• Priyanka

Body shaming: Deal with it!

"Words can't hurt me", Do you often say this to others and yourself too?

If your answer is YES, then it's time for you to wake up. Words are powerful and so is verbal bullying. BODY SHAMING is one of the types of verbal bullying.

So, what is Body shaming?

Body shaming is the practice of making critical, potentially humiliating comments about a person's body size or weight.

Example: you are too fat or too skinny.

Back then, this happened with one of my ex-colleagues, in this post I will address her as Diva (for obvious reasons she was that for me). She was usually called Fatty, piggy, chubby and moti/jaadi (local languages which mean Fat girl). One thing my mom always taught me was to be kind and humble. Somehow it was in me to never judge anyone for anything unless I know the complete story.

Therefore, seeing people call her by those names was something I never liked but Diva used to laugh about it. She was always smiling and never had I seen her upset about anything. I and Diva were good colleagues, not even good friends, I didn't want to make her feel sad by highlighting that she should not let people say those things so even I ignored those comments. One fine day I gave her a compliment for wearing a pretty dress as she was looking beautiful. In return, what she replied made me realize how her "too cool" attitude for the world is destroying her from within. She replied to me saying, don't lie I know I am fat, and this dress is only for slim figures.

On hearing her reply, the first thing I said to her was "Stop being so cruel to yourself". I used to like her, and her weight never made me feel that she isn't beautiful. Diva also added that she is on a diet to reduce her weight. Her weight was due to medical issues she had; Diva use to eat less than me. I asked her if she on diet and starving herself as she wants to look slim? Is she happy, sleeping empty stomach? She wanted to lose some weight but not by starving but due to her medical issues, she thought she had no option. She said her relatives advised her to have a slim body to find a good guy for her. One of her so-called friends also advised her that if she loses weight; someone will surely love her.

The first time in those couple of years, I saw her teary eyes. I immediately asked her if she can give me a few things that I ask for. When she agreed, I asked for the following things:

  • Not let anyone call her fatty, chubby or any such words. Politely telling them to stop calling her by that name and if needed give them a nickname in return, if they don't understand what polite means.

  • I asked her to eat healthy and not starve to meet unrealistic beauty standards.

  • Do things that make her happy, wear what she likes not what she expects society to approve of.

  • Lastly, I told her not to think that I am trying to be good to her, but she was genuinely beautiful and the day she realizes that she will get the guy who will love her for what she is.

Body shaming has been around since the beginning of time. It's was, is and will always be there – but what matters is when you start having those self-critical thoughts that affect your self-esteem. You may not realize but this is killing you from within, it causes depression, pain, and humiliation. It's ok if you prefer to ignore comments at certain times or from strangers whom you might meet once. But letting people give you nicknames is a CRIME that you are equally responsible for.

A couple of days back, I got a call from her, we had lost contact since we changed our jobs. She called me to inform that she is getting married in a couple of months. The best part of our conversation was she said it's a love marriage. She found her Prince charming and that guy proposed her in the most romantic way she could imagine. Diva said she is now so confident about herself that No matter what others would think of her body she loved the way she is and that eating healthy foods has helped her to overcome certain medical issues she had. Diva told me that she would have never realized how beautiful she was until I made her see how stupid she was to try and fit herself into those ill minds.

Here are a few things that are body shaming even though you might not realize it is.

You are so brave to wear clothes of your choice.

They mean that even with this body size, you select clothes that is not normal with your body size and so you are brave.

Do you ever eat?

They mean to say you that you are too skinny that it seems you don’t eat at all.

Real women have curves.

All women are real women irrespective of their shape and size.

You are so lucky as you can eat whatever you want.

Again, they meant is you are too skinny and whatever you eat won’t show up

"Bodies aren't ugly, Body shaming is."

Bullying speaks for a person who does that and not for you. You are beautiful, don't let body shaming affect your mental health. Stand up for what is wrong, eat what is healthy, wear what makes you happy, be confident about yourself. Stop being ok with those words just to prove the world that you are "too cool to get affected with those comments".

It's the purity of your soul that matters. You are beautiful if you smile 😊

P.S. This one is for Diva; I know you know this ones for you ;)

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