Body Shaming is something that all of us might have experienced at one point or another. And to be honest we might have been a perpetrator of it too—unknowingly or knowingly.
What has been your experience with Body Shaming? We asked the students.
- People telling you to workout more.
A few students expressed how multiple times they have been told by people to go to the gym or start doing some yoga at home. Even though working out is very essential, they felt that it wasn’t anyone else’s business what they should do in their life.
“I understand that working out is important. But I don’t want random people telling me that. It makes me feel that I lack something in my body, or that only if I work out, then I can be beautiful,” said a student.
- People who work out are also shamed.
Another student expressed how he received comments like, “Kya body banata rehta tha, motey. Ab dekh Sultan lagra hai. Kum khaya kar fatt jayega uski tarah.”
Even the people who are working out are body shamed for the way they look with big muscles.
3. Bigger people are shamed for being fat.
“I went on a date once. The guy blatantly told me that I shouldn’t wear crop tops because my tummy looks so bad in it. After he noticed that I was reasonably upset, he tried to brush it off by jokingly saying, “You’re like Winnie-the-Pooh. That did not make it better,” told a 20 years old student about how she disliked her date’s comments about her dressing.
Body shaming can have a huge impact on people. It is a traumatic experience, and should not be brushed away easily.
“In 7th or 8th grade, a guy said that I was pregnant, which implied that I look fat. It resulted in a loss of confidence to a certain extent which increased in college. From 11th grade, I stopped clicking pictures. I don’t know how to smile in front of the camera even now,” said another student.
4. Thinner people are also shamed for being skinny.
Students also expressed how they’ve received comments like, “Huh…itni patli hai ki hawa me udd jayegi, mummy khana nahi deti?”. And “Itni patli hai tu. Apni behen ko dekh, terese zada healthy hai, aur ek tu hai sukhi si.”
Shockingly, a lot of body shaming experiences that people expressed came from their family members and friends, more than strangers, which shows how ruthless and unconscious we can be about the things we say to the people we care about.
5. Girls told how they were shamed about their breasts.
“My experience was horrible in school. Boys would talk and whisper about me. Once a teacher stopped me in the corridor and told me to wear ‘a better bra’ because my breasts moved too much according to her. I was very conscious and started to slouch to hide my insecurity,” said a student.
On the other hand, another student shared how her friends got bullied and shamed for having small breasts and received comments like “Sapat hai Sapat” (you’re completely flat/ you have no breasts) from classmates.
Women with any size of breasts have been shamed about them. receiving snide comments and being insecure about it is something a lot of women have faced.
6. Men have been shamed about “Man-Boobs” too.
A 2nd-year student shared, “I used to be overweight earlier. Reasonably, I had what you call “man-boobs”. My friends in school would jokingly grab my chest and pass comments. I used to hide the fact that I was upset because they’re my friends. But it hurt me and made me conscious of my body.
7. Body-hair are made fun of.
“I distinctively remember not being able to sleep and thinking there is something wrong with me. I don’t think people intentionally wanted to shame me but the passing comments on my body hair, when I was in 4th or 5th grade by my neighbours was terrible. And the guys in high school used to comment if a girl had her eyebrows done or if she had facial hair, which made me and other girls so uncomfortable.”
Body hair is very natural. It is how it is supposed to be. But continuous brainwashing over the years by the media as well as the people around us has led us to believe that having body hair is unlikeable or unnatural. It can be devastating to be shamed for it.
Passing comments about someone else’s body is very easy. But it is something that can hurt someone’s feelings and make them feel small. It can create insecurities. We should always be mindful of what we say to people. Joking about someone’s body is not okay. Even if that someone is yourself, or someone in your family, your friends, or a random stranger on the internet. All bodies are beautiful 🙂