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Has Anybody Told You That Someone Else’s Body Shape Is None Of Your Business?

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“See how she is looking and how she got dressed. Look how fatty and/or skinny. Hey, skinny girl come here we have leftover food eat it so that you can become fat. Maybe she is eating the whole family’s food that’s why she is fat.”

According to you what is body-shaming? The action or practice of humiliating someone by mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size. Why do you do body shaming? Why do mock other people’s body? Why do you have such interest in degrading or why you people want to show the fatty or skinny people very low?

After Slut Shaming, Deepika Padukone gets Skinny-Shamed on Instagram for her Vanity Fair Photoshoot Picture | India.com
Representative image only.

Before answering these questions let me tell you a small story. When I was pursuing my graduation I used to hear only one thing that you look so gorgeous and beautiful, why you did not have a boyfriend. And some used to say that why can’t you try gym or yoga and try some diet so that you can get the handsome husband or a boyfriend. To all the men and women, answer this question- how do you want to see the other person? Skinny or fatty? If skinny then why do you body-shame them?

I have a friend called Sreeja who is slim and for her height. My friends body shame her too. They joke about not switching on the fan, or she will fly away, or if the wind blows heavily they say that hold her tightly or else she will be blown away with the wind. And they used to laugh at her.

If she is fat why do you insult her? Saying that if you don’t reduce the weight “it’s difficult to find a husband” or” in in-laws house, you have to face the consequence” and it will be “difficult to get pregnant” or many say that the men will not get interested in you if you are fat. All the men in here, this is true, you need not answer my question. Be true to yourself.

Wow, it’s amazing. Enjoyed it, right? In fact in movies and advertisements, they are shown in a negative light. Recently, a commercial on children’s health biscuit/drink showed that two slim kids outsmart a fat one. They ask him to skateboard with two full cups of the health drink without spilling a drop. The fat kid tries innocently but fails. The slim ones take a pack of health biscuit and skateboard making the fat one look like a fool. The idea of ‘fat being dumb’ is being instilled in the tiny minds through these forums early in life. And then they grow up into adults who are prejudiced against fat people.

Times Bollywood Films Fat-shamed Women & Got Away With It
Movies and advertisements love the “fat, comical and stupid” trope. Representative image only.

Being fat is not always by choice. Contrary to the belief that gluttony causes weight gain; in many cases, it is due to hormonal imbalances and diseases which throw the metabolic rate out of gear. That results in immense weight gain. In fact, many are blessed with hereditary extra fat. So does that mean that overweight people have no right to be considered normal with a good IQ?

Mumbaigloss decided to list 15 fat celebrities of India who are intelligent, talented and successful and their “health” and the extra dimensions are part of their personality which they are guiltlessly cashing on. They are the Adele’s and Oprah Winfrey’s of our country who wear their weight on their sleeve. I feel that all men are one. But I don’t want to blame not only men because it’s society says the girl should only be slim so that men will be attracted or if men are fat or skinny.

If they are body shamed or get rejected by women they feel insulted and plan to degrade women or want to show women how low they are. There are some inspirational stories who became fat to fit is Farah Akthar, Anand Ambani who reduced his weight, Sonakshi Sinha- she also got trolled by many of them saying that “she is heavy, when will reduce her weight” when she got slim she again trolled by many saying “are yeh kitna vajan kam huvi hai”( “How much weight has she lost”) same happened with Vidhya Balan.

Bollywood Movies That Tried To Normalize Body Shaming
Normalising body-shaming is not okay. Representative image only.

I felt very disappointed when my loved one said that you are so fat why can’t you reduce your weight so that I can get the interest in you. And we could have spent a lot of time with each other if you are slim. I was devastated and with that stress, I started to eat more and more. Do you know that the food is not what you want to eat? It’s also a coping mechanism. As you lower someone’s self-esteem, guilt and low confidence. Fear plus shame does not bring the change.

If you are degrading the other person with their body it means it’s affecting their mental health which is two times important than the physical. In the statistics, it proved that 80% of the 10-year-old greatest fear is being fat. Many people around me I observed that the people never loved themselves. If I’m not wrong many women live their life to be slim and grab the attention of other.

Finally, I wanted to say that never live the life for others. If you are skinny or fat or obese people never stop trolling you. Being fat or skinny is not by choice. Don’t judge them until or unless you are in their shoes. As we have a quote that says “every coin has two sides”, look into the other side of that person. Put all the trolls aside and move on.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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