Feeling insecure about one’s body while watching a movie, some campaign or just scrolling through social media with the glorification of proportionate bodies is experienced by many these days. It makes people feel that they aren’t good enough and need to change their physical appearance to fit in this world and be socially accepted.
On social media and even in real life people judge other people’s bodies calling them too fat, too skinny, too fair, too dark, the weird shape of their forehead, nose, etc thus, constructing these people as 'unfit'.
Our society’s obsession with small and fair is destructive in nature. The perception created by social media influencers, models, the entertainment industry, and the cosmetic industry is fake and has harmful consequences. Those who don’t fit certain stereotypes of the standard norm are seen as unfit which can cause a loss of appreciation for their own bodies in these people.
It can lead to extreme dieting which focuses on and values weight, shape, and size over health and well-being. Diet culture is based on the idea of shifting our focus to our bodies, numbers, and weight loss—all of which are external factors. It concentrates on changing or fixing our perceived flaws. This can hurt us by creating body image issues, low self-esteem, and eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
This horrific behavior and biased statements can cause a lot of harm:
1. It can encourage dangerous eating behaviors leading to extreme dieting and then binging food to get over it. It can cause major eating disorders which are more mental than physical.
2. It can lead to low self-esteem and confidence which have a really bad impact on a person’s personality. It can cause long-term damage and these things are difficult to gain back.
3. It can lead to people feeling so conscious about their bodies that they feel the need to get their apparent ‘flaws’ fixed through expensive beauty products, medication, or surgery that does irreversible harm.
Thus, it becomes very important for us to see everyone as equals irrespective of their shape, size, color, or gender. This is termed as Body positivity. It is about acceptance and appreciation of all body types and making people love their own bodies no matter what shape, size, or color. It is about embracing your flaws and respecting everyone by making them feel happy and comfortable in their bodies.
Body positivity also aims to help people understand how popular social media messages contribute badly to the relationship people have with their bodies, including how they feel about food, exercise, clothing, health, identity, and self-care. The main aim is to make people understand the effect such influences have and hopefully, people can develop a healthier and more realistic relationship with their bodies.
We can do something on our part in our day-to-day lives to be an Ally and help ourselves and those around us become more body positive and aware:
1. Calling Out Body Shamers – Call out people who are not respectful in the way they treat and talk to people with body types other than what’s considered the standard form.
2. Question Yourself – It should go without saying that we should treat humans in all bodies with respect and dignity. Always question yourselves before pointing a finger at others.
3. Watch Your Language – Always be careful of what you say and how you say it. Being sensitive to other people’s feelings can help you go a long way.
It is very important to know that being healthy does not have a particular body shape or a specific waist size, it is when you feel the best in your skin. In today’s world, it is important to propagate the idea of self-love and make people feel beautiful in their bodies because when you feel good, you look good and you do good.