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The Art of Body Shaming
What is body shaming?
An urban dictionary defines body shaming as “Shaming someone for their body type.” This honestly didn’t surprise me. The term maybe new but its definition has long been living in our world and within ourselves.
Body shaming as I see it can be two ways; one as a defense mechanism and the other an offense mechanism. Defense mechanism is when we shame other's body type because we want to feel good about ours. We are not exactly that confident about our shape so we want others to feel worse than we do, or we draw our confidence from shaming other’s shapes; we shame them first so that they can’t shame us. It can also be an offense mechanism; it’s when we think highly of our body type, and we want to make sure that others know it. For us it is the only acceptable body type because it is our body type. Our extreme adulation of ourselves compels us to harass others specially those who are most vulnerable.
3 Things Body Shaming Ain't Telling You
- It’s a believable lie!
I even came to the point of allowing it to convince me that people has reasons to shame my body. Why is it so believable? Because it’s ideology is told and believed by the majority! Everywhere I turn, people has these preconceived notion of the right body type. What makes it even more convincing is the fact that it is advertised everywhere!—it’s in commercials, TV shows, movies, music, and etc. With that kind of promotion how can you not be convinced? People with a specific body type are often preferred over those who has a different one. One gets a more esteemed role while the other always end up with a small one. One gets to have all these special treatments and privileges while the other is mistreated and disparaged. It’s disgusting how physically driven our world is getting, but the worst part is that we are allowing ourselves to believe the language that this world has----lies.
It’s becoming a norm!
In all honesty I grew up with such a low esteem because everything around me made me feel that I constantly need to better myself. And to better oneself often meant a pointless pursuit of achieving this capricious idea of perfection that often destroys and distort you; leaving you scarred for most of your life. You see, body shaming is not that always upfront as we thought. It can range from a full blown harassment to as small as a mindless remark. I still remember those times when a person just comes up to me and say, “What happened? You’ve gained weight!” or “Wow! You’re losing weight, good for you!” It made me feel so bad! I can’t quite figure out why they sounded so distressed when I gain weight, and then felt relief when I lose some! I would definitely appreciate it if I was critically obese or if I was recovering from anorexia. But I wasn’t. If I’m going to exercise and eat right I’m going to do it to take care of my body, and not to distraught or appease someone! But then I soon realized that most of those persons probably did not meant to offend me, it can be because this body shaming attitude is slowly becoming a norm. It’s awful how normal it can seem. It’s becoming part of the culture; it’s in our conversations, it deeply affects our perceptions, and it greatly influences how we process.
Everyone is its victim
Your chance at employment, your relationships, and your growth. These are only few things that are direct hits of body shaming. Even if we’re the ones doing the shaming we are still victims of it. We are all victims of the crime we are committing. The crime of idolizing beauty. The more we feed our lusts for perfection and beauty, the more we starve our already dead souls. We get hurt so we hurt. We hurt only to get hurt. We are not satisfied with one vain pursuit so we make up another one!
So let me clear some things up. First of all, there is no perfect body type. Just as the rainbow has different colors, just as different trees bear different fruits, just as every bird has a different melody to sing. So are we humans,molded beautifully and made equally.
But this outer shell has one sure destiny—it will fail. It will get old, die and turn back into dust. What we need to busy ourselves with is what’s inside.
If you are interested to know what matters most in this life please continue reading.
A christian perspective
As a Christian I speak from a biblical standpoint; and I say that this thing called “body shaming,” is a heart problem; just one of the millions that has long plagued humanity. In other words, it is sin manifesting itself, it is sin itself. Envy, hate, lust, pride, fornication; these are our diagnosis. If you don’t want to call it that way then you can call it murder, racism, broken families, theft; call it whatever you want to call it, it remains the same. It is sin and we are sinners. But praise God for giving us not just a happy ending, but an eternal beginning. For Jesus Christ became our atonement, our redemption, justification and salvation—He did what we can never do, he paid our debts, reconciled us to Himself, and suffered the just penalty for our crimes. Isaiah 53 says,
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Ephesians 2:4; 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved
2:8; 8 For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
John 3:16; 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus Christ atoned for our sins and clothed us with His righteousness. We are made and declared “justified” because of His vicarious sacrifice. If you have now been a recipient of His grace then we ought to constantly seek His word as to how to deal with issues like this. To look to Jesus and manifest His glory. But if you have not yet trusted in Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you can repent and believe today; confess your sins before Him and believe upon His name. Genuinely believe that He is the only Savior, and that He alone can forgive you and make you a new creation in Him. (2 Cor 5:17) Kneel before Him my friend, submit to His Lordship.
Soli Deo Gloria