A 22-year-old aspiring fashion designer committed suicide in Delhi and the reason written in her last note was that she took the extreme step because she was a victim of body shaming.
“You seem to have gained weight.“
“Oh wow, you seem to have lost weight! “
These are the two most common comments given by many people these days. I am sure each one of us has either received it or had given this comment at least once in our lifetime.
It is unfortunate to see when people discriminate against each other on the parameters of body size, shape, color, etc.
These discriminations start through Social learning through parents and families. Peers in schools bully fat kids. Media expands this to its own benefit.
Unfortunately, medical conditions behind a plus size (such as thyroid, hormones issues) are ignored. Plus-people are often not considered for responsible jobs, not promoted in any of the advertisements, fashion, are usually not considered intelligent. They are perceived as non-artistic and non-dance, non-flexible, not talented.
The core issue is:
Confidence comes from and is connected to our internal locus of control (Julian B. Rotter social-learning theory of personality). Locus of control is the “degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives.”
If the Locus is external, we look for appreciation from the external world; we want acceptance from people around, and would usually have a lower self-image. An external locus of control is a belief that life is controlled by outside factors that the person cannot influence, or that chance or fate controls their lives.
If the Locus of control is internal, we believe in what we are, accept how we look, and, if needed, would change our life accordingly. An internal locus of control is a belief that one can control one’s own life.
Who influence this locus of control?
Body shaming is usually done by people who want to either:
1. See you healthy (more for parents and family).
2. Pull you down (peers, competition, social media).
3. Challenge you to buy a product (advertisements, products like gyms, medicines, supplements, fashion).
People directly and indirectly, put immense stress and pressure on PLUS people and body shame them without a second thought.
Here’s what we can do as PLUS size to keep ourselves fitter and happier:
1. Stay healthy:
Get your preventive health check and confirm that all parameters are healthy.
2. Check your fitness status:
Fitness is defined as the capacity to carry out a day’s activities without undue fatigue.
3. Be practical:
If your weight is creating health issues for you, please connect with a doctor and take guidance. Talk to someone if you are depressed and reach out to a counselor if needed.
4. Believe in what you are:
Don’t get bothered about what people say. Tell yourself often, “I love myself.” Keep your locus of control Internal (believe in yourself and what you do).
5. Derive inspiration from others:
The world is full of examples like Vidya Balan, Zareen Khan, Huma Qureshi, Shikha Talsania, Bharti, Geeta Maa (Kapoor), Saroj Khan, make-up artist Kritika Gill, hospitality consultant and fashion retailer Tinka Bhatia, and many more. All these PLUS sized people nurtured their internal locus of control and banked upon their talent to make it big in life.
6. Create your niche:
Find and enhance your own talent and showcase it. Celebrate your victories and achievements.
7. Wear your confidence:
Confidence is nothing else than believing in what you feel is right, congruency in your belief, feeling, action, and trusting yourself.
Always remember PLUS (+) is a sign of being positive.