Body shaming hurts
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Jamaica has developed a very western ideology as it relates to bodies and how people should look, which is that men should have thick muscles and broad shoulders, while women should have a tiny waist with some junk in the trunk.
These ideologies have set our society's standards of beauty, which encourage discrimination against anyone who does not fit into this mould or definition of beauty.
Body-shaming is defined as inappropriate negative statements and attitudes toward another person's weight or size. It can also reach into the discrimination against individuals who may be overweight. Body-shaming, fat-shaming, and other bullying can create negative self-image, destroying a person's confidence.
Instead of holding your head high, you scan the floor because you don't want people to notice you. Instead of feeling beautiful, you feel disgusting, like an alien in your own skin. Body-shaming can also lead to unhealthy habits such as extreme dieting or excessive exercise.
But it's not just one-sided - people who are thin also feel the effects of body-shaming. Telling girls that guys love a woman with curves so that they feel inferior to thicker women is just as bad as telling a woman that she is fat.
People, on both ends of the scale, are becoming increasingly critical of themselves because of the media and society's perpetuation of unrealistic beauty ideals.
Making someone feel bad about the way they look when it is already hard to be comfortable in your own skin is the worst thing that you can do to a person. It has the power to make someone feel unlovable.