Watch: 5 women get very, very real about facing body shaming at home
"Nobody wants a fat wife"
“Nobody loves a fat wife.”
“Stop going out in the sun; you just keep getting darker.”
“Why won’t you just go wax off all that body hair?”
These weren’t the entries in an angsty teen’s diary that would soon be converted into a Meg Cabot bestseller; rather, real women on the worst thing a loved one has ever said to them.
Growing up, body shaming wasn’t a term I’d heard, and body acceptance wasn’t a conversation you had with kids at an impressionable age, or possibly ever. The payoff from that particular communication gap is that even before the mean girls can get to you at school, body image issues are steadily filtering into your brain. From the ones closest to you.
Plus-sized blogger Amena Azeez of Fashionopolis.in recalls how well-intentioned complaints from her family members and friends convinced her to go on a spree of crash diets. Baishali Chatterjee, Managing Editor of Hauterfly, meanwhile regrets pandering to the skin whitening cosmetics industry.
“The problem with body shaming from loved ones is that you don’t realize you’re being shamed at that particular point of time but as you grow up, it’s like a voice in the back of your head that compels you to unconsciously conceal your perceived flaws,” explains ELLE’s Beauty Editor Mamta Mody who will never be caught in halter necks, after being constantly told that she didn’t have the shoulders for it.
So what can you do about it? “Don’t live in fear of confronting a loved one because their concern is misguided, but well-intentioned,” urges Gauri Pandit, a mass media student who has quit worrying about the stream of comments about her body hair. “Have the conversation with them and encourage them to start the conversation with kids, as early as 12 years. Puberty can be harsh, and you need to know that they are there for you.”
Change begins with education, it begins with talking about those topics that make us uncomfortable, it begins with acceptance. Watch five women attempt to do just that.
Does body shaming begin at home? 5 real women answer
Location courtesy: Luca Kitchen & Bar, Mumbai. Make-up courtesy: Fat Mu Professional Make-up (Kritika Shetty, Ruchi Gala, Kishwar, Anjali Sen). Assisted by: Amruta Shetty, Trisha Chawla