Social media is soon becoming a gateway to approval and self-esteem, and your rite of passage is how much people appreciate the way you look. From the tip of your hair to the heel of your shoe, the social media and the people on it evaluate everything.
And God save you if you don’t live up to the prescribed standard and stereotypes!
Body shaming on the internet is a classic example of cyber bullying, maintaining anonymity is as easy as pie and so anyone is free to criticize and bully others. Fashion magazines, movies, celebrities, cosmetic companies, television and your lovely aunt tell you what is attractive and what isn’t, thus you are forced to match up to these.
Parineeti Chopra, a famous Bollywood actress was shamed for being ’too fat’ for the big screen when she debuted with Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl in 2011. In the recent ‘Built That Way’ photoshoot, Chopra can be seen working out, shedding flab and looking fab. But did this make everyone happy? Undoubtedly, No!
— Youth Ki Awaaz (@YouthKiAwaaz) December 16, 2015
Chopra isn’t the only actress to have faced the ugly fat shaming attacks on social media. Sonakshi Sinha was and is constantly being made the butt of nasty jokes because of her weight. However, she’s not the kind to back down. The actress retaliated with full force.
You go girl!
Shweta Nanda also came to the rescue of her daughter, Navya Naveli when she was shamed for being ‘too thin’. Wow! People cross all boundaries of discontent, don’t they?!
— Bollywood Indonesia (@filmindia_indo) December 2, 2015
Various campaigns and movements are seen all over media for discarding body image myths and issues as though it has become a dire need to make people aware of the fact that not everyone is born to achieve washboard abs and 36CC breasts.
Women aren’t the only victims of body shaming; men too have to go through such atrocities.
i still cry when i see that post about that guy who was dancing and those people took pics and laughed and shamed him because of his body
— charlie (@kira_yukimura) September 25, 2015
It would be wrong to say that you can escape body shaming by giving up on social media altogether, it’s a utopian statement. Thanks to the tech-savvy world that we live in, no one can escape the perils of social media.
You can’t escape it but you can change it. Educated and liberal citizens as we like to call ourselves, we should take it as our duty to focus on intellect, deeds and thoughts of others rather than their brand of clothes, the length of their hair, the inches of their waist and the tautness of their rear. And excommunicate all those who don’t do so. Well, not really!
Body shaming and its consequences have irreversible impacts on social and personal lives of people, along with affecting them psychologically. Can we really take this risk by making even a tiny comment on someone’s appearance?
We have all been victims of body shaming at one point or the other in our lives, and we should have learnt our lesson by now. Thus, forget what you have been taught about the standards of attractiveness and the guidelines of beauty, and make your own!
Let no one ever be the predator or the prey of body shaming.
Watch this space for more, as we take on stereotypes and end the vicious cycle of shaming, in any form, through our #EndShaming campaign.