Body shaming is one of those avant-garde expressions that is put to use to refer to an activity where someone tries to make one feel inferior for having a body that doesn’t kowtow to society’s archetypal’s norms of beauty
(Did you just clap and say “Oshey Oshey Oshey Dictionary? *Eyes rolling*
Tenkior Tenkior Tenkior. Beht, ees nor me that said it o. Na Shreya Ghosh na hin talk am.)
In simpler terms, body shaming is the act of making critical, potentially humiliating comments about a person’s body size or weight.
I was rejected not because I wasn’t good enough for the role, but because I didn’t fit into the producers idea of what a beautiful woman looks like” – Lydia Forson.
You are getting fat o. You really need to shed some weight. You don big o.Wetin you dey chop? See as you big.’ Those are a few phrases you constantly hear from body shamers. One guy even went as far as telling me ‘You have such a pretty face. You would have been very beautiful if you were not so big.’ Mogbe!
So yes, maybe my cheeks are a little chubbier and I seem to have put on more flesh. Why rub it in my face? Did I tell you I don’t have a mirror in my house? Why do you have to constantly scrutinize and criticize my body as if I committed a crime by adding weight? Is it your body?
To hell with societal definitions of beautiful.
I am beautiful. You see this body of mine that you so constantly criticize? It is a beautiful body. Even in all its imperfect glory.
I will not allow you humiliate me because you have an opinion of how you think my body should be. You aren’t perfect either. You will not be allowed to criticize or belittle me just because my body size does not meet ‘a set of societal standards’. Who even set the standards sef?
Some will say “Ehn, it’s not healthy to be fat.”
Ello, Eskis me? Mr/Mrs Doctor. Ndi Health adviser.
You mean you just look at a person and concluded that the person is not healthy because of their body size? How do you even know that the person is not healthier than you are?
I don’t have a problem with my body, you do. So go fix your problem.
Here’s a list of how to deal with body shaming.
• Call the person out on it.
You need to understand that anger is an acceptable response.
Society has this annoying attitude of dictating how we are supposed to react in the face of conflict. How we are supposed to lower our gazes and demurely say “Please, I don’t like it o'” when people try to pull us down.
I don’t even get it sef. You try to humiliate me with my body size, and yet you expect that I’d politely/gently disagree abi? Issookay.
The next time you are faced with someone who tries to body shame you, call the person out. Show the person that you are angry, and that you don’t take lightly to body shaming. That ought to put a stop to it.
Just imagine the rough play o. Who even gave you the right to look at my body, form a opinion about it and voice it out in the first place? Are you sure you are okay at all?
• Educate them:
Some people actually mean no harm. They just feel they are voicing out their concerns about you. The onus in such a case is on you to let them know that body shaming is wrong. Let them know exactly how their words make you feel.
• Cut off ties with people who body shame you:
If someone you hang around with refuses to give up their body shaming talk, maybe it’s time to spend less time with them. You don’t have to spend your time with people who make you feel bad. As you spend less and less time with them, they may get the picture. If not, you don’t have to be around their toxic language.
Its okay if I’m not your cup of tea, just know that you are not my kettle of hot water for my tea either.
It’s important to have it at the back of your mind that you are beautiful just the way that you are. Do not let anyone tell you that you are not.