Fitting into the society’s definition of ‘beautiful’ has taken so much importance in most of our lives that self-love and being body positive inadvertently has taken a back seat. We judge not only ourselves but also others by their physical appearance. We ignore all the qualities of a person and put their appearance first because we have been taught that everything else falls second to the face of beauty, especially more so in the case of women.
The society’s strictly defined standards of beauty are taught to us from every direction— through films, magazines, posters, TV serials, advertisements and what not. And so, we form the notion that not conforming to this socially accepted standard of beauty equates to being “ugly”. This creates insecurities in our heads about our own bodies.
And, we apply the same principle while appraising someone else’s body. Body shaming, therefore, done on the grounds of this “socially accepted beauty standard” becomes normal, almost conscientious. Pointing out the “imperfections” of someone’s body is seen as an act of caring and love for them. This we can especially see in the case of parents, who don’t realise they are actually body shaming their children in the name of love and caring for their child’s future.
We fail to see how toxic body shaming actually is. Body shaming not only damages greatly people’s self-esteem but is also harmful to their mental as well as physical health. It is a misconception that this act of ‘tough-love’ is necessary to motivate people to loose weight in order to live a healthy life. A belief that in itself stems from another misconception that all fat people are unhealthy. We need to realise that someone’s body size is not an indicator of their health.
The research says that body shaming actually works to increase health risks. Body shaming instills self-hate and self-doubt in people’s minds that can continue to plague them for a long, long time.
But it’s about time we did away with this stigma around beauty and clarified the misconceptions of a healthy body. We need the body positive movement more than ever now! We ought to stop judging people based on their bodies or shame them for it. All bodies are good bodies.
So, here’s a simple, brief guide to help take your first steps towards being more body positive!
- How I Went From Body Shaming To Body Positive