It is true what they say about people giving their best during hard times. Not everyone does it though. In fact, many fail to give their best when they’re vulnerable to such hard times. This failure, I suppose, comes only due to one reason. And, it’s the lack of support in their journey to make it through. Believe me, everyone tries to make it through. It only makes it easier for them to get out of the pit if they’re given a hand to reach out for. It puts them in comfort. And, such external comfort is not only healthy; it’s vital. Plus, it’s easily found – many just assume it’s the toughest of all to approach for help.
While there are many victims of different kinds, today I want to talk specifically about the ones who are shamed for their body. And, by shamed, I mean, who are told “You fat ugly mutt!” and not “You pumpkin, don’t eat sweets like your life depends on it.” The latter is shaming too, if you are mistaken. The only way to not shame a person is by not shaming the person.
We are living in a world where even calling out your friends by the names of age-old “tease-culture” would be considered body-shaming. I have teased many of my friends on their shape. But, these same persons talked about my shape too. This mutual trust is where both the parties know they’re vulnerable and don’t mean to hurt one another. It is only better if the ones vulnerable share the misery keeping a reminder to not deny the fact that this shaming is not only unhealthy, it is very stupid. I don’t regret having fun with my friends. Because, we friends know that we are having fun. When someone’s hurt, we know then too. And, that’s when anyone can give out a hand and pull them out. It is the victim’s silent call to the one’s shaming them to stop and also to pull them out. Many who shame – retaliate with even more shaming techniques. The few who understand, either help back or they start feeling vulnerable. It is always tricky. But, solvable.
In reality – this confrontation hardly ever happens. Not many who are body-shamed have the courage to speak up. Some even give in to the act and be normal about it. This not only breaks them down, it potentially breaks down much more – the relations and the ability to work. Not confronting your weakness, of all, is the worst you can do when body-shamed. If you can’t tell it to the person directly, tell it to someone else. Anyone will do. Just talk about it with the ones you’re comfortable talking about it. Most of the times, all you need is to talk to yourself first.
I have, in past, shamed a few people on the basis of body-shape. I didn’t know I was body-shaming these people. Fat or thin. Dark or fair. That, is the core of body-shaming: the labels plus not knowing when you shame someone. Would I change the past if I had a chance to do it? Sure. Is that the same as regret? Not really, because I know it’s a problem that can only be solved if you don’t put yourself in the same position as the one where you want to score good for your parents and not yourself. Just start preparing well for the exams. Regretting your exams in the past have never given you the results, have they?
Some hype regarding such problems is inevitable. We see many worrying about the sizes available to shop. Many are just creating problems rather solve them. Such people not only create new problems, they make it hard to solve the existing ones.
Many won’t even realise they’re cutting the mental injury deeper every time they shame someone. Many of us do it, even when we don’t realise – it’s better if you keep the rule simple. No teasing when the person tells you not to. But, better – no teasing at all. It doesn’t work most of the times because our language itself widely has evolved from such shaming. In cases where the person doesn’t tell you and laughs away, we are back at square one – not confronting our weakness. Which, seems to be very close to the core of problems in sync with body-shaming.
This is not meant to motivate anyone being body-shamed. I don’t hold the capacity or even the ability to do so. But, I am aware that the shape of a body is nowhere close to the mind’s well-being. Being active and working with love is much closer. Plus, working out works.
Even when there’s no need to change the way you look, we all need to flatten one kind of curve. To know more about it, check the following page:
I have written about my learning experience using the outbreak as a tool, you can click here to read it. Happy reading!