I remember watching this famous comedy show (The Kapil Sharma Show) on television. It was all grand and pompous with celebrities adding to the glitter. The host had an impeccable comic timing but one thing that never got down well with me (and seriously who cares 😀). The host of the show would continuously take a dig at the fellow artists’ appearance. Calling them names like Fatso, Buffalo, hot air balloon, chimpanzee and what not. And he successfully managed to evoke gags from everyone present in the studio and those watching the Idiot box. How sensible was that is my reservation? And sadly bullying in the name of comedy or entertainment isn’t reserved for one odd show. It’s omnipresent almost everywhere.
Movies, Tele serials, advertisements, social media – whatever the form of media or stage it is, body shaming is more and more increasingly used as an entertainment and a marketing tactic.
Even we are guilty of using physical attributes as an adjective to address someone at some point of time (sometimes just to have a good laugh at one’s expense) – that girl with buck teeth, that fat boy, that short man… Whether a human tendency or not, body shaming is acquiring a monstrous form, let’s accept it.
Off late I came across many posts on Facebook wherein picture of a person who is not physically attractive is posted and people are asked to tag their friends who could be sharing their future with them. And beneath such posts, there’s a huge number of likes and emojis depicting how funny people found it. Then there are posts depicting people who have confidently embraced their lives but don’t fit the bill of standardised beauty norms of the society, and that made them unacceptable for the rest. People don’t refrain from unleashing their insensitive side via their mean comments shaming the appearance, from being sarcastic to abusive, they use it all. And ironically this isn’t inhumane but just an “Opinion”.
So what is a beauty as per our “Hypocrite” society which ironically matters to us?
- Lean = healthy, attractive, beautiful
- Fair = beautiful and a shortcut to success
And this very idea of “Beauty” and “Health” is relentlessly propagated by the best thinking heads whom we call creative geniuses or to simply put it – “marketing team”. An advertisement showcases a woman in distress because her husband finds her unattractive because of her weight issues, he feels humiliated to take her out because she is not 10/10 figure. But suddenly she comes across some magic medicine that would turn her life upside-down miraculously. Shrinking inches would widen the smile on her face and infuse lost love in her life. Going by this manipulated definition of both Love and Health, we find them to be very shallow aspects in our lives measured by a common denomination of few pounds or inches.
Such power is the impact of these marketing gimmicks that the number of people willingly investing both time and money in bogus and more importantly hazardous products has seen an unprecedented upward surge which is beyond imagination. Millions taking up crash diets, gulping down protein shakes, omitting carbohydrates completely – all this in the wake of attaining that desirable svelte figure or six-pack abs. And no heed is paid if it’s healthy or not, literally no one cares. I remember a young neighbour of mine died of a massive heart stroke thanks to his intensive but improper workouts and an equally imbalanced# hazardous diet plan. He was hardly 24 years of age.
Why this pain is taken after all? That’s the only way to be accepted and appreciated. We are living in superficial times where looks score over brains and other intangible positives. Bizzare and at the same time sad, do you have a counter opinion? Reserve it in comments.
*An important note: Here I am not supporting obesity or unhealthy lifestyle but the concern should be health rather than just weight management. Weight could be a result of many other complications – genetic, hormonal dysfunction, stress than just binging on junk. Correct diagnosis is very important. But alas! ignorance rules. Anyways, this is leading towards another discussion but the underlying point is body shaming is nothing less than cruelty. Blabbering about someone’s weight ( for that matter any other physical attribute) without having an iota of knowledge about “what’s the real issue is” is simply idiotic.
Do you know why the “plastic” beauty industry thriving like never before off late? It’s the pressure of looking and living the image perceived of you. Especially among women (a clear-cut case of gender inequality) are under immense pressure of not looking their age. Society wants them to be perfect. Wrinkles on the face, messy hair, unkempt nails – nothing is pardonable. Why? Even in the matrimonial columns the requirements for a future bride reads “Fair, slim, Good looking, Educated“. Clearly, education is not the foremost quality sought after. And God forbid if the bride doesn’t fit the bill in terms of “Beauty” she assumes the position of “Centre of Discussion” for every XYZ who claims to be the well-wisher of the family, ironical isn’t it? A swelling business of beauty business ( working against nature) is a result of our fears of being panned for our looks.
What does Body shaming do? It simply kills the confidence, to say the least.
What’s really worrisome? Handing over this hollow and shallow society to our future generations. Bullying in schools and educational institutions with physical attributes as premises is a mirror to what we are training them to be.
Just think about it.
Here’s a video that I came across on Facebook which explains the times we are living in perfectly: