Fat, balloon, Oversized burger, bloated sausage: a few words millions of people across the world sleep with, wake up with, climb up their school’s staircases with, scroll-down the comments on their Instagram posts with; these are the words they live their lives with.
Many of us struggle throughout the day deciding what clothes should we wear to look slim or what person should we ideally look like. It is not shocking that the unethical culture of body-shaming is slowly decaying our minds and has become a major reason for depression among teens. This urged me to bring this topic on a wider platform and discuss how some personalities around the world deal with it.
A “fuller-figure”. This was what the headline of an infamous article termed Demi Lovato, an American pop singer, as, when she left a gym in L.A. Referring to the article which attacked the singer, Demi wrote on Instagram- “You are more than a number on a scale.” She continued, revealing that she was angry about people thinking “it’s okay to write headlines about people’s body shapes.”
Closer home, Bollywood actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had been subjected to body shaming multiple times. Netizens trolled the former Miss World when she walked on Cannes’ red carpet after putting on pregnancy weight. In an interview with Priyanka Sinha, for the promotion of a film in 2018, also based on the issue of fat-shaming, Rai Bachchan said: “People in the name of humour are basically gibing; first ask yourself if you have the capacity to take it on your chin.” In another interview, discussing the topic of body-shaming and self-motivation, the Sarabjit’s actress said: “…Once you find that conviction and that voice within, it’s liberating. Then, someone else’s comments don’t faze you so easily. It’s important to not let anyone’s opinion define you.”
Irish pop singer Ed Sheeran revealed to losing more than 50 pounds after being trolled, and said he chose not to appear in his first music videos because he did not like the way he looked.
During an episode of ‘Behind the Medal’, a British podcast, the Grammy-winning musician talked about the reasons for his noticeable weight changes, which he attributes to pressure from the public to look like everyone else. "I never once had any insecurities really about myself until people pointed them out," he said.
On noticing different cases of body-shaming, some common observations are made. Professionally, most of the targeted people were either at the peak of their career, or were struggling to achieve their soaring goals. And the fact that most of the targets are women cannot be overlooked too!
The subconscious impact of such abuses on society does not only lie in the hands of people indulging in such practices, but is also a mirror-reflection of how the targeted ones deal with it. Some people try to get over the trauma and pretend to forget everything, some take it too hard and start blaming themselves. But a very few of them speak up against such malpractices in public, still fewer try to set an example of themselves to enthuse others who need support.
The message to be conveyed is that body-shaming is not a singular subject; it includes a vast multitude of social abuses which take place behind the curtains of fun and humour. We must learn to love ourselves for what we are. Outer beauty is a gift while our inner self is an accomplishment. Standing firm and confronting such anti-social acts is the need of the hour. And if possible, all those, who have faced criticism because of their body shapes, shall inspire and support others who need it.