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You walk into a family function all dressed up and hear an aunty murmuring about your appearance. Does it bother you and make you question your appearance? Or do you simply want to punch her in the face and walk on? Either way, the sad truth is that many people in our society continue to body shame themselves and others.

The Devil Prevails

Body shaming has been bothering millennials since ages and it’s high time this issue be addressed. A few pounds extra or a few pounds less, people around are always looking for perfection in others bodies as well as their own! This has played with the mentality of the millennials hugely who now resort to extreme methods to achieve that perfect figure on the weighing machine.

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The society is generally seen making fun of fat or lean bodies. In Bollywood, Anushka Sharma has been skinny-shamed while Sonakshi Sinha has been fat-shamed. People didn’t even spare Aishwarya Rai during her perfectly natural pregnancy weight gain! On several top comedy shows on TV, we see body shaming happening as the key plot of the comic conversation. Not so funny, right?

Beauty means perfection and perfection is beauty–this is the thumb rule for this so called burgeoning society.

Are You A Victim?

Do you find yourself looking in the mirror and being critical of your appearance, even in the mildest of ways? ‘Sigh, this dress would look nice on me if I was thinner’, or ‘I ate too much last night; I’ve bloated up!’

Not only by others, but body shaming is done by the self too, when one is just not ready to accept the body he or she has. If you just keep looking in the mirror to detect that extra inch here and there, keep Googling diet plans and weight loss methods, or try different detox drinks to see which one gives you best results, you could unknowingly be shaming your body.

Give yourself some credit. Your body supports your rushed lifestyle, odd sleeping hours and tonnes of junk food that you subject it to. It’s time you admitted to your own body shaming patterns and broke out of the vicious circle of criticising and judging your body.

A Zumba trainer, Vamika Lamba, 31, was lean figured as she started her career journey few years back. No stares or back talking bothered her and she went on to become a famous choreographer having worked with some big Bollywood names like Baadshah and Shaimak Dawar. As she puts it, “I never gave a chance to anyone to body shame me. I always followed a healthy lifestyle.” She adds, “I believe if you love yourself, you will automatically start ignoring unwanted comments on your body. I’m successful today and those who body-shamed me once don’t bother me anymore!”

Love Yourself

Start identifying body positive people, who are confident about their appearance and respect others. Such people can give you positive vibes about yourself and help you get rid of the inner shame you are facing.

Identify the positive part of your body–it can be any part of your body that you truly love, your hair, eyes or a beautiful smile. Learn to love it and love the rest of yourself as well. Practise a healthy lifestyle and focus on the good things you already possess.

When faced with a nasty comment, confront it like a badass! Don’t feel shy and absolutely don’t walk away–face those who comment on you and give them a befitting reply too if required. There are instances when your own family starts treating you badly. As Neha Sharma, 32, puts it, “I was body shamed by my grandmother since childhood for being fat. She always ridiculed me by saying that I won’t get a good match because I’m fat. How can she bring tears to her own granddaughter? But I grew up being stronger and fitter and overcame all mental and physical weaknesses.”

We recently read an article stating that CBSE text books define the shape of a perfect woman’s body as 36-24-26.  Seriously? You actually put that in a textbook for young kids? It’s high time our society changed its attitude because a person is more than just his or her body.

Do share your experiences with us in the Comments section below.

Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar

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