“Mirror mirror on the wall, tell me why I am not beautiful at all?” A teardrop rolled down her dusky cheek as she asked a lifeless entity the same question for the thousandth time. But as it was expected, her innocent query was again answered with sheer silence and a trail of voices playing in the back of her mind which of course belonged to the numerous people who have ridiculed her for the amount of melanin( a pigment which is responsible for complexion of an individual) her skin possessed, her height and body frame and her chubbiness. That night was no less than any other as these events were followed by her silent sobbing in her pillow and finally falling asleep to the lullaby of giggles of those insensitive people who body shamed her every now and then. Well, pillow was her best companion as it knew the truths other failed to see or maybe overlooked.
Body shaming is something which is getting really prevalent in our society nowadays. It can be defined as practice of criticising or mocking people for the type of body they possess on the grounds of shape, size, colour, etc. Due to lot of exposure to outer world these days, people are getting lot of conscious about their bodies. It is totally fine to do that as of course everyone wants to present themselves in the best way possible, but being ridiculed for something you are not responsible for is totally not cool. This is when body shaming comes into the picture. ‘She is too bulky’, ‘he is too lean’ , ‘her complexion is too dark’, ‘his height resembles to a dwarf’ are some of the statements which we commonly come across. Sometimes we might say some of these intentionally or unintentionally, or may hear such stuff for ourselves.
Our society itself is responsible for such cruel practices as it has made a set of predefined characteristics of beauty which includes a good height, fair toned skin, slim trimmed body, etc. If you don’t satisfy them you are called ugly or undesirable and called names. And just look at the hypocrisy of people, they will go on and on promoting “Beta your appearance doesn’t matter. It is your inner self that matters at the end of the day”. Afterwards, these are mostly the people who give matrimonial advertisements seeking for a tall and fair bride/bridesgroom.
There is often this great misconception- people believe that giving someone a nickname by looking at their body type or simply calling in a loving tone something like fatso, football, fatty, darky, beanpole etc cause no harm to the receiving end. But in contrary it is totally false. Such statements leave a huge impact on the concerned person and he/she begins to hate himself for the body he possess. Yes, self hatred is real and pretty much very dangerous as well. It causes depression, anxiety, affects a person’s self confidence, makes a person withdraw himself or avoid social gatherings due to fear of getting judged or face unnecessary insulting comments. In long term it causes prolonged depression and results in reduced life span as then the person no longer feel like living as each every day goes pinching by. This is not all, a person being body shamed for either too fat or too slim faces eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia nervosa which severely affects a person’s both psychological as well as physiological health status. Those who are cursed for their complexion end up trying various cosmetics and beauty creams which come with an assurance that it would brighten the skin tone but of course they don’t work and actually they don’t need to once the society or the concerned person (even better) accepts that complexion is not a beauty indicator.
The feeling of self hatred or feeling inferior is more prevalent in females as compared to males. They are expected to flaunt their curves, flawless skin, wavy hair etc. Ones who do not possess the same are being called names right from the childhood till adulthood making her life miserable and unbearable. The lives of such females often end up by cursing themselves and their genes for whatever appearance they have. They do not feel comfortable around other girls and opposite sex as well with a constant fear of being disliked and getting weird glances.
To all my readers, I hereby request you all to please stop commenting on anyone’s appearance and accept and admire everyone for the kind of person they are rather than passing insensitive comments regarding their height, weight, complexion, scars, etc. Believe it or not, a little comment does leave a deep impact on their mind which in turns creates a lot of bitterness for themselves. To all the friends and parents out there: cherish the flaws of your friends/children instead of pressurising them to be perfect or whatsoever.