Mumbai: How many times have people passed remarks like, ‘You look fat?’, ‘You don’t have a pretty face?’, ‘You are too skinny?’, ‘A barrel of fries?’, ‘You should wear more make-up to look beautiful?’ If you have come across remarks like these then you have been body-shamed.
A survey has revealed that 90 per cent of women recognise that body-shaming is a common behaviour. Thirty-one per cent of the participants have reported they don’t feel like facing the world, worrying about what people will say over their physical appearance.
A survey of 1,244 women (between the ages of 15 and 65) across 20 cities was conducted by Fortis Healthcare, to gain insight into the attitudes and perceptions of women towards the concept of body image, as well as the impact that body-shaming has on their psychological well-being and at times leading to stress.
Dr Samir Parikh, director, mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Healthcare, says, “In the contemporary world, our perception of physical appearance tends to be significantly influenced by a multitude of factors, including the inevitable role played by the media, peer influences, as well as societal factors. “It can be evidently understood how commonly many of us might experience a sense of dissatisfaction with our body image.
And more so, it also creates a platform which encourages others to be able to judge or comment on a particular person’s body shape or size,” says Dr Parikh. He further said, body-shaming includes acts of sending provocative insults and harassing others based on their inability to match up to the expectations related to stereotypical physical appearances.
“In fact, such excessive comparisons based on media portrayals can also create a sense of social pressure and competition to fulfil perceived demands and expectations of our physical appearance. Such social pressures can often be translated into a form of bullying known as body-shaming,” Dr Parikh added.
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