DUB Speak

Body-shaming vs Fitness Advice: Where Do We Draw the Line?

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Everyday magazines, TV shows, celebrities and the entire fashion industry sell us the idea of the perfect body. Who decided what was the “perfect” body? And when did we start shaming others for not fitting in a size?

Two years ago, the “perfect” body consisted of a thigh gap; however, currently in 2017, being “thick” is the new “perfect” and thigh gaps are looked down upon. The rules of fashion change every week and it is hard to keep up – but it isn’t hard to ignore. We usually don’t see what happens after that. With the rules of fashion, the definition of the “perfect” body also changes and with that, comes the eating disorders, the insecurities and self-hate, the suicidal tendencies, and body-shaming. “You can’t wear that,” “This doesn’t suit your body type,” are just some things we hear, and say, on a regular basis. “You have lost weight,” is synonymous with “You look better than before,” and it is taken as a compliment instead of a concern like it should be – but what was the problem with that extra weight before?

And it isn’t just about the extra weight, it is also about the lack of it, the incorrect placement of it, the exact number on the scale, and the relation of that to one’s beauty, that makes body-shaming such an easy thing to prevail in our society. The industry has made us hate almost anything natural about the human body – from stretch marks to love handles, is there anything even left to appreciate about a non-airbrushed body?

Sure, we have plus-sized models in the scene, who are slowing making way on to ramps and magazine covers, but our feeble minds are so used to seeking smooth, tight skins on those ramps and covers, that we forget how to appreciate a natural body. Plus-size models, although inspiring, amazing, and necessary, are called out for “promoting obesity and living an unhealthy lifestyle.” There’s a difference between fitness advice and body shaming, just like there’s a difference between fashion advice and putting people down for their body type or their weight.

Mindy Kaling very rightly said in an interview that sometimes people don’t realise that they’re going back to square one on this issue when they tell her stuff like “you’re setting goals for unconventional body type people.” Calling someone an “unconventional” body type when they’re not medically obese is just factually wrong. Forget about being insensitive, that’s inaccurate.

This, obviously, does not in any way imply that people can’t set fitness goals for themselves. It just comes down to not imposing the same on others and, especially, shaming them for being confident in their own skin (whether it is to your taste or not). Well, like they say: charity begins at home. Our battles against body-shaming can only be won when we look at ourselves in the mirror without cringing, without finding a single flaw in our natural selves.

Image Credits: The KN Clan


Anagha Rakta
[email protected]

Head of Web at DU Beat (2017-18), and a passionate writer from Miranda House, with a sweet tooth and a funny bone.

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