Since supermodels, actors, artists, the affluent and social media personalities became the standard for beauty, class, and good looks, it has become very difficult to meet up to modern standards of “beautiful” or “sexy.” This has created room for body shaming.
Magazine covers and social media now dictate what is generally acceptable or attractive. TV shows and sitcoms use overweight as the punch line for jokes and in almost every high school movie the “buff” guys and the skinny girls are the ideals for being “cool” while the overweight girls are used as pawns, fans, and other demeaning roles.
The bodily imperfections that come with genes have become the base for incessant attacks physically and on social media in the form of abuses and disrespect. Sometimes even a subtle joke may have undertones of body shaming and implied messages. The result of this is deterioration in self-confidence and self-worth.
Many suicides recorded in the past, drug abuse and other crime especially among teenagers and young adults were a result of Body shaming. This condescending behavior can deeply scar individuals emotionally and cause them to think little of themselves. This can further forge their personality and limit their capacity as human beings. So, what is body shaming? In plain terms, body shaming is the ridiculing of others because of their looks. This often has to do with their weight, height, skin tone, and others.
Indicators of body shaming
Body shaming is expressed by criticizing someone else’s appearance in different ways. Sometimes it is intentional in order to hurt someone, other times it is unintended. Statements that can be intentional for body-shaming are:
“You are so ugly; you should be a scarecrow”
“Gosh Margaret! You are as fat as a pig!”
“you are such a blob, who would want to date you?”
Some other careless statements may be unintentional but still, qualify as body shaming. The individuals who often participate in the act of ridiculing others often have hidden agendas or personal issues that they may be dealing with, which is making them unnecessarily hostile to others or perhaps they are simply bullies.
Often times, confronting those that body shame you may not go so well, in other cases it may be helpful however, there are many ways to evade body shaming. It is necessary to have a backup plan as body-shaming is a social menace that needs to stop, but unfortunately, due to diversity and poor communication, it may not be going away any time soon.
How to handle body shaming
Think positive – find a silver lining in negativity, stay confident and ignore all verbal undertones that may seem derogatory especially towards your appearance.
Make a fashion statement – one can easily take the attention of their physique by improving their sense of fashion.
Occupy your time – keeping one’s self busy with various self-development activities such as reading, sports, learning languages, and others can help one take their minds off people’s opinion of one’s physique.
Keep your real friends close – Real friends are pillars of support and can help one get through anything in life. They are protective, loyal, and will always be there when you need them.
Eat healthily and exercise– Eating healthy foods and hitting the gym is the best revenge ever. Khloe Kardashian calls it “revenge body”. Putting in some work to build and tone your body can help to build self-confidence and a can-do-anything attitude
Body shaming is an appalling trend that might be around for a while, as long as there are symbols of perfection such as white perfect teeth, glistening hair, rippling muscles and the perfect figure eight physiques on-air and in every magazine. The way to happiness is really a personal one, one has to find that thing that makes them unique and celebrate it each day because this is the only thing that makes you different and special.