Yes, skinny shaming is a thing and a pretty shitty thing at that.
Popular to contrary belief, skinny people feel insecure.
Aside from what is portrayed in TV shows and social media, body-related shaming is applicable to all kinds of body types. In Pakistan, thanks to our social norms, many people do not have a filter, thus are open to comment on the weight of any and everyone, whether they think they are ‘too skinny,’ or ‘too fat.’ And understandably, leading to more insecurity.
Body shaming comes in all shapes and sizes and being called ‘too skinny,’ is one hundred percent a thing. It falls under verbal abuse and can have life-long repercussions both physically and emotionally to a person and unfortunately, many people do not talk about it. However, fortunately,
Pakistani women have been sharing their experiences on being body-shamed for being ‘too skinny,’ and they believe that enough is enough.
This Pakistani Mom, Blogger and Network Engineer posted an Instagram picture of herself, with a caption targetted to all body shamers, calling them out for calling her, ‘too skinny’ all her life.
Sehar Arshad was clear about not giving any ‘ducks’ to everyone who commented on her body weight, not considering how it would affect her. We reached out to Saher for her view on skinny-shaming and what she had gone through personally in her own life.
And like many other mothers, Saher felt the same kind of body-shaming when it came to her weight throughout her pregnancy.
“Fast forward a few years to my first pregnancy, and I was scared to death of how can I nurture a human being inside me and carry to term. On each monthly appointment, my first question for my gynaecologist was “Is the baby ok? Is he growing well?”. I took her reassuring replies with a pinch of salt though because I never trusted my body enough. And when at full term, I weighed 47kgs and had just a small bump and no extra weight anywhere else on my body, even my mom said, “keera peda karogi”, increasing my fears even more even though I had a complication-free pregnancy.”
And though her one Instagram post may be about her own experience with body-shaming, it is a conversation that is worth having and as we said, contrary to popular belief, a conversation that applies to many.
Earlier this month, a member of the group ‘Soul Bitches,’ on Facebook asked whether anyone had been shamed for being ‘too skinny.”
Two hundred comments later, the conversation around being body shamed was in full swing with a number of people contributing with their own experiences with being body shamed for being too thin.
The conversation also included body-shaming in general and how for some, apart from being shamed for being too skinny, others had been shamed for other parts of their bodies. And pregnant-body shaming? Really? That’s pretty pathetic.
Clearly, this is something that affects people no matter who they are or how confident they are, other people’s words hurt no matter if you know them or not.
One of our writers at MangoBaaz wrote about her personal experience being shamed for being too skinny and how it scarred her with emotional damage and appearance-related anxiety.
In her article, she wrote,
“I was emotionally damaged. I was made to believe that skinny was not beautiful. Skinny was not acceptable in society. Skinny does not make you rishta-worthy and skinny means no babies.”
However, she went on to say, “It’s super easy to make a skinny shaming comment. What we need to understand here is, even a “well-meaning” dietary advice can be considered skinny shaming. Skinny people are pretty self-aware, you know? They know what to eat and what not to. It’s time that we give skinny shaming the attention that it needs. We also seriously need to stop with the “real women have curves” BS! No. It’s not that real women have curves. Real women lift each other up!”
In a place like Pakistan, it is very easy for people to care about social issues in a very specific way. We aren’t the best people in the world when it comes to looking at different perspectives with an open mind. However, with more conversations like this one and thanks to social media, being able to have these conversations has been a big help in bringing out awareness.
We need to have more and more conversations around the fact that body-shaming is something that is so common in Pakistan and worse than that, laughed at. When the woman at the parlour doing your eyebrows thinks it’s okay to comment on your weight, you know we’ve got a problem.
And look, the point of this isn’t to shame the shamers, just a way to bring awareness about a topic that many people may not even be aware of. These brave women are speaking out on their own personal issues and we owe it to that bravery to listen.
Have you ever had experience being body-shamed? Let me know what you think in the comments below! Love you.
Cover photo source: Human Resources Online