*Am I fat? Am I ugly?
Can you see my cheekbones? Can you see my collarbones?
Is my six pack sufficient or do I need an 8 pack?
Is this diet coke?
Can I afford to eat a pizza?
My body is… My body should be… My body can be…
Your body is 206 bones and some cartilage covered in tissues, different types of tissues- areolar, adipose, simple, complex, etc. That is what your body is, that is what your body should be and that is what your body can be.
Body shaming is a trend started to differentiate between what is beautiful and what is ‘ugly’ on the basis of your body. A trend that changes from generation to generation, the ‘ideal type’ changing with the popular celebrities, a trend built on logic as concrete as an infant’s thinking is, a trend as individualistic as African slaves during British colonialism was.
This revolutionary ideology of dissecting beauty down to every fat molecule of your body, down to every bite of food you touch, down to the maximum tensile strength of your ligaments; is an epidemic which thrives in our thirst for ‘acceptance’.
‘Beautiful’ and ‘ugly’, two of the most subjective terms are perceived in the most objective way via this practice of body shaming - if Emile Durkheim was alive, he would be immensely proud in this ‘objective’ world.
Alas! Not all of us are visionaries and body shaming has been getting a huge backlash in recent times. The vociferous denouncement of this trend can be heard in every corner of the society. Started as a part of feminism, this anti-body shaming campaign has picked up the pace and the campaigners are doing their best to make this world a more positive place. Today, we are looking at a world that looks at black as a rich colour and not a stain, curves as an artistic shapely adventure and not a bump in the road, acne as a passing phase and not a permanent termite infestation. To every intelligent being in the universe, this rebellion against the ‘ideal’ is in itself, a beautiful shaping of the world.
However, having said that, as welcome as this campaign is; we are now also looking at an extremist wing in this campaign. While the ‘ideal body’ has been established as a myth, we are seeing advocates of obese and anorexic humans as well. Their wieldy argument plays on popular vote and sentiments. We see obese people coming forward to establish that it is perfectly acceptable being obese and similar is the case with those who are anorexic.
As liberal as a thought can be, the arguments of ‘it is my choice’ lose their balance and fall face first in the ditch of irrationality in this case. It can be your choice to not conform to certain stereotypes as you are a unique individual; you have your own body made the way it is. However, obesity and anorexia are not choices, they are suicide. When your choices gamble with your health, they start losing validity. This is an idea which needs to be understood.
We see campaigns celebrating obesity but obesity is nothing to be celebrated. Your slow death is not to be celebrated, your choice to lead a life with constant health issues is not to be celebrated or get acceptance at the very least. It’s like saying that I have acne but I choose to not wash my face for days. That will not make you liberal and individualistic, it will just make you stupid. If you are obese, you don’t have to starve, you can exercise. If you are anorexic, you NEED to eat.
On the other hand, we have our dear ‘body shamers’ who very cleverly confuse obesity, anorexia and sorts with ugliness. One could have glamorous twinkling eyes, yet be obese, that doesn’t make their eyes any less pretty.
Beauty is how you perceive it. However, health is what you make of your body. The two are distinct and immiscible. These are facts as true as your very own existence and the day these facts are understood, the world will genuinely be a better place - a goal in which the real anti-body shaming campaign believes in.
Are you fat? If your weight to height ratio is way unstable, then yes, you are.
Are you ugly? NO!
Can I see your cheekbones? If they were already defined, I do and they look great. If you starved to death to define them, I don’t want to.
Can I see your collarbones? Maybe/ maybe not. Who cares?
Is your 6 pack sufficient or do you need an 8 pack? All you need, is to relax. A healthy human, non-biscuity abdomen, is just fine!
Is this diet coke? Diet coke tastes terrible, so no, it’s not diet coke because taste buds do not approve.
Can you afford to eat a pizza? YES! Pizza is always a yes. (If you have the money for it…)