Disclaimer: This article is written to spread awareness of the health disadvantages of being underweight and overweight, and is not promoting body-shaming in any way. It’s talking only about health and not appearance.
Body shaming is the concept of humiliating someone by comparing their body to someone else’s and criticising it. I am sure a lot of us have faced this, and it’s not a pleasant experience at all. Whether you’re ‘too skinny’ or ‘too fat’, you should never be shamed for what you look like. And that is why two other concepts rose out of it: body-acceptance and self-love. These two promote the idea that we should love our body as it is, and pay no heed to those who criticise it or insult it, since it’s not their body. Both of these concepts, especially the latter, promote all thoughts and actions to improve oneself and be happy with one’s own physical and mental being.
However, the other day, when I was telling someone how I am eating healthy and exercising because I had started to go over my normal BMI (Body Mass Index), I was blamed for body-shaming myself. This brought me to think: is this what body acceptance is? Is this what self-love is?
Let me be clear on my objective for writing this article: I simply want to spread awareness of the fact that being underweight or overweight is unhealthy. No, I am not saying that because I support certain standards of beauty that the society has set for us, but because it is scientifically unhealthy. I understand if you’re suffering from a certain kind of complication that you’re facing with your body and I mean no disrespect and I don’t mean to offend. But for all the other people out there, hear me out.
Regardless of what being underweight or overweight makes you look like, it has certain health issues tagging along with it. If you’re underweight, you are at risk of being diagnosed with dementia, fertility problems, osteoporosis, anemia and low immunity. If you’re overweight, you can be diagnosed with diabetes, heart diseases, osteoarthritis, fatty liver and high blood pressure. And these are just a few.
Don’t confuse body acceptance with being unfit and unhealthy. ‘Only focus on how you feel, not how you look’ sounds great in the short run, but to be honest, you’ll start feeling pretty bad soon enough if you lead an unhealthy lifestyle. This topic is a taboo, but it’s imperative we understand that while self-loathing is not a good motivation for self-improvement, neither is satisfaction with an unhealthy status quo. Body acceptance nowadays has turned into something that promotes being not healthy.
Go to a doctor regularly and ask them if you need to do anything more to be healthy. They’ll tell you. You all look beautiful as you are, but you may not be as healthy as you want to be.
Don’t allow anyone to insult your body, but do take care of it. Think of it this way: why are you not allowing anyone else to insult your body? Because it’s your body. And since it’s your body, wouldn’t you do just anything to improve it in any way possible? And another thing: since you’re against the idea of someone criticising another’s body because their body is their own lookout, don’t criticise those people either who are trying to get fit (especially fitness bloggers).