Part 2: What does Body Shaming Involve?
“Whether you're tall or shorter, or a little bigger, more curves, skinny you just have to be proud of what you have, and everyone is beautiful.” -Caroline Wozniacki (Danish professional tennis player)
This statement explains in a nutshell, everything I am fighting for! It's simple, whoever you are and however you look, be proud of it. That is the attitude that will bring you health, happiness and satisfaction for your body.
To all of those who are following my Body Shaming series, this is part 2. In the first part, ‘What is Body Shaming?’ we understood all about the concept (or trend) of body shaming, and some facts related to it. To all the new readers, you can read part 1 by clicking on the hyperlinks provided.
In this part, let's understand the types of body shaming. Yes, there are types! It is really upsetting, but it is true…without any buffer, let’s get straight to it!
1. Fat Shaming
Simply put, using the ‘F’ word- ‘F-A-T’, to communicate with someone or about someone. Fat shaming is the most “common” type of body shaming (also the least recognized as body shaming). This particular type of shaming has become popular since, being slightly curvy has become a bad thing. It is important that you move out of this thought that a few extra pounds make you look hideous or “fat”, always remember; you are a real person living a real life. The entire blame of this trend lies with the new media and movies. In the old times, actors were always recognized for their flawless acting skills rather than their size. The point is, that being fat or let's say slightly overweight is okay! Unless and until it starts to affect your health and leads you to some risks. I've had people tell me that it is ok to call people fat if they really are, and that will help them, rather MOTIVATE them to lose weight. This is how I look at it: say for example, a company has incurred losses and if you simply keep telling the owner the fact that they have incurred losses again and again, it won’t help the company get any better. They already know that, and repeating it multiple times will distract them from thinking about how they should be going forward from their situation. Similar is the case for anyone who needs to (medically) lose weight.
2. Thin Shaming
Who thought, being thin would have its own challenges? Most people who are petite, come across comments from others, like, “Men dislike women with no flesh”, “Men should have some more abs, only then women will want you”, “You look like a hanger, with clothes on” ...there is also a flip side to this, we as a society like to presume people like to be thin, which leads to comments like, “Please don't complain about your life, you are so thin!”, “Anything will look good on you, you are so thin”, “You can eat all you want because you are so thin"... etc etc etc. So most people think that telling thin people about them being thin is a good thing, but my question to you is, why do you want to do that? They already know they are slender, and they don't need to hear it from every possible living being. It is possible that they have a health issue due to which they are losing weight. In that case, it would be like pressing a painful nerve.
3. Short/ Tall Shaming
People will have a problem with you being too short or too tall. For the convenience of the society, it is recommended that everyone should be of an average height, because if, for some genetic reasons, you turn out to be short then you will be flooded with suggestions to play more sports, cycle more often, go swimming and all such things. If you are short, then you really have to do something about it, because hey! It's not the best thing after all (for our society). Same for being tall, if you are tall, there will be jokes made on you, people will ask you how you 'feel’ about being taller than the rest. All I'm saying is don't make their life difficult, let’s start accepting and appreciating people for who they are and move on.
4. Muscular or not Shaming
For women, being too muscular is not accepted, because women are perceived in a pink princess avatar, which is delicate and 'girly’ (I still haven't understood what girly looks like), therefore they end up being shamed for their muscular body type, which by the way, they worked really hard for! I came across this strong article by cosmopolitan while I was reading about this type, read it here.
For men, having abs and a slightly muscular body is supposed to be attractive. And anyone who is zero muscular is assumed to be unwanted as a partner. Also, on the other hand, if men have a very muscular body, which they built by choice, then it's too much to handle, and then they will be called names like 'meat-shop’, or 'muscle man’.
5. Skin Color Shaming
This is the last, but the most persistent and obvious one. This type is very well known as Racism! It is such a big issue all over the world. If you are dark toned you want to look fairer, and if you are fair then you want to look tanner. Why do we feel the need to look a particular complexion? I am brown and I have had Oh! So many people trying to advise me how to look at least one tone lighter than what I am...and I have always asked why!? I don't feel the need to look fairer because I love my complexion the way it is...and I request you to love yours too.
This is a heartfelt plea to all you amazing amazing, super attractive (beautiful and handsome) people out there just take some time and fall in love with your body. Start unconditional acceptance from within and that will reflect in your life as well. Having a body is like having a child, you accept your child the way they are, love them for who they are, but always keep a check on them for their good. Do the same for your body, keep a check, make it better, but don't forget to love it first.
Stay tuned for part 3 of this series, you can also read part 1 by clicking here. If there is anything you feel like discussing, don't wait, and hit me up! Like always, I am forever eagerly waiting for your comments and inputs 😊
Until then, take away some food for thought:
“You don't encourage people to take care of their body, by telling them to hate it”. -Laci Green (American Youtuber)