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Body shaming! It won’t be wrong to say that it is one of the most customary habits practiced by the people of Pakistan. Whats worse is that in the Pakistani society, men and women are treated as objects. We go through our lives looking at other humans like artifacts. We forget how amazing we all are. What I believe is that these kinds of beliefs should be immediately stopped from prevailing among our people.
“Hey you look like a giant potato”
“Why are you so fat?”
“Doesn’t your mother feed you well? It looks like you are suffering from malnutrition”
Apparently, at times people think that making over-weight/under-weight people ashamed of their body will motivate them, whereas, in reality, it makes them feel worse about themselves. Here, let me remind you that I’m not in favor of being over-weight or under-weight, the point of my blog is to promote the idea that no matter what type of body you are blessed with, you shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
The reason I’m using the word “Under-weight” along with overweight is because of what I have observed. A surrounding where the people who weight slightly less than their actual weight are also mocked thoroughly.
Coming to the psychological destruction of body shaming! You see, it is too easy to tell someone that they are not up to the desirable standards of the “society”. We think that by making statements about their body we are just having fun, but in reality, it is more than that. While bullying over-weighted/under-weighted people, we not only make them feel worse about themselves but one way or the other, we destroy their self-esteem.
It takes just one sentence to make someone hate themselves. Whether it is said by someone close to you or by that girl from class you hate the most, in the end, it is really offending. And guess what! Even using the words “Just kidding” at the end can’t cope up with the shame they feel for themselves.
It’s not just with the adults, even school going children massively participate in body shaming. In Pakistan, especially in middle and secondary schools, this whole dilemma exists at a broader level. The children will make fun of each other by expressing insulting words and expressions which probably results in severe isolation and depression at an early age.
Now coming to the media! Well, media is always assumed to be the source of information but on the other hand, our media is one of the biggest contributors of body shaming. Here we are talking about those zero size and ultra-thin models all over the social media. Particularly choosing zero sized, perfect Barbie doll type models for cooking oil, soaps, shampoo and mobile phone ads is not an appropriate choice.
Just think about yourself, wouldn’t you feel dissatisfied with your bodies right after looking at those *perfect* models? You would! wouldn’t you? And yes, how can we forget our beauty salons? The greatest contributors of objectification. Just give a thought to the pictures showcased all over the salon! Aren’t they creating their own notion of beauty? HELL YES! They are!
In Pakistan, the notion of beauty depends upon zero sized-figures, fair complexion, and perfectly ideal height. In our country, a perfectly sized, fair colored woman will be appreciated by everyone. Other than that a tanned complexion will be targeted and criticized widely which is very common these days. Society doesn’t just find humor in degrading a woman’s body only; they also find humor in degrading a man’s body.
As I said earlier the current standard of beauty in Pakistan is based on bright skin-tone, ideal body weight, and a perfect height. This is the most common random answer you’ll get when you ask people “Define beauty?” Unaware of the fact the girls who don’t reside on these “Standards” of beauty are treated inhumanly.
Isolation, depression, and low self-esteem are the starter pack of Body shaming. Not to forget the state of self-harming which comes right after Isolation. Criticizing body shapes and the size of other individuals often lead them to self-harm which results in hospitalization and severe unhealthy mental activities.
There’s so much to write but I guess one blog cannot change the mentality of 200 million people. It’s time that we should start focusing on the REAL notion of beauty. We have to stop bragging about the way people look and the way they differ with us in the matter of size and shape. Sadly, this social issue is gradually increasing day by day with the passage of time and it is our duty to fight back.
We should be willing to help such people who are being bullied and criticized by their surroundings because of their weight. If we can’t help them by any means, the least we can do is stop judging them and let them live their lives happily and confidently.