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“You are Fearfully and Wonderfully made.” Body shaming seems to be trending now, but do we ever take a moment to sit and think about the impact it has on individuals, mentally and emotionally? 21-year-old Ankitha narrates her experience of being skinny shamed since her childhood, and guess what? it still continues.

Fat shaming is known widely all over the world. People open up about the way they get bullied because they are “fat.” Have we ever thought about girls who are thin?  Yes, they too go through skinny shaming and they are hurt, mentally and emotionally broken, insecure and lack self- confidence. Let’s take some time off and look at Ankitha’s life.

Born and brought up in Udupi, Ankitha claims that she was always thin. “In our society fat shaming is always considered as body shaming but, skinny shaming is nowhere to be seen in that category. However, it is.” You ought to think that it’s great to actually reduce weight and to look thin, but is it? Have you asked the “skinny” girls around you about how they feel in their bodies?

“Growing up was a challenge for me. Most of my relatives and friends would make fun of me. During family functions and get together’s I would get comments like, why aren’t you eating anything? Are you on a diet? You will surely fly away one day and so on.”

This is a proof that yes, skinny shaming does exist. “I would get teased at the school and even at my college by my classmates and they would call me names like malnutrition, stick, ant and even go to the extent of making fun of my body parts.” Ankitha is 21 years old, and most of her life till now has gone in facing such instances, can you think of what would have happened to her self- confidence or, does she actually have self- confidence anymore? Does she love herself after being judged about her body, that is hers and nobody else’s, does she feel comfortable in her own body?

“When I was young, these comments did not bother me, but as I grew, I realized it wasn’t funny anymore as it lowered my self- confidence. I used to feel low and, I always looked in the mirror and felt like I was ugly. I then began to compare myself with others and that led to many insecurities.”

Ankitha also shares that she has visited doctors and has also tried taking medicines and vitamins to improve her weight. Don’t you think that this is more harmful to her body? And why is she doing this? To be able to get acceptance in the society. To be loved not for who she is, but for how she looks.The society demands a perfect body, but are we as humans perfect? Nobody’s perfect and yes, we do have the right to live life the way we want to. The society’s expectations have hurt many individuals who find it hard to love themselves, who find it hard to accept themselves. One comment can ruin a person to a great extent, so please just before you say something, will you stop and think for a second of the comment and the impact of that comment on the person as well. We have one life and yes, we can live in harmony and spread love. There is really no room for hatred, do you think pulling down individuals like this would lead to satisfaction? Imagine yourself in their shoes. Now, what do you feel?

“You look like a stick, you’re so thin you need prayers, don’t you eat anything? What size are you, a 0?” Let’s get over such an attitude, there’s too much going on in the world, can we help individuals show their true selves and not judge them by their looks. As the saying goes, do not judge a book by its cover.

Ankitha goes through skinny shaming even now and she has nothing to say but, she tells all those people who suffer like her that self- acceptance and self-care is the best way to be able to overcome all that they go through.

-Tabitha kumar

Let’s heal people, Let’s heal the world.

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