Updated: Jul 30, 2020
Written by Ashita Singh (Instagram)
“As a little girl, obsessing over barbie’s perfect figure, perfect hair, perfect clothes basically her perfect body is all I did in most parts of my childhood. Back in those days, every other girl wanted to be like her and so did the little girl in me. What I didn’t understand back then was loving someone else’s body is making me hate my own. I started setting my body standards as per someone else. Someone who’s different from me. Every time I took her in my hands and went in front of the mirror I could see were my shortcomings or as I would describe myself back in those days my “Ugliness”. That’s where body-shaming started. The seeds of it were sown in me by my self and not by someone else. When we didn’t even know how to love properly or what love even meant, at such a tender age we hated our selves for every single thing. We started shaming our very own bodies.
What is Body shaming?
Body shaming the action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size.
As Google and other books define it it’s basically an act of mockery by others on our bodies. But is that really it? Is it just them? Are we supposed to just hold them responsible for every pain we let our bodies go through?
No, it’s not.
We’re the reasons people think they can have an opinion on our bodies and moreover that tell us what to and what not to do with it.
Growing up we had age-old beauty standards set up for us. Demarcation was created amongst us based on that. Dark and fat were categorized to be ugly while Fair and Thin came under beautiful and worst of all we abided by it. We never questioned back about who has set such standards for any person in this universe. Who gave others the right to tell us if we’re beautiful or not? Instead, we took their criticism and mockery, cried ourselves to sleep at night, and hated our body more just because we didn’t match the standards someone else had set up for us.
Their comments and criticism are just the fuel added to the fire that we ignited against our own selves.
1. Criticizing your own appearance, through a judgment or comparison to another person.
(i.e.: “I’m so ugly compared to her.” “Look at how broad my shoulders are.”)
2. Criticizing another’s appearance in front of them
(i.e.: “With those thighs, you will never find a date.”)
3. Criticizing another’s appearance without their knowledge
(i.e.: “Did you see what she’s wearing today? Not flattering.” “At least you don’t look like her!”).
Did you ever stop to think why is everyone so obsessed with how YOU look? Why do magazines and various other media keep offering you tips on how to lose and gain weight?
Why do they always correlate it with your happiness?
Why do the numbers on the weighing scale be a measurement of your happiness and sadness?
Why can’t we just let people be who they’re and how they’re?
Body shaming has become so common these days people don’t even realize it.
We build walls of insecurities around our selves, hamper our own mental health by trying to meet the beauty standards that they’ve set for us, treat our selves with hatred because they don’t love us and all of this for what? Their Approval? Why care about what they even think of us. What matters is what we think of ourselves. Our self worth isn’t dependent on weight gain or weight loss, curves, or no curves. We define our own selves. We can’t make loving ourselves and our bodies something we will do when we lose or gain weight or get to our goal. We’ve to do it now. We’ve to love ourselves right now or nothing will ever change.
“If we make self-love or body acceptance conditional, the truth is we will never be happy with ourselves. Our bodies are changing constantly, and they will never remain exactly the same. If we base our self worth on something we ever-changing as our bodies we will forever be on the emotional roller coaster of body obsession and shame.”
Sometimes people need to change certain things about their body or the way they look in the aspect of physical attributes because that’ll make them happy. If it makes you happy do it. If you’re happy that you’re skinny be it. If you see your curves in the mirror and feel like the most beautiful person in the room, then embrace them always without caring even an ounce about if someone else will like them or not.
“You might not look like every other girl out there, you’ll have imperfections and scars but you’re still beautiful the way you’re and that’s the most important thing to understand.”
Our differences make us beautiful and unique. Our differences deserve to be celebrated. Emphasize on the line “embrace the different” and make it your motto. To accept that you’re different from others and still beautiful in your own way.
“You can’t hate yourself happy. You can’t criticize yourself thin. You can’t shame yourself worthy. Real change begins with self-love and self-care.”
- Jessica Ortner.
No man, woman, relatives, friends can ever tell you what to do or not do with your bodies. No one but you decides if you want to change something about yourself. You’re what you think of yourself and how much you value yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We can hate ourselves for years and it will get us nowhere. Start loving yourself and you’ll realize you’ve made so much more progress on your goals, both body and otherwise.
“there's a hope that's waiting for you in the dark
You should know you're beautiful just the way you are
And you don't have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful”
- Scars to your beautiful by Alessia Cara