#Opinion

Casual Body Shaming: What People Tell Women Vs What They Actually Mean

casual body shaming, body neutrality
What is body shaming? Is it telling healthy people that they are fat? Or comparing skinny people with matchsticks? Or commenting on someone’s thighs or their height? Casual body shaming goes unnoticed as it is treated as light humour. But isn’t it wrong to comment on someone’s physique even in the form of humour? Have a look at these instances of casual body shaming.

Body shaming is an act of criticising and mocking someone’s physical appearance and making them feel bad about it. Women are often subjected to the unrealistic standards of an “ideal body” which pushes them to seek measures in order to keep their bodies in “perfect” shape and size. They are body-shamed for being too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short and even over their complexion. It’s high time that we let women breathe freely in their own skin without making them feeling insecure about their bodies.

Even among the young generation, the idea of a “perfect” figure has conditioned so many teen girls to believe that they can only become attractive if they adhere to such societal conditions. It’s the 21st century yet we can’t seem to accept how beautiful each and every body is. The simplest way to stop the practice of body shaming is to call out those who criticise others’ appearance and to encourage people to embrace their bodies.

Here’s what casual body shaming looks like:

“You look great, have you lost weight?”

It simply means that you were healthier before and now that you’ve lost weight, you look more convincing as an “ideal woman” with a “perfect body” to cater to the male gaze. We really need to bash such body shaming ideals that are prevalent in our society.

“Dress for your body type”

People often judge women on the type of clothes they wear according to their body types. Healthy women are refrained from wearing exposing clothes in order to avoid showing their curves. Why can’t women wear whatever they are comfortable in? A woman looks the most beautiful when she is confident. Period.

“You’re hungry again? Didn’t you just eat?”

Well, it’s my stomach and if it wants more food, more food it is! Why would you tell me what to eat and when to eat? Oh yes, because I’ll gain weight? But guess what? I don’t care.

*Any random unsolicited diet advice*

“Have banana shake in the morning,” “Eat more veggies,” “You should use more ghee in your diet” — How about… No? I don’t want unwanted diet advices unless I ask for them. My body is healthy and that is what matters for me!

“I’d like you more if you lost/gained some weight”

Toxic alert! Run. Away. From. Such. People. Right. Now.

“This would have looked better on you if you were skinnier/healthier”

It looks good on me because it looks good to me. End of the story. I don’t need your criticism when I am happy and comfortable in what I am wearing.

“How will you bear a child with this body?”

That’s between me and my gynecologist, you don’t need to worry unless you want to carry my child instead.  Moreover, what makes you so sure that I want to bear children?

Views expressed by the author are their own.


Suggested Reading: Ananya Panday Talks About Being Body-Shamed In Childhood