Body Shaming among Millennials - Seeker's Thoughts

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Body Shaming among Millennials

'Hey! Such a dark skin! She seems as if she dint have bath... '
'Such a pale skin!'
'Oh My God ! You have become fat!!'
'You are fat!!'
'You are so skinny.... '
These are usual words we hear and have adopted very casual attitude towards this. 

Our society defines beauty and ugliness based on the colour, shape, and size of one’s body. Men and women both suffer from body shaming. Body shaming has become a serious issue in society. 

This is not normal, and neither a joke to laugh at someone. 

It is a form of bullying and, as well as being humiliating. It can lead to short and long term psychological health-related issues. 

Types of Body Shaming

Body shaming occurs in three main ways, criticizing yourself, criticizing someone else in front of them, and criticizing some else behind their back about their body.

No matter how this manifests, it often leads to comparison and shame and perpetuates the idea that people should be judged mainly for their physical features.

Body shaming has included both criticisms of being “too fat, or “too skinny”, often picking on flaws that completely irrelevant.

 Many magazines, social media platforms, and advertisements contribute to body shaming in ways that have started to normalize these damaging behaviors.

Many TV shows and movies have fallen into this pattern as well, where the “fat” character is often the subject of criticism and comic relief. With the trending behaviors of celebrity fat shaming on social media.

Most of the people are prone to “body shaming” on social media platform, which is a wide spread phenomenon of receiving cruel feedback when our body bodies don’t match the unrealistic beauty standards set by the society in today’s time. 

Social media significantly continue to play a crucial role in molding the lives of adolescents, girls and young women. 

It negatively affects the body image and reinforces the fallacious beliefs of “how we need to look”, that we as an individual must predominantly validate and perpetuate upon.

Body shaming can lead to inferiority complex, lowered confidence, eating disorders and other such issues. It can cause insecurities leading to troubled relationships. There are chances that the victim may feel too self-conscious and withdraw from social situations.

Emerging research is an evidence of such social networking behavior is contributing to the raise of “body dimorphic disorders BDD” and “eating disorders” in females as well as males. 

No doubt, the internalisation of body shaming and weight bias in social media platform hangs heavy on the minds of teenagers, women’s and young girls and they are now living in a society where their bodies defines who they really are.
People who deal with body shaming or who have a body image concerns feel distressed and unhappy about their physical appearance, weight or shape. They may be concern about being too fat, too large or small, not curvy enough, or not muscular enough.

 Body dissatisfaction distress can lead to plethora or psychological as well as physical problems.

Studies have reported rates of BDD of 7% and 15% in patients approaching cosmetic surgery to enhance their physical appearance and a rate of 12% in patients seeking dermatologic treatment to contour and abolish the aspects of body shaming.

According to Dr, Rebecca Pear, an assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry – there is a misconception that body shamming individuals could help motivate them to losing weight. When people feel shamed because of their weight, they are more like to avoid exercise and consume more calories to cope with this stress. 

In a study published in Obesity, the journal of the obesity society, it was found that people who are battling obesity face being stereotypes as lazy, incompetent, unattractive, lacking willpower, and are to blame for their own excess weight. 

The pain if these messages may take a toll on health and increase the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

 How to Overcome Body Shaming?

 The media and the general public should be aware that blaming and shaming people is not an effective tool for promoting weight loss, and it may in fact contribute to poor health.

Social Media Literacy” – This not only includes a clear comprehension and decoding of the messages behind commercial media advertising seen on social networking sites, but also highly focuses on the way people convey their idea on social media platform.

 Enhancing social media literacy through school programs or social marketing campaigns is likely to have a safeguard effect in regards to body shaming and body image in social media platform.

Individual Counselling/Therapy” – Individual Counselling can help those who keep themselves buried in the muck of their mind and are consumed with thoughts of physical flaws. Several sessions of therapies or counselling could help you to continue to absorb the compassion, empathy, and self-acceptance in your mind. 

People can often approach to CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is the cutting age treatment for the most psychological disorders. Despite of focusing on early developmental history and relationships, cognitive behavioural therapy targets directly on the problems that are occurring in the current scenario.

“Love your reflection with Hypnosis”- Hypnosis is nothing but a mindful meditation which let go of the toxic or negative feelings about yourself and release shame or embarrassment towards your body when you look at your inner reflection and “what you truly mean to yourself”, will help you build more confidence, a better self-image understanding and help you to develop more self-love, self-respect, and self-appreciation.

“Fitness/nutrition” – It is not about going for a small platter instead eat healthy with well-balanced diet. Nutrition is the most crucial factor for fitness.

 Eating a well-balanced diet can help you gain good calories and nutrients you need to fuel your daily life activities, confidence and including regular exercise to feel better about yourself.

Meditation” – Meditation gives you the power to erase shame, helps you pay attention to yourself and take away all your guilt for the body. Take an approach for comfortable meditation posture, eyes closed for comfort and serenity. 

Begin by bringing attention to the body sitting, breathing inhales and exhale and unlocking the feeling of positive healthy body image.

It is not so easy to love your body without discovering self-love in today’s stereotype society, and it can take a lot of effort to get there. There are many challenges to face if only focus on outward changes and what the world needs before one feels compassion, acceptance and immense love for their body. But it takes courage to go beyond what the world needs and pay attention to our inner needs and discover the creative sides because no matter what the world tells you, great ideas to change the world comes from those who embrace the inner beauty, de-clutter the inner demons and discovered themselves.

National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) has stepped up to fight against body shaming on social media and encourages individuals who witness body shaming to notify this organization through the Media Watchdog program

Additionally you can create a petition against body shaming, write a body positive post or blogand engaging with strong and positive likeminded women. Keep in mind that entering a negative cycle of comments does not do any good in this situation. Take control and stay positive.

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