Social Stigma and Body Shaming; A Vital Conversation to Raise Awareness

By Belal Nawar

During this quarantine, many of us have been affected differently, whether it’s our physical or mental well-being, and it’s no one’s fault. Some of us were able to work out and others were not. However, body shaming has been present within our society for many years now, whether it was coming from other people or from ourselves, and it needs to stop immediately.

Phrases like, “You’re really pretty for a full-sized girl,” which clearly manifests a false notion that more voluptuous girls should not pretty. Another common phrase that we often hear is, “Did you lose some weight? You definitely look so much better.” This phrase, once again, puts false emphasis on how beauty is affected by weight. Those two sentences give an incorrect image of what is beauty as one’s weight has nothing to do with being beautiful; beauty should be a manifestation of one’s personality and intellect rather than one’s physical appearance. 

via Canva

Skinny shaming is another type of body shaming that can affect people just as negatively. Phrases like, “You should eat more” and, “Those look like chicken legs,” do not inspire and motivate, a common misconception by those who choose to say such things. On the contrary, phrases like these bring down people who might be suffering from eating disorders or other mental issues, making it even more difficult for them to survive in our society. Therefore, it is crucial for us to think about the possible effects of what we say since our words can inflict pain on others, even if we don’t intend them to. 

This is something that our society has been suffering from and the more we are willing to have a conversation about it, the more we can raise awareness and rise above the bullying.

This pandemic has already triggered elevated rates of anxiety and stress as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), so being kind to each other, regardless of any ongoing circumstances, should not be difficult by any means, and just like Bestselling Author Ron Hall once said, “Together we can change the world, just one random act of kindness at a time.”

Words are far more powerful than we can ever fathom and that’s why we, as a society, should strive to create a healthier and safer environment, one that does not tolerate discrimination, rape, or any other type of violence and abuse, issues that we must face together as a society. 

WE SAID THIS: Choose your words wisely.