A 22-year-old aspiring fashion designer committed suicide in Delhi and the reason written in her last note was that she took the extreme step because she was a victim of body shaming.
You seem to have gain weight? Oh wow you seem to have lost weight?
Are two most often comments given by many people these days. I am sure each one of us either received it or had given this comment at least once in our lifetime.
It is unfortunate to see when people discriminate each other on the parameter of body size, shape, color, etc.
These discrimination start through Social learning through parents and families. Peers in schools bully fat kids. Media expands this to its own benefit.
Unfortunately, Medical condition behind plus size are ignored (such as thyroid, hormones issues). Plus people are not considered for responsible jobs, not promoted in an of the advertisements, fashion, are not considered intelligent. Are perceived as non-artistic and non-dance, non-flexible, not talented.
The core issue is :
Confidence come from and are connected to our internal locus of control (Julian B. Rotter social-learning theory of personality). Locus of control is the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives
If the Locus is external: we look for appreciation from external world, we want acceptance from people around, and would usually have lower self image. a belief that life is controlled by outside factors which the person cannot influence, or that chance or fate controls their lives
If the Locus of control is internal, a belief that one can control one’s own life, believes in what they are, accept how they look and if needed they will change their life accordingly.
Who influence these locus of control? Body shaming are usually done by people who wants to either:
- See you healthy ( more for parents and family)
- Pull you down (peers, completion, social media)
- Challenge you to buy their product (Advertisement, Products like gyms, medicines, supplements, fashion.)
People are directly and indirectly putting immense stress and pressure on PLUS people and body shame them without a second thought.
What we can do as PLUS size to keep ourselves fitter and happier:
- Stay healthy :Get your preventive health check and confirm that all parameter are healthy.
- Check your fitness status:fitness is defined as the capacity to carry out the day’s activities without undue fatigue.
- Be practical: if your weight is creating health disease for you, pl connect with doctor and take guidance. Talk to someone if you are depressed and reach out to a counselor if needed.
- Believe in what you are: Don’t get bothered about what people say. Keep telling yourself ‘I love myself”. Keep your locus of control Internal (believe in yourself and what you do)
- Derive inspiration from others: share example of Vidya Balan, Zareen Khan , Huma Qureshi, Shikha Talsania, Bharti, Geeta ma , Saroj Khan and Ganesh (choreographer), Kritika Gill- make up artist, Tinka Bhatia- hospitality consultant and many more.
- Create your niche:Find and enhance your own talent and showcase them. Celebrate your victories and achievements
- Wear your confidence: Confidence is nothing else than believing in what you feel is right, congruency in your belief, feeling, action and trusting yourself.
Always remember PLUS (+) is sign of being positive.
This article has been contributed by Dr. Swati Chawla, a Psychologist, Wellness Expert & a motivational speaker who has been invited as a speaker by many organisations in the past 15 years. She is also a plus-size model & has won subtitle at Ms India Curvy-Plus size show 2019 by Glamour Gurgaon and has walked the ramp for many brands.