Obesity and social life

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Body shaming is referred to as the act of humiliating someone by making unsolicited rude remarks on their bodily appearance. Ideal body shapes for genders have existed throughout the ages, with one coming back in vogue only to result in the others slowly becoming unpopular. While this is uplifting to people of some body type, it is demeaning to the people on the other side of the spectrum. It almost appears as though one cannot be lauded without the other being demeaned. One can even body shame themselves by comparing their body to another person. Obese people in general generally have a worse social life than the normal person due to them being much more prone to being bullied, humiliated or ostracised. Due to these factors, in turn, they are also most likely to engage in similar bullying behaviour. Obesity is generally the act of having excess fat in the body. The main causes of obesity are as follows:
• Excessive calorie intake.
• Poor diet containing high quantities of junk of processed food, eating larger quantities, drinking high quantities of alcohol or fizzy drinks, or eating to feel better from low self-esteem or depression.
• Lack of periodic physical exercise doesn’t allow the body to burn any fat.
• Some people are just genetically more prone to gain weight – this is uncommon but not rare. However, obesity is most likely due to environmental factors and poor eating habits picked up as a child.
• Medical reasons such as an underlying disease such as hypothyroidism or cushing’s syndrome.
• Some medicines taken to cure other diseases such as corticosteroids, epilepsy and diabetes may contribute to weight gain. This includes antidepressants and medicines for schizophrenia.

The use of phrases like “you should put more meat on your bones” or “you should start a better eating routine” are both belittling and still used widely throughout the world. People who fall outside social standards of body proportions face criticism regularly. They’re often called “brave” for getting a gym membership, while a person could work out for a multitude of reasons other than losing body fat, similar to how some people may not be able to work out due to a multitude of reasons. Clothes are often used as objects of criticism for such people. The failure to realise that gain or loss in body fat may come from various factors such as physical or mental health conditions is also one of the reasons why people choose to pass remarks on another’s body.

Body shaming has been attributed as the key contributing factor to several disorders like anxiety, depression and anorexia. Children who grow up looking at photo shopped celebrities on newspapers and magazines try to resemble them and believe them to be perfect, when in reality their body is completely fine. These fake pictures create mostly unachievable standards for teenagers and thus are a cause of degradation of mental health over time.