THE ROLE OF INDIAN PARENTS IN BODY SHAMING

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We all have heard about how a perfect body should look like, and at some point in our lives, we have been the victims of body shaming. Physical appearance in most of the cases has been defining one’s personality. ” Put on some weight, you look unhealthy”, No one would marry you if you are too chubby”, “Wear some fair & Lovely you are too dark”, are a few of the statements we have been listening to from our households.

They say, we hear

How old were you when you started feeling insecure about your appearance?

Not only women but, it includes men too; body shaming has no boundaries; it includes fat, thinness shaming, height-shaming, and many more that involve mocking someone’s appearance.

Body shaming initially starts from our houses where parents and relatives play the main role in criticising their children for their appearance.

Although body-shaming impacts all the genders, but in a patriarchal country like India points out women for everything. Often women are asked to use turmeric paste, aloe vera powder, and other alternatives for glowing and fair skin.

If a girl is overweight, she is asked to exercise, eat less by avoiding rice, junk and other fat-containing food or, sometimes they are also asked to get fat reduction surgery. Even slim girls are humiliated for being too thin.

Parents and Relatives role in body shaming

The pre-adolescent age is the most common stage for the younger generation to develop a skewed perception about what their bodies are supposed to look like.

Parents knowingly or unknowingly tend to attribute their expectations of physical appearance to their kids, this is prone to affect the self-esteem of children at their vulnerable age.

Comparisons between siblings is another common thing in an Indian household where it tends to leave more scar as the most loved one criticise bases on the way their children look. Body-shaming can also have significant effects on your physical health, in addition to the residual emotional damage.

When the child reaches the age of marriage, the relentless attention intensifies into a deep behavioral change.

Not easy but deal with it

It can do more harm than good to ignore the person and the circumstance entirely who tends to affect your mental health by making you insecure about how you look.

Accept it: Firstly, accept yourself, don’t let anyone define you. It might take time but, be patient and don’t lose hope.

Talk about it: It is obvious that it would affect your mental health. Talk to someone or, it is better to get help if it is pressuring you.

Educate them: Tell them it’s normal, talk about how you feel and the amount of pressure that you are facing while they make you insecure about your own body.

Support one another: Do not mock anyone by the way they look, remember most of them are being criticised in one or the other way. Think before you comment.

Love and appreciate yourself, life is too short to live on someone else opinion.

Ref: https://www.shethepeople.tv/blog/the-politics-of-body-shaming/

https://elle.in/article/body-shaming-loved-ones/

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