Body shaming

Do you go to the gym?

Is it because you want to ward off sickness and jump around even in your forties?

Is it because you want to flex your biceps to impress the ladies or finally have that zero size you been dreaming about?

The answer to these questions decides whether you want to proceed further. If your answer to the last question is yes, then you need to check out the rest.

I have been wondering whether we are subtly promoting this ideal body figure in the name of good health?

If we are promoting such an ideal figure, then we are promoting body negativity.

How do we cope with promoting a healthy lifestyle without inducing body negativity?

Should we promotive a healthy lifestyle even though it can cause body shaming?

I have been trying to find answers to this particular question lately. Let me share my thoughts.

This post contains

Various reasons people shame us

  1. The ideal figure quest
  2. Social baggage
  3. Business opportunity
  4. Social media

Defining the final question

Solve this problem

  1. Focus on the process, not the outcome
  2. The healthy lifestyle is meant for all

Let’s sum it all up

Before we begin, let’s take a step back and look at ask ourselves the fundamental question. Why are we being ashamed of our bodies?

In human history, we can find examples where shame has been used as a trump card to control people. We all feel some inferiority complex and that’s our weakness. Shame has been a weapon that has been used to target that very weakness. The best part? It works for everyone!

Let’s look at various reasons people shame us

1, The ideal figure quest

The images of an ideal figure have always been ingrained in us since childhood. From that moment, our life will become a quest to attain this ideal figure.

You can’t fight against this as their defensive line will ‘It’s for your good health!’. No denying that there is some truth in this.

We need to look back at our evolution if we want to understand why we are this way.

Because of our evolutionary process, we have been evolved to be attracted to healthy-looking figures. This was a way to ensure healthy offsprings. Having a good body figure is a sign of good health and good genes.

Though what we are innately attracted to is their good health, we mistake it for their body. Our confusion between good health and body shape is the fundamental cause of body shaming and all of its associated problems.

Where did that lead us?

We now live in a world where even little kids may make jokes about other’s bodies. Body shaming is a very normalized phenomenon nowadays and is the butt of many jokes.

Normalizing body shaming to promote good health is like normalizing nuclear weapons to promote world peace!

If you look at it, we are made fun of not just if we are over-weight or under-weight; we are made fun of whether we are short or tall, white or black, whether we have curly hair or straight hair, if you are bald or hairy.

However, your body is, we made sure that there will be one reason to make fun of it.


2, Social baggage

I’m going to make this short as I don’t want to get into any trouble.

Our society has made us feel that our body is so shameful that we need to cover it as much as possible.

They say our body to holy but becomes disgraceful when it is shown.

We stigmatized people wearing western clothing as vulgar.

You know where I’m getting at. They have taught us to hide your body out of shame.

3, Business opportunity

Big companies are waiting to exploit our desire for an ideal body. Their business is to sell you false hopes.

To create the demand they will first establish that the ideal figure should be the life purpose that will grant us eternal bliss and anything else is worthless.

There are cosmetic products, machines, surgeries that will help you achieve your dream self.

Of course, they make cautious efforts not to sound like this and appear to preach body positivity.

Click here if you want to read more about it.

4, Social media

With the rise of social media, began celebrities and their followers. This spurred our desire to become popular and to amass followers, thus began our journey to become attractive. Both the celebrity and followers are now propagators of body negativity without them knowing anything.

Imagine the impact when this is being fed to your brain daily.

This will lower your self-esteem and worsen your body image.

Click here if you want to read more about it.

Defining the final question

Body shaming is bad, but the question is how to disassociate it from promoting good health?

On a factual level, being over-weight or under-weight can affect your overall health. But should we all aim for the ideal body figure then?

Any solutions?

Here are the two changes that might help us solve this problem.

1, Focus on the process, not the outcome

The realization that what we need is a healthy lifestyle, not an ideal figure.

If you want to be healthy, these simple two steps are necessary.

  • Follow a healthy diet

Don’t let the word diet scare you. What it means is that you need to eat healthy food instead of your favorite processed and junk foods. A bit hard, but very much possible.

  • Regular exercise

Regular 30 minutes of exercise is needed for our body to function at its best. Exercise keeps your body fit and healthy.

Our focus should be on having a healthy lifestyle where we eat healthy food and exercise regularly, not for attaining the ideal body but for being healthy itself.

This is important because why people give up on following a healthy lifestyle is because they try it for one month and drop it if they didn’t see any difference. You shouldn’t do this to see any difference. You do this to keep yourself healthy.

2, The healthy lifestyle is meant for all

People think that this healthy lifestyle is only for over-weighted people. You should exercise if you are over-weight, under-weight, or healthy.

Rather than pointing at people and telling them they are over-weight, we need to exercise. We need to accept that all of us need to exercise.

This shift from an individual level change to a social level change is necessary; to stop ganging up on someone to make them healthy rather than creating an atmosphere where it is easier to follow a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s sum it all up

Body shaming is something we all have experienced or witnessed in our life. The root cause of this is our desire to attain an idealized body figure. Though this is preached in the name of good health, body shaming is very unhealthy both physically and mentally.

We need to understand that what is needed is not an idealized figure, but a healthy lifestyle that all of us can endorse.

Good health is a lifestyle change that all of us need to undergo, not just certain people.

This mindset where we have to clarify on what we need and how to achieve it is a starting point of all changes.


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