In every society, there are beauty standards set by the people. If a girl is healthy, she is considered fat. If a girl is thin, she is labeled to be skinny. No body shape or skin color can be satisfying for all. Something will always be wrong. Comparisons to picture perfect models are very common which are unrealistic. Women usually are expected to change everything about their physical appearance. This often leads to fierce diets which leads to some serious health issues later on in life.
The other major problem in Pakistan is the demand for a lighter skin tone. The expectation of having a lighter skin tone has lead young girls and women to use harmful fairness creams. The continued usage of these creams leads to severe skin issues which can sometimes lead to skin diseases.
Body shaming often starts at a young age leading an individual to go on extreme diets. These diets often lead to starvation and anorexia. This perception of the “perfect body” is created through magazine spreads and images on Instagram. What we don’t realize is that it takes a lot of edits before a picture is released. Experts spend hours behind a computer screen creating the perfect curves and skin tone before publishing a picture.
Stop it where it starts!
Body shaming starts at home where it’s usually the parents who pin-point their children at a young age. Not only being over-weight attracts negative comments, so does being skinny. The bombardment of these comments lowers the confidence levels which leads to life-long personality issues. The person who is made ashamed of being what God created them to be, leads them to always be uncomfortable and unsure about themselves.
A healthy body image is what needs to be created in Pakistan. As long as a person is healthy, regardless of them being under or overweight, should be appreciated and encouraged. An over-weight girl is not necessarily unhealthy or obese. The same goes for girls who are underweight. Being skinny does not mean that they are weak.
What can a Body Shaming Victim do?
If you are a person who has faced body shaming for being too fat or too skinny, here are a few things that you can do which can put a stop to them. First and foremost, stop using hashtags and social media trends which encourage the perfect body image. Share your healthy habits and exercise routines to let others know that healthy from the inside is desired.
Stop sweating for unrealistic things like a thigh gap. Sweat for health and achievement for some sport. Keep your internal organs healthy and active. This will also keep your skin fresh and it will glow naturally. A good diet and an exercise routine help you stronger on the inside.
What everyone in our society needs to understand is that everyone’s body is unique and beautiful in its own way. And every individual is beautiful and amazing in their bodies. You know how people say that an overweight person shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes? They are wrong! Wear whatever you like! Wear any pattern and every color with confidence and pride. If anyone passes any sarcastic comment, give them a glare!
Whenever you see any woman who looks great, tell them! Praise them and let them know how wonderful they look! Body size and weight should never let anyone down. Strive to stay healthy and look for ways to encourage others to do the same. You don’t have to spend thousands by paying for a gym if you don’t like it. Just get out and go for a run or cycle your way through the neighborhood.