[Zunaira Taj | Contributing Writer]
Body shaming has been around for ages now; the only difference is that victims have been too embarrassed to talk about it. The issue of body shaming has recently has been brought to light and people have actually started to address it. Many articles have been published against body shaming, specifically fat shaming, and psychologists have claimed that body shaming can induce depression in people and can actually lead to weight gain. Experts also request fat shaming to be made illegal because it does not have any positive effects.
There are a number of ways in which people are body shamed, such being ridiculed about their weight, height, facial features, and the list goes on. The concept of body shaming started with people making videos and writing articles that targeted people that do not fit in with the “perfect body” conjured up by society and glorified by the media.
Celebrities have been targeted by fat shaming for a long time now. Magazines have almost always been flooded with reports of celebrities that have gained a pound or two, shaming them for not fitting the so-called perfect body mould anymore, even if the pounds were gained from something as natural as pregnancy.
People outside the celebrity sphere have also become victimised, body shaming has stepped out of being limited to celebrities only and almost everyone is now considered game for this hurl of abuse. And it’s not only the media that’s body shaming anymore. Not long ago, offensive cards were handed out to people perceived as fat by strangers in London, the cards suggested how the receivers needed to loose weight and not be a burden on the NHS. Police intervention was required to put an end to the abuse.
In 2014, the NHS started an experiment where random people were chosen and were sent motivational texts over a certain period of time to help them get in shape. It actually helped people lose weight and adapt healthy lifestyles. This helped because the step was taken on a more private and positive platform.
Dove started a perfect “real body” campaign, their advertisement showed women of all shapes and sizes and it encouraged women to be comfortable in their skin and embrace their bodies as what they are. Victoria’s Secret also joined in and created their own campaign to a positive body image. These campaigns have had a positive effect of moving half of the UK’s population moves onto healthier lifestyles while ensuring they are still comfortable with themselves.
So maybe it’s time to let the body shaming go in 2016 and to spread positivity instead, motivate each other to be the best versions of ourselves and to love our bodies.