Body-shaming destroys our self-esteem, encourages eating disorders, and diminishes our value as women. Media has been blamed to be the main culprit of body shaming as it has set an impossible standard of beauty. For decades, the media has pushed unrealistic images of how the female body should look. This includes movies, television and print. In recent years, social media has taken body shaming to a new level.
One of the famous trends is namely Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge, which is done by placing their lips into the shot glass then they suck the air out of the glass, creating friction. This result is having plump lips. Young girls with thin lips try this method to get plump lips like Kylie Jenner. Generally, women are using painful methods to modify their looks to fit into the notion of beauty which also varies based on changing trends. This pressure has caused damage in terms of their self-esteem and how women generally view themselves in terms of look and their worth.
Body Shaming is a Disease
We live in a society that is obsessed with ‘looking flawless’. Fat is bad, dark is ugly, thin is sick are the types of stereotypes that arise from media. Let it be magazines or TV commercials most women are potential victims of “body shaming”. Mothers are expected to lose weight and get fit after childbirth, women are generally expected to be fair which is emphasised of cosmetics advertisements and even celebrities tend to get insulted for their look. But of course, it isn’t just fat people who get body shamed. Even if you’re skinny, you will get commented on your body size.
When ‘Perfect’ is Not Good Enough
Even models who walk on Victoria Secret Runway gets body shamed. Gigi Hadid, a fashion model who was criticised that she was too skinny and she explained to body shamers who called her to be ‘too skinny’ through her Twitter posts that her weight loss was due to her medical condition. When we fail to meet the supposed beauty standards set by society, it takes a toll on our perception of our self and makes us love ourselves less.
There is Nothing Positive About Body Shaming
You can always use polite face-to-face discussion if you have concerns about someone’s health. The reality is that no one is going to suddenly change themselves because you insulted their body. Instead, that person will be offended and embarrassed for receiving such comments, especially in Social Media. As much as social media is a platform for inspiration, It has a drawback for being a spot for cyberbullies. The most compelling reason why body shaming needs to end is that it can lead to depression, and could end in suicide.
Many people had stepped forward and taken measures by using social media to create awareness of body positivity. One of the movements which went viral is “ I Weigh” movement on Instagram.
The #IWeigh movement was started by Jameela Jamil, A British actress and TV presenter. She created an account called @i_weigh where people can come together and raise awareness on the importance of self-worth. It is also a place where people celebrate body positivity
Your worth is not defined by weight
Jamil started the campaign because she was furious of the Kardashian-Jenner clan who featured their weight on Instagram. This photo was circulating online, Jamil responded with anger by stating that weight is not important. She then posted a photo of her weigh but not with the number. It was a description of what she loves about herself. Jamil also expressed that everyone has this moment in their life that they had enough of negative comments from people regarding their self-image. She added that many people are brainwashed into conforming to an ideal body weight set by media and are afraid to fight back due to backlash. It means so much to use her position and speak up for those being damaged due to body shaming.
She explains that the movement aims to help women “feel valuable and see how amazing we are, and look beyond the flesh on our bones.” In less than a week, the account had more than 7,000 followers. The positive response inspired her to start @i_weigh, a new Instagram account specifically for the campaign.
According to Jameela, it is a form of revolution against body shaming and beauty standards set by the society. It is also due to self-hatred caused by media. She is tired of women who fail to see what’s amazing about them, their lives and achievement just because they do not have a thigh gap.
We support this movement and believe that women are beautiful regardless of shape and sizes. Our article focuses on wellbeing and ways to look your best on whether you are plus-sized or not. Another movement that we can start is by placing an image of yourself side by side. It should be similar to the picture that people post before and after a workout to show their weight loss. You should take a picture of yourself, use the same image as after. Then post it on your Instagram with #beyourself.
This is to show that you are beautiful the way you are and you don’t have to lose weight to satisfy body shamers. By doing this we can support body positivity and show that we are beautiful the way we are.
We should spread positivity by participating in these movements. It is time to make fashion and media industry realise that beauty is not based on our looks.
What The Wellness Insider has done previously was to do a #NoLabels video which you can check out below. Remember: your weight does not define you. You do.
If you have a body positive story that you’d like to share with us, do tell us here!
Photo Credits: Stylish Curves, Popsugar, Independent, Huffington Post, EM Design and The Wellness Insider