“Body shaming is the action or practise of humiliating someone by mocking or making critical comments about their body shape or size. That is how the Oxford Dictionary defines it.” In general, body shaming has often been considered synonyms with fat-shaming, almost exclusively. On the internet, as we see how celebrities like Jennifer Aniston was the victim of body shaming when people started speculating if she was pregnant because it looked like she gained a few pounds. As troubled by the comments rotating around, not being on social media she wrote an essay in the Huffington Post saying “For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. I’m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of “Journalism,” the “First Amendment” and “celebrity news.” Some other celebrities like Emma Stone were also got through mean comments for being too skinny, some people even writing “Eat a sandwich”
The idea of a perfect female or male body first originated in Hollywood and western pop culture and was demonstrated by models and Hollywood celebrities who had a huge fan following and hence influence on the masses. The concept of ‘perfect body’ was then taken by masses of western culture who near-worshipped the celebrities who flaunted their impeccable waistlines. The obvious repercussion of this was the adoption of these body standards by Bollywood celebrities. There was a paradigm shift from the likes of Wahida Rehman and Madhubala, who carried their natural bodies with much grace, to sleek and slim likes of Kareena Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, amongst others. Yet, again, the country that idolizes the Bollywood celebrities did not delay in adopting these as the ideal bodies, which one must strive for and attain, or be doomed to impolite and unapproving adjectives by friends and family, alike.
Having an ideal body now became similar to having a ‘V-shaped body’ or ‘angular body’ and these jargons triggered down to masses and formed a strong link between lean body and ideal body, which may not always be true. With the onset of these jargons, society evolved so that the ‘healthy’ soon became an insult. Also, the now famous, “zero-size” and “plus-size” became terms that represented personal identities, as waist-sizes started to define identities. Hence, the link between language and the social issue of Body-Shaming is seamless and the two go hand-in-hand, as jargons like chubby, healthy, curvy, unfit, amongst others increasingly became the term that identifies with admirable people.
Positivism is knowledge regarding matters of fact is based on a positive experience. One will have positive experiences with their body only when people start valuing their unique identities and liberate from self-hatred so they can optimize their energy and intellect to make positive changes in their own life. To create a positive connection with your self holistically. Body positivism is not being healthful but it is about becoming more confident with yourself regardless of your shape and size.
It is crucial that as a society we unlearn the societal standards and form opinions after in-depth research. Further, it is imperative for a harmonious society that accords everyone with the dignity that the choices and priorities of individuals go unjudged and uncriticized through the narrow glasses of conditioning. The body type is subjective to the change’s perspective of people, but what one should never forget are confidence and self-love. “You are imperfect and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” – Amy Bloom.
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