Throughout our lives, we try to fit in with others and follow the standards that are created in our society. But other than being taught to follow the societal standards, we should be taught to do what makes us happy, not care what others think of us, and create our own standards.
One of the societal standards that some people hold themselves to is the concept of body image. Because of societal body standards, some people have tried to have a thinner stomach, thighs, arms, and any other body part that they thought may be seen as unattractive because of its size.
Some were even bullied in school because of the appearance of their body. Whether it be by family, friends, or even complete strangers, people think that their opinion on other people’s bodies is relevant.
From elementary to high school, some of my friends, and even some family members, felt the need to bring it to my attention if I were gaining or losing weight. Because of their comments, while I was starting high school, I began to exercise frequently, not to be healthier, but because I wanted to look good. Then, I realized that I was exercising because of what other people would say and not for myself.
I slowly stopped exercising, and I gained some weight. I was unhappy with the way I looked. I refused to wear tank tops and other clothes because I thought I looked gross.
At the start of the shutdowns due to the pandemic, I stopped exercising completely, and since I am at home more, I started eating more.
Then, I began to gain more weight. At first, it made me very sad, but then I realized, with the help of many body positive influencers, my beauty and worth is not defined by the number on the scale or how my body looks.
I decided to change. When I looked in the mirror, I no longer picked out every little flaw regarding my weight or how big my body appeared. I began to look in the mirror and tell myself things like, “I am a little chubby, but that does not diminish my beauty,” and I would constantly remind myself that I am living for myself and not to please other’s body standards.
One other thing that individuals should focus on is the capabilities that they possess. For example, if you are a current body shamer, other than focusing on someone else’s body, focus about the things that they can do and the goals that they will achieve in the body that you are judging.
If one has a negative perspective on their body image, it can lead to health issues and an unhealthy lifestyle, according to the Better Health Channel.
For some people, changing how they feel about themselves and their appearance is not easy, but one thing that I constantly remind myself is that everyone is not supposed to look the same, and we were not created to look the same.
But unfortunately, in 2020, I have noticed a different type of body shaming. On TikTok, I have seen various challenges that were made to measure someone’s stomach, and as an adult, it upsets me to know that people are creating these challenges and that young children are out there trying to accomplish them.
Because body shaming on social media apps, such as TikTok, is becoming more common it would be nice if once a video is reported for any offensive content, even body shaming, the entire account should go under review and if the creator published any other content like that their account should be banned.
“Women and adolescent girls regard size, much like weight, as a definitive element of their identity,” according to the Center for Change website.
Body shaming has become so common that individuals hold themselves accountable to fulfill these standards that are created.
The sad truth is that it’s no longer just women and girls who face this challenge, but now young boys and men.
“Poor body image is most often associated with girls, but boys suffer from it, too. They can feel as though they don’t have enough muscles or six-pack abs, or that they aren’t tall enough,” according to the Family Doctor website.
But, regardless of age and gender, we should not be worrying about how our body looks. Other than worrying about the appearance of bodies, think about what they can do.