Supposing you were born yesterday and you don't know the meaning of body shaming; these are actions or practices expressing humiliation or criticism about another individual's body shape or size. A Lot of us have experienced this, especially at our growing stages, and if you've not experienced it, then I can't describe how lucky you are.
If you've been on this boat, then I'm sure you're familiar with the terrible feelings that come with it. Sometimes, some words stay forever, to rear it's ugly head anytime you try to raise your chin and stand tall with all confidence.
I can still remember my experience (word for word) like a bad TV show. And anytime I read or hear similar stories, it always feels like I'm reliving it over again.
I had been sent on an errand by my mum to buy a packet of sugar from a nearby retail store, and there was an open field located between our house and the store. I usually cut across the field as a shortcut.
That day, there were some guys (I would say between the age of 16 and 22) playing football there. I can still remember what I was putting on that day(a plain t-shirt and a long skirt) and as I walked past them, I heard a mingled guffaw amidst several chuckles from the area where a lot of them were gathered.
When the giggling reduced a bit, I heard one of them say, "This one is too thin, she would fall apart when put on the bed".
I was 14 at that time.
I felt insulted and hurt at the same time, because not only was that statement sexist, it was also derided my slim physique.
I kept blinking repeatedly to prevent the tears from falling out.
I averted my face, buckled up all the courage I could muster and continued to the store
After I got the packet of sugar, I used another route to get home while consumed in an ocean of self-loath/pity.
Now, there's a thin line between body-shaming and friendly criticism.
What do I consider as body shaming?
╭☞Any comment from anyone, telling or suggesting how my body should look like.
╭☞Any comment on what I should or shouldn't eat that is unrelated to my nutritional health.
From a nutritionist's perspective: you can be thin and still be unhealthy. If a person's BMI is higher than 25, the person is considered “overweight”, and If it’s above 30, they’re considered “obese”. BMI doesn’t tell us how healthy someone is on the inside. A much better indicator of how healthy a person is a good diet and regular exercise.
╭☞Any comment suggesting why I should or shouldn't dress the way I want.
(Disclaimer: Not for those under "parents" jurisdictions)
The media generally hasn't been so encouraging as well. A new fashion trend can cause people to change their looks, sometimes dramatically, just to fit in.
How I deal with body shaming experiences
Be it on social media or face-to-face interaction, I am always faced with body shaming comments and even confrontations on how and why I should look a particular way. It took years to understand that the only person who should feel congenial about the way I looked is "ME".
I started to build my self confidence and became at peace with myself and this went a long way to help get over such experiences.
Another important thing I do is "IGNORE"!
I'm grateful for maturity. Anytime I hear such vile comments, I take solace in swaying my little hips to Meghan Trainor's- Me too in the most rhythmic manner and walking away.
However, If you really want to let it out then confront your shamer; tell them how uncomfortable it makes you feel; adding sarcasm as you do, can be an added bonus .
We should all be mindful of the fact that body shaming is not gender specific.
Whenever you find yourself in such a situation, it's okay let it out. However, be careful not to express your opinion in a violent manner because two wrongs never make a right.
Feel free to tell your story in the comment section.
☬ Humans are deuterostomes, which means that when they develop in the womb the anus forms before any other opening. Which basically means at one point you were nothing but an asshole. Some people never develop beyond this stage.
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