Jai Sri Hari everyone.
As many of you may be knowing that from, since I remember, I am in the process of losing weight. Though few successes I got here and there, but still it is a long journey. I am able to atleast maintain my current weight, in already an overweight body. 🙂
Recently someone approached me under stressful situation and needed my guidance.
Saloni, lives in California and earns a handsome amount every month. She is married to the person of her choice and has a cute 11 months old daughter.
Her problem is her weight. Though she was never the ideal weight and was on a higher side but now her husband has started abusing her physically and mentally for her weight, which is affecting her mental health.
Unfortunately this girl has started feeling guilty of her heavy body. She shared screenshots of her chat with husband and I must say I was disappointed with how her husband was poking her unnecessarily, to an extent of asking her to go under the knife and even stop breastfeeding her daughter. He even threatened with divorce and what made me upset was his belief that he is putting on weight by simply looking at his wife.
This made me contemplate as a society where have we reached. We can’t see beyond the physical appearance of a human being.
Mind it, Saloni, goes to gym every day (with her baby), manages her portion control and in last 7 months has successfully lost 6 kgs.
Hearing these cruel comments can be devastating and humiliating, which can affect a person’s self-esteem. It can lead to depression and eating disorders. Negative comments from others can also lead you to body shame yourself and exactly that’s what is happening with Saloni. She has started believing what her husband is saying. She also wants to stay in this marriage for the sake of their daughter. It is painful to see women so helpless.
I too was on heavier side when I married and then put on more and more till I reached 84kgs. I was body shamed too on many occasions, but fortunately not by any closed family members.
I was body shamed by luxury suiting sales manager, masseurs, cousins, parlour girls, and friends and even in restaurants. The worst was when I was rejected from a clothing store and massage centre in Vietnam. I felt bad will be an understatement.
But I am lucky that I learnt how to accept things and started looking after my body. In past 2 years I have lost 11 kgs and I know I am still very far from my so called ideal weight.
But Saloni’s event brought back some memories.
I also know of someone, whose wife has put on weight post child birth and the man is openly dating someone saying he only likes slim women.
People occasionally make remarks without thinking about the consequences for the woman they’re talking about. No one cares how it will impact the psyche of the woman. These people think that they are the well-wisher of the girl and saying all these rubbish thing for her benefit.
I won’t disagree that obesity has adverse effect on our health and we should try to be watchful of scales but just physical appearance doesn’t define a human being. They are much more than their weight.
Body shaming has gathered quite a lot of public attention over the years. The fact that somebody thinks your body doesn’t fit their ideal standard and that you should feel bad about it is happening worldwide — and it’s not limited to one gender. It is very toxic and can negatively affect a person’s mental health.
People who are overweight are frequently subjected to being “too fat” and people who are underweight are often criticized for looking “too skinny.”
I don’t know from where these standards made their way in our society which made us narrow minded.
Our beauty standards should come from within and I encourage us all to love ourselves no matter what the world thinks or says.
Body shaming has a way of negatively affecting our self-esteem and has been known to lead to mental and eating disorders that ultimately lead to more serious repercussions.
I don’t even understand how people have so time to spend shaming others for how they look.
We can’t always live by what society expects from us. We need to live by our own terms, and love ourselves. However, we also have to be open to the possibility that there’s something wrong with our body. It’s about finding balance. Some people may share comments coming from a good heart, with no ill intentions, but may come off as mean comments.
It’s sad to know that people who experience body-shaming hide from the world. It can be in the form of isolating themselves from others, covering up their bodies, or preferring to be ‘invisible.’ (I sometimes still layer dress myself to hide my weight to avoid nasty comments.)
It’s very easy to get caught up in other people’s web of negativity. Some casual remarks can have lasting impact too.
We should be very mindful with our words.
Giving someone advice about dieting or praising weight loss is also considered body shaming, whether intentional or not. Often, your friends and family members don’t want to hurt your feelings, but their comments can still be of a critical nature. They may not realize the negative effect that questions like “Have you lost weight?”
Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to body shaming, weight shaming, and appearance-based shaming. In the teen years, your attitudes and beliefs about body image and self-esteem are largely influenced by your family members, peers, and now social media.
I know a girl personally who went on a strict diet even though she was just 46 kgs because her friends made her feel bad when she wore a body hugging dress. Even I felt bad when I read Diya ji went for liposuction even though she had an ideal weight.
You might not be aware of your actions or choose the right words, but you may be body-shaming other people, too. Make sure to choose the right words and be extra sensitive to others. We all need to stop body-shaming because this can cause trauma and low self-esteem in those we unknowingly body-shame.
The first step to protecting yourself from body shaming is to stop body-shaming yourself and develop self-compassion. Remember that your health status takes priority over your physical appearance, and that should always be your primary concern.
Let us understand people. Not everyone who is fat has got health issues. Neither is there a hard and fast rule that everyone who is oversized or undersized is not okay with their body. It is just that society looks at it that way. Let’s all be body positive and provide people with safe spaces.
We should not judge people for their choices as we have no idea what options they had to choose from. Life is too short to hate but there’s plenty of room for us all to empower each other with kindness, compassion and love.
(Image by kalhh from Pixabay )