Body Shaming

imageHave you ever wondered how often we are told to change our appearances?
Social media and magazines offer daily tips on how to lose weight “instantly” and hide our “flaws”. And if we don’t conform to this habit of weight losing and getting rid of our “imperfections” we ourselves become a target of body shaming because our society prefers individuals with slimmer, thinner, and well sculpted bodies. Surfing the net for this topic I found different definitions and meanings…some will just complicate the topic itself so I’ll just use my definition ( similar to others tho) which I got through my experience with body shaming. Body shaming is making mockery of people’s body size…making them feel less beautiful and not too good to appear in the public. Or better still when our body sizes do not match the society’s idea of a perfect body shape.
Another type of body shaming is when people look at themselves in the mirror and say, ” Look how fat my thighs are”, or “I hate my broad shoulders” or “I’m so thin and I hate my slender neck”. In this regard no one criticizes us but we choose to look down on ourselves searching for “imperfections” in our body sizes.
I was preparing for my post utme exams in OAU, so I stayed with my cousin. She lived in one of the popular and posh hostels around Oau campus then….I could say I was chubby then…pretty face and all but my beautiful face didn’t stop a friend’s boyfriend from referring to me as “fat and round”. This made me so sad and I became ashamed of myself and I had to hide myself from him, his supermodel girlfriend and the other hostel mates…I couldn’t even make friend with ‘Toni the guy I admired so much then. I thought everyone sees me as the “fat and round” girl….the others didn’t actually bother about it then. I met another girl there too, a bit big, and we become “reading partners” and friends too-we ended up studying the same course tho. It’s funny now that my friend turned out bigger than me. Getting into Uni life’s got easier and nicer….no more body shaming. Not in my presence anyways…it could have happened behind my back. My Uni days were normal and I didn’t even try working on the said “fat and round” me. Maybe I felt threatened a bit then. I just lost the weight as I moved on with life.
I found out recently that my experience with body shaming isn’t that “deep” or serious when a friend told me all she’s been through. She’s really on the big side… she told me how she’ll have to stay indoor and refuse to step out to avoid being looked at by both the young and old in the streets…they’ll even point at her and make dirty jokes about her body and size… She said they saw her as an ugly art piece which can only be “dirtied” and I know people can do unspeakable and disgusting things to such art piece. Secondary school students threw stones at her… Why is humiliating people funny?
Then she saw herself as a “heated mass”. Conforming to the society’s push she would gladly and eagerly throw all that curvy body of hers away and assume a slimmer body. She determined ever since then that losing the weight will make her acceptable.
For me I never for once criticized my size. No! I did not lock myself up in my room or cry behind closed doors and cut myself. I have my mum and a very close person to me to thank for that. They taught me to love my body shape no matter what.
But then it’s always funny to me how the “slim” people who body shamed me then turned out more “fat” than me now….
People who mocked my body shape then now envy my shape and they still prefer to imagine me in my “then-body size”.
I would share a short story of Snow White and Red shoes…
A normal girl born with extraordinary circumstances.
A princess who doesn’t fit
into the celebrity world of princesses-or their dress size.
She wants to stay true to herself
but Fairy Tale Island is all about looks,
so it makes it hard not to want to be like the others.
In her search for her lost father,
she learns not only to accept herself
but to celebrate who she is, inside and out.
And to let the beauty within-the beauty Prince Merlin falls in love with -shine brighter than anyone else in the land.

Never let a scale define you or someone else!

Till the next…..

24 responses to “Body Shaming”

  1. Nice one dear. i keep wondering why people derive pleasure in humiliating others. It sickens me when i see them hiding instead of fighting back. Keep it up dearie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely !I have always admired your fleshly days though..u know. I hope this piece would enlighten the thicker bodies they don’t need no stress wishing or feeling ashamed of who they are but be encouraged and confident of dem thick piece! Ride on babes!sure of ur tops!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s nice to read a piece like this.
    What I’ve discovered is that those that engage in body shaming actually have a lot they hate about their own selves and want to take it out on others. Petty, I know but it makes them sleep at night…I guess?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. An interesting piece… Had to read it a couple of times to get a full image of the article. This topic touches some fundamental sentiments that has always defined societal perceptions and behavior.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Narcissism is actually a terrible thing and the truth is we all possess a little bit of it in us, if you have ever bullied or oppressed anyone at any point in time just for the fun of it then you are guilty. While that is a terrible thing I think the issue also lie with the individuals, it’s common place to find ‘fat’ people a bit low on confidence, it shows in their carriage, it’s evident in their dressing (they just can’t seem to wear their fit), a lot of the times it’s almost like they just ignore their own body (who is looking at me anyways) no doubt this is due to the experiences they’ve had (the media, school, peer group, even their parents never really help situations) but then it’s kinda instinctual more like a pack knowledge to hone in on other people’s weakness, maybe it is to make us feel good or maybe weakness is just in itself distasteful (just look at how much you hate yourself when you are weak) but then that is it, people will want to prey on you when you show weakness. Who says big girls are not delighting. I once knew a plus sized girl who knew how to rock who she was and damn! Lemme just stop there for appropriateness sake. The law of the jungle says you must be within certain acceptable limits, which if you fall outside it’s either you are worshipped or hunted. If you wear confidence people will respect you for who you are, but if you show weakness you’ll have to meet an Angel to obtain mercy, life is cruel and so are most of those living in it. Obviously being too big comes with its discomforts which is part of the reason why society says don’t get fat, healthwise it ain’t really cool (remember your heart) and for the sake of those who take public transport (I suffered today ehn seated beside two fat guys I was telling the body of the car to shift because it was simply too tight) so you might want to watch it but while you exercise, diet and trim off the excesses, recognize the fact that unpolished and unrefined, gold can be mistaken for dirt, recognize your uniqueness, package you and don’t let anyone put you down. Fight back!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We can not but agree with @ Faith Awoleye’s closing remark “…so you might want to watch it but while you exercise, diet and trim off the excesses, recognize the fact that unpolished and unrefined, gold can be mistaken for dirt, recognize your uniqueness, package you and don’t let anyone put you down. Fight back!!!” This controversial topic reminds one of the popular movie @ Fat girls. The essence of it was to encourage “fat” girls to be more confident and expressive. However, this doesn’t take away the fact that self control, discipline to diets and regular exercises are germane to healthy living. Wonderful piece dear. Keep it up.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Defining yourself with appropriate words and love the type of being you’re says you’re better than others. Never feel shy of being fat or slim, just make it unique.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really enjoyed reading something like this. I am actually doing a project on body shaming because it is a topic that is close to me heart and it always will be. I really look up to people who love to write about stuff that is important to them. I do the same thing if you check my blog

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was wondering if you are interested in being involved in the project as well. People who body shame others is something that really gets on my last nerve. I have zero tolerance for it. Please let me know if you are interested

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I would like to tell you more about it. I’ll email you the information so please send your email to me so I can send you what you need to know

    Liked by 1 person

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