We all have insecurities in life. Some of us are not satisfied with our job, some are afraid of public speaking, while some are insecure about their bodies. We know that feeling insecure at times is absolutely fine and perfectly normal, but when you only feel insecure from the time you wake up in the morning till the time you hit the hay, things get worrisome. Especially when it becomes dangerous to the extent that one may end up taking their life.
Our education system is such that we are only taught how to score in an IAS exam or how to acquire job-friendly skills to land a job in some reputed organisation, but we are never taught how to deal with real-life issues. When I was in school, I was overweight and always felt insecure about my body, but what I realise when I look back at that time is that being body-shamed not only made me insecure about my looks but also affected my mind and thoughts. I wasn’t able to think clearly or make even small decisions in life, let alone the big ones. That insecurity completely ruined my teenage years.
The funny thing is that I was bullied by the people who were close to me, including members of my family and my friends, which made me hesitant to reach out and make more friends. Throughout my teenage, I only had 3-4 friends until the point when I lost all the weight and became a lot more confident in my approach towards life.
But recently, I had a realisation about something that we speak a lot about on social media but do very little. I was only insecure and was made fun of due to my weight and body, which is changeable, but what about the people who are bullied about the aspects of their life which they cannot change?
Recently, a girl I knew died by suicide because she was short and was made to feel insecure by people in her day to day life. I am ashamed to say that even I, a victim of body-shaming, made fun of her behind her back—without realising what she might be going through.
Isn’t this what we do every day? We bully people, laugh at them and comfort ourselves that we are just joking around. We don’t realise that our ‘innocent’ jokes can tear a person apart from the inside. We need to learn the importance of words which we utter without thinking twice. We might be joking, and we may really love the person we are poking fun at, but those few words can make a huge dent in a person’s confidence which may result in depression, anxiety or even suicide. And then you won’t be able to forgive yourself just like me.
It is our responsibility to tell our people where they need to improve. For example, if someone is carrying body fat, tell them to go on a diet, or it will cause them health issues. If someone had a breakup, tell them that they are loveable and they will find someone who will love them. But we need to tell them in the best possible way—without hurting their self-esteem.
There is a reason our country tops in youth suicide cases. And we all know the reason, and now, it’s time we start addressing them. We need to change our education system because that is the root cause of our problems, and remember, if you are breathing, other things matter very little.