top of page

EDITORIAL- BODY SHAMING: EFFECTS ON THE YOUTH




How often do we hear comments on our bodies from our parents, relatives, or even friends? Pretty sure, the answer would be very often. When asked the reason behind these snide remarks, those around us flatly say it’s for the best so that we can maintain an ‘ideal’ body shape. ‘Ideal’ as they describe it: slim, fit, not too fat, not too thin, the type of list nobody can ever accomplish because a body simply does not take the form we want it to. Every body is perfect in their own way. But that is not what we are told. We are told a series of things that could be better to reach an ‘ideal’ body shape. Instead, what these things give to us are just stress and impossibly high expectations.


Body shaming another person affects their mental health and leads to eating disorders, depression, and hating one’s body. When a person is body-shamed, they waver in their confidence in their own body and, with no help to deal with the snide remarks, they slowly start to change their body so that they won’t have to hear people show hatred towards their body.


What’s worse than not being comfortable in one’s own skin is the mental issues those who are body shamed go through. When their own family body shames them, they just bottle up everything and start keeping everything to themselves. Of course, it’s not always the same with everyone. Some seek help and tune out all the comments about their body; they start being more confident and comfortable in their own bodies.


One comment every female has heard is that they shouldn’t have body hair; everyone tells them what an ‘ideal’ female needs to wear and tries to dictate their bodies. Comments like ‘you should cover your body hair, it's not very ladylike' are still made. Society keeps defining what's feminine and what's not; it keeps telling them to wear appropriate clothes that do not show the body hair in their private parts. This objectification of body hair in females is disgusting; it makes women overthink everything and keeps them from taking care of themselves.


In a lot of environments, mocking one’s body is socially acceptable, and it happens so often that we start body shaming both ourselves and others. This is how we adapt to our surroundings, especially when we are young and look up to the people in our lives. Our mindset shapes itself that way; that the first thought that comes to mind is to say a negative thing or make a joke about another’s body or judge their body harshly. However, we can be better by being kind to ourselves first and getting comfortable in our own skin, before moving onto others. The question is how.

Forgive yourself for unhealthy habits and start making healthier choices in the future. Exercise (not necessarily to lose weight or to accomplish ‘ideal’ body shape but to enjoy moving your body), eat and sleep well. It’s easier said than done, but one way or another, take care of yourself even if in small steps. However, remember to take baby steps and don’t stress out. There is a lot of help available if you are up for it.


Now, another question that appears is how to stop talking about other people’s bodies.

Instead of seeking negativity, try to see the positive side and appreciate it by telling them positive things (ex. I like the way you smile). Be kind and respect people’s bodies because every body is perfect in their own way. Speak up for the people who are being body-shamed and can’t stand up for themselves at the moment.


Body shaming is common, but don’t let that stop you from healing from the negativity and practicing body positivity with others and yourselves. There can often be times when you love your body and times when to struggle with it and can still appreciate for its remarkable abilities. Body positivity is about accepting and feeling good about your body. If you want to improve your appearance, don’t do it for others and rather do it for feeling good and healthy.


Be good to your body and favour your mental health above all the negativity. When you embrace body positivity, you can overcome body shaming as well.

 

Japgun Kaur is a staff writer at The Incandescent Review. She is a high school student and lives in New Delhi, India. She is an active participant in various Model UN clubs. She loves to write about social and political issues. Follow her Instagram account @interesting.writes

880 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

2065

2 commentaires


Nice article and the way it is expressed!!

J'aime

Great article ❤️❤️


J'aime
bottom of page