07 Mar Young People Speak up on how Body Shaming has affected their Sense of Worth
How we feel about ourselves matter a lot in our everyday life. We all have inner insecurities, but in the end, how we handle those deep matters that plague us will depend on how we view ourselves, our capacities and the amount of value we place on ourselves. Our relationship with people and the respect and value we place on them depends on our general well being, and in our dealings with people; we unknowingly give out reflections of ourselves, hence the need for a healthy self esteem.
Last week, on the project, the teenagers learnt about self esteem and the importance of maintaining a healthy self esteem. During the session for introspection, the class was split into team A and team B and were all asked to take few minutes to think and write out positives about themselves. After a while, they were given papers and asked to write out things they felt insecure about which led us to discussing several things written in their papers. Top of the issues mentioned was the way they felt about their bodies and the way others responded to them in connection to their bodies. Some explained that they had been bullied and looked down at. This was mostly common among the girls even though the boys were equally not left out. This session then took us to our next issue for discussion which was on body shaming.
Body shaming is the act of judging, criticizing or looking down at someone based on how a person’s body is. In recent times, body shaming has gotten more attention as this subject has caused widespread reactions, from suicides to depression and to cyber bullying; it definitely has everyone talking about it one way or the other. It has become a universal subject no longer to be ignored. Body shaming is not just practiced in schools anymore. It has become even more real as we hear accounts of adults changing jobs or moving out of a particular area as a result of body shaming. It is easier to imagine that everyday people are the ones who struggle with this horrible issue, but it turns out that even notable people have had to speak up about it as well. Some of the celebrities like Sam Smith, Rob Kardashian, Demi Lovato and Pink have all spoken up against body shaming. Body shaming affects a person’s emotional and psychological well-being.
Before the close of class, there were talks about body weight, breast sizes and other body features. Class polls were taken and the boys were asked if a girl’s breast size or other body features was more important to them than her positive inner qualities and the boys disagreed and said their focus would be on the inner qualities. The girls were asked same, and they all agreed that inner qualities were more important in their assessment of anyone. It is worthy to mention that these seeming insecurities did not come only as a result of how the members of the opposite sex treated them. The inferiority complex on mentioned subjects came also as a result of self comparison even with people of same sex and their thoughts and beliefs on how they fell below standard.
At the end of the day, it was pleasing to see that they had been enlightened and encouraged to focus on things about themselves for which they felt beautiful and positive about, because in the long run, how they feel about themselves will reflect on the choices and decisions they make. The class concluded on the note that success or failure begins from within. It is all hinged upon our self esteem.
Some of the opinions mentioned by team A
Some of the positive things they liked about themselves
Some of the opinions mentioned by team B