Power of Thoughts

A guide to Body Positivity & Body Shaming

Body shaming has always existed in our society and it is evil in more ways than one

Beautiful, ugly, average, thin, fat, tall, short or a face with scars.. who the hell cares! The real beauty lies within and in the eyes of an observer.

Many don’t understand body shaming but it has a really bad effect on some people‘s mental and emotional state.

Many are often called derogatory terms over their physical appearance such as their body shape, weight, facial scars or it could be anything from skinny to fat. Almost everyone has faced body-shamers once in a life. Believing in yourself and the notion that ‘you are beautiful in your way is not always easy to accept when those hypocritical body shamers try to make a point to bring you down perhaps because they lack something within themselves.

What is Body positivity?

Body positivity

Body positivity is a social, worldwide movement that focuses on equality and acceptance for all kinds of bodies. This challenges how our society, specifically all forms of media, represents and views the physical human body.

Body positivity simply means loving and appreciating your body, feeling confident about your body despite flaws and spreading the same message to people. You accept your body completely regardless of its shape, size, and scars and also how our ‘society’ and ‘so called’ culture wants us to be.

However, Body positivity is not just about challenging how society views people based on their physical appearance, but it also recognizes that judgments are often made based on race, caste, gender, sexuality, and disability.

Some of the ultimate goals of the body positivity movement include:

  1. Challenging society’s rules, regulations and tips for our body
  2. Promoting the acceptance of all kinds of bodies
  3. Helping people rebuild their confidence and acceptance of their own bodies who have lost faith
  4. Don’t focus too much on appearance
  5. Enjoy and celebrate the body you have and not beat yourself up over changes that happen naturally due to ageing, pregnancy, or lifestyle choices.
  6. Be grateful for your body and honour your body

What is Body shaming?

Body shaming is a kind of bullying and criticising a body of a human being in which someone is judged based on their physical appearance. Generally, a human is body-shamed by being overweight or underweight or by not matching with society’s expectations of being ‘beautiful”.

Body shaming can happen anywhere anytime even when you’re online and it’s too toxic which can negatively affect a person’s mental health.

Hearing these cruel comments are always devastating and humiliating which affects people’s self-esteem and also it can lead to depression and eating disorders. And not only this, negative comments from others can also lead you to body shame yourself too.

Studies, surveys and researches have revealed that over 90% of women are unhappy with the way they look. And, in maximum cases, friends, neighbours, society and even family members are the body-shamers.

After hearing society’s cruel comments, plastic surgery, multiple injections, unhealthy diet culture, and extreme workout regimens are the solutions a person often approaches just because they paid too much attention to the comments.

Body shaming

The psychological and emotional effects of body shaming on a person are:

  1. Depression
  2. Low self-esteem
  3. Eating disorders
  4. Reduced confidence
  5. Unwillingness
  6. Anxiety
  7. Body image disturbance
  8. Body dysmorphic disorder
  9. Self-harm behaviour
  10. Increases stress hormone levels
  11. Relationship struggles caused by self-comparison to others
  12. Fear of becoming hideous

Celebrity Influence

Celebrity Influence

Celebrities and models have ‘perfect bodies’, some after facing discrimination start to become critical of their bodies and succumb to the pressure of living up to somewhat unrealistic standards.

Some people get inspired by watching and following such celebrities and models but then many get influenced by looking at the glorious women on the front pages of magazines, newspapers and pressurise themselves to achieve the task and end up destroying their bodies.

In fact, despite the fame and status, even celebrities have had to deal with body shaming, from comments left on the pictures on their social media pages.

Men and Body Shaming, How Stigmas Around Perfect Body Affect Men

Priyanka Chopra once said that she was rejected for her skin colour in multiple Bollywood and Hollywood movies which means no matter who you are, body shaming is something that follows you everywhere and engulfs everyone.

Also, actresses like Parineeti Copra, Sonakshi Sinha and Vidya Balan too have faced this attitude and have been judged by their body shape.

Here’s how you can deal with body shamers:

  1. Fight hate with love
  2. Be authentic
  3. Embrace positivity

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