Body Shaming much? You need to lose weight, shaadi nahi hogi, kapray nahi achay lage gein, go on a diet, why don’t you join a gym? The list of suggestions is never ending! Have you been through it all too?
Body shaming has unfortunately become a norm in our society. What can you do for those affected by it and how can you become an ally?
This is my third attempt at writing this. My thoughts and words aren’t lining up. I know what I want to write but it’s hard penning it down. Where do I begin? From the beginning, middle? The good days or the bad ones?
Let’s start here
Throughout my life I have heard many things. “Weight kam karo,” “usko dekho woh kitni patli hai, tum bhi weight lose karo.” I think you get the gist, right? If you have heard similar things then, welcome to the club!
At times I just sit quietly, ignore, sometimes I laugh at the sarcastic comments people make, but there are times when these little things hit me. That’s when I’m alone in my room, with my thoughts and everything stays there.
Now, you must be asking yourself, has she done anything about this?
3 years ago, I joined the gym and even continued it along with school, then I stopped. Last year, I started a strict dieting regime for 5 months straight, then I kind of stopped but still controlled my diet. Meetha, chawal, roti, sab chor diya. During that time, proteins were my best friends, this year I rejoined the gym for a month and a half, phir lockdown aagaya! And honestly, since then, I have really stopped. So this to an extent, could be my fault, I accept.
Coming to the point: Body Shaming
At times, what kills me is that fat-shaming or body shaming goes unnoticed in our society, no one pays heed to the snide remarks and sarcastic retorts. . No one sees or understands what you’re going through, or that you have actually made an effort. And at times instead of supporting one another, peoples’ insensitive remarks really bring you down and at times you just don’t want to put in the extra effort as it seems pointless. Kionke jo bhi ho, logo ne kuch na kuch zaroor kehna hai, because they simply cannot mind their own business.
This brings me to the point: ‘Why can’t people accept reality, our looks, the way we are? Patlay ho toh kuch khao, jaan banao, motay ho toh kam khao.
Why do they always have to have an opinion on what’s clearly NOT their business?
Our looks, our body is ours and if we are comfortable in our own skin, why does it bother them so much? When is this societal obsession for the ‘perfect body’ going to end? When will all body types be finally accepted wholeheartedly? For now, I think we are VERY far away from that.
So, what role can you play in breaking down this societal stereotype?
Girls, and boys, step one is simple. If you see anyone being body shamed, step up. If they’re too shy or ashamed to speak up, raise your voice. Speak up and say it’s wrong and that no one has the authority to judge or say anything about someone else’s appearance. It might not seem much, but it is. It can go a long way in making the next person think twice before they body shame someone!
Secondly, start accepting the body shape diversity which exists. Make a conscious effort to avoid indulging in conversations where someone’s appearance might be the point of conversation. Start appreciating them if they’re making the effort or change the topic.
Always remember, appearance doesn’t matter. It’s what’s the person is like inside that makes all the difference. One’s health and personality are what’s important.
Now to those going through all this
Yes, it can be traumatic, upsetting and at times you may feel helpless, but remember, it’s not the end of the world. Fight back and next time don’t let others say anything to put you down. You yourself will have to take a step, that’s where change starts!
Also, accept yourself and your body for what it is. Don’t exhaust yourself with ‘kia hoga, log kia kaheingy.’ Logon ka kaam hain kehna. Walk, exercise for yourself. Eat what you feel like. If you are struggling with diet, give yourself a break and then start afresh. Enjoy the little joys in life. Zindagi na milay gi dubara, then why miss out? Live your life the way you want to and not how others want you to.
Most importantly, surround yourself with good company. Company matters. Luckily, I have found some amazing friends throughout my life and those who stuck by me. Their love and encouragement keep me going and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
In the end
With this, I have managed to say it all. In the end, all I would like to say and pray for is the society to be more accepting, people being less judgmental and we go on living our lives without thinking what others will think and support/lift each other up.
Do you agree?
Perhaps you do. But if you’re asked today what you feel about your own body, you might not be totally comfortable with it. Why? Because, maybe someone, somewhere once told you that you need to lose or gain weight, or maybe because you feel you need to fit into the zero-sized clothes you often see modeled in high end fashion weeks?
Or just because, you don’t feel that YOU are enough? So here’s to feeling good, inside out because YOU ARE Enough!
In the words of Afreen Khan – TEDXDSU You are Enough!
Whenever you take your first step towards anything in life, don’t do it because you are lacking anything. Do it because YOU are enough!Afreen Khan
And that’s why, next time I embark on that fitness journey, or take on a diet, or healthy eating plan, I will do it because of me, and not because of all the people who tell me I must!