According to Crystal Clascio, “You don’t teach people to take care of their bodies by teaching them to hate it.”
It is enough torture knowing there is an issue with my body and compounding it by spiteful comments that are intended to spill some blood thereby reducing my self-esteem.
Body shaming likened to fit bullying is the act of subjecting an individual’s body to criticism without taking into cognisance one’s feeling.
The recent atmosphere serenading all to get fit has also thrown some set of individuals to the “Fit bullies” wagon. Fit bullies are people who lash out demeaning words against an individual’s body such as; you’re fat like a pig, you’re as thin as a diseased person.
Oh! you don’t look pretty anymore, you have lost that radiance and youthful look, you are so thin. Alas! I do know I have lost appreciable weight and my scale and dress size tells me so but really! Has it changed who I am? We that includes “me” have at one point bullied another based on size. It should be noted that body shaming is as prevalent as stereotypical judgements or gender discrimination.
Body shaming takes the double taped sword that is;
it can be self-inflicted: this occurs when an individual metes upon themselves mental and physical torture based on acceptable nuances of the society by comparing themselves with images on magazines; this could lead to slim people becoming anorexic because a pound of flesh reflects on them.
it can also be third party inflicted: this happens when another person shades one with an unpalatable remark.
Body shaming manifests in varying degree from school, workplace, church, social functions and so on. To challenge body shamers, there are three simple steps;
1. Pay less attention to their remarks
2. Respond with positive feedback such as I know my thighs are big but I love them
3. Love yourself
Erika Vargas opined that a vast number of teenagers and young adults in USA and Britain get suicidal from the act of body shaming. In Nigeria, most people that are shamed turn to emotional eating or fall into a state of depression. This automatically results to them being withdrawn and unfriendly with low self-esteem.
The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance makes the clarion call that everyone should be treated with dignity and equality disregarding their body size in all aspect of life.
“Beauty doesn’t have a weight limit. Stop the negative talk about your body and others. Embrace your unique qualities and love who you are.”