There isn’t a single person in this world, who hasn’t expressed a desire to change the way they look. The healthy ones want to lose some inches, the skinny ones want to gain some weight, the ones with short height want to be taller, the fairer wants to get tanned, the duskier wishes to have a different complexion. Basically, nothing is just enough! And it’s the society that’s responsible for it. Too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall or too fair, everyone had or has been facing body-shaming in their life. It’s not just women, who face the taunts of the society on having a certain body-type, but men too, have to face body-shaming.
While a lot has been said and written about fat-shaming i.e. people being ridiculed for having a healthy body, did you know that skinny shaming is also a thing? It has been 26 years but even today, unequivocally F.R.I.E.N.D.S. remains our all-time favorite show. Nothing beats the joy of re-watching it for the billionth time. But have you ever noticed that Monica Geller’s weight was the butt of the joke a number of times and she was body-shamed by not only her friends but her family too? In ‘The One That Could Have Been’ episode where Monica never loses weight in an alternate timeline, she remains a virgin for the longest time. From jokes like ‘Monica: The camera add some extra pounds. Chandler: How many cameras were on you?’ to young Chandler disgustingly commenting on Monica’s weight, some points aren’t welcomed with open arms about F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and body-shaming is one of them!On one hand, while the plus-sized people are tired of hearing – ‘Have you tried exercising?’, ‘Are you sure you wanna eat that?’, ‘No one will marry if you stay like this’, ‘I don’t think this will fit you (when you pick up a dress at a store)’, ‘Are you pregnant?’, ‘You’re not ‘that’ fat’, ‘You are a perfect example who belongs to a khaata-peeta khandaan’, ‘Imagine how good you’ll look if you lose some weight!’, ‘Will you be able to cross this without getting stuck?’ and suggestions like ‘Have you tried avoiding carbs? Do that and you’ll be sorted’, ‘I know a dietician or a fitness trainer. Would you like to meet?’, ‘You should wear clothes according to your body type’ and a LOT more. On the other hand, the skinny ones aren’t spared even. ‘Do you even eat?’, ‘Where does all the food that you eat go?’, ‘Are you sick?’, ‘Are you dieting?’, ‘How can you be so thin?’, ‘You look like a hanger’, ‘You are so thin, how will you have babies?’, ‘Why are you eating a salad or healthy food? You do not need this!’, ‘Hawa chal rahi hai, bahar mat jaa’, ‘Yeh badi kamzor lagti hai. Isse ghee nahi khilaate?’, ‘Your wrist is so thin’; skinny people are bullied with a LOT more such comments. And the common taunt remains for both plus-sized and skinny people is ‘You’ll never get married or a find a good guy/girl if you look like this’!
Not only it makes one feel infuriated when someone body-shames them, but it also fills them with insecurities, eventually hampering their mental health. Issues like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders are some body-shaming affects. Being skinny have their own issues while it doesn’t seem like they would have, for the ones who are healthier. No matter how much food they eat, they can’t gain weight if they want to and neither can find XS clothes always to fit them perfectly. Even though our body type doesn’t define us but the society that we live in, makes us realize it’s contrary. Either too fat or too thin, we are craving to be on the other side but we do forget that the grass always looks greener on the other side even if it’s not!
With the six-eight pack abs in trend and having a flat toned stomach running on every girl’s mind, from Bollywood to Hollywood, from social media to OTT platforms, the pressure of looking a certain way has never been stronger. In the process of dealing with such pressures, we have forgotten to love who we are and appreciating how we look. What we shouldn’t forget is we can’t let the standards of being ‘fit’ as per the society define our existence.
Instead of becoming insensitive towards each other’s body types and intentionally or unintentionally promoting body-shaming, we must adopt the holistic approach towards body positivity. Promoting every body type will help people becoming more confident and comfortable in who they are!
We would want to end this by acknowledging that all kinds of body-shaming is unacceptable and it’s high time that we stop ridiculing people for being the way they are. Or to make you understand in a filmier way – ‘My body is my body, none of your body’!
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