although this one is trickier and not every individual is cut-out for it, you must not give up trying. When you find the right individual who offers a room for change, try making them understand what body-positivity means to you and how you derived that point.
The tips will only come handy if you believe that whoever you are, you are beautiful and deserve every bit to be loved. I say this as a woman who doesn’t think she fits particularly well in society’s designated beauty standards but takes pride in saying I own my flaws and nobody else. I am beautiful to myself and body-shaming invectives don’t trouble me anymore because after all it is my estimation of me that matters and not theirs.