body shaming

Body Shaming And Its Effects In Pakistan

“ BETI TO AAP KI BUHAT PIYARI HAI MAGAR THORI SI MOTI HAI, SHADI K BAAD WEIGHT KAM KARAY GINA ?”, THESE LINES ARE THE CORNER STORE OF TYPICAL AUNTIES WHEN THEY WANT TO REJECT A PROPOSAL. “ISAY DEKHO YE LARKI KI TARHAN CHALTA HAI” IS WHAT A BOY HEARS IF HE WALKS CLUMSYLY OR IF HIS HIPS ARE ALL LITTLE TOO BIG THAN A TYPICAL MAN.

 

“You walk by a designer store. A glimmer of sparkle blinds you and you stop for a moment, taking a glimpse of some glorious clothing, instinctively rushing in the store and picking the clothes. You guide yourself to the counter, ecstatic to buy it but you are brushed off saying ma’am/sir this is not your size please come again when you have lost a few pounds”. This is common in the life of a typical fat Pakistani regardless of their gender. Other times fat people are overlooked like they don’t exist because people would rather spend their time on people which they label attractive. And that’s the problem; fat or obese people are often ignored because no one finds there appearance attractive. Being too tall or too short has made us “special cases” in Pakistan.

 

 This stigma of being body shamed (being overweight or underweight, too dark or too pale, or having any imperfection) has made us feel as if our bodies no longer belong to us. These comments are more than just simple words; they administer our lives, they make us clueless and manipulate us into thinking that we are not how we are supposed to be. But enough is enough it is time for us to take our bodies back. 

Toxicity in our society is not just a normal poison, it is hypothetically a corrosive poison that eventually shuts down the entire system of its victims. It targets the brain and subsequently strangles the need to sleep, eat, or even be happy. It makes the victim second guess themselves, their choices, their participation, and even the clothes they wear. The worst part of it is when they try to reach for help they are told that this is normal and that we should change ourselves when that is just not the case. 

The stereotypical perfect Pakistan person is who is tall but not too tall, toned but not skinny, fair but not pale and is not a gift everyone is given by birth nor does many of us develop in our life. If we don’t check all the tick boxes for being ‘perfect’ then we are considered flawed and no one acknowledges that it might be because of a medical condition or the cause of a mental health issue.
Many people recall their horrible experiences, it is not alarming that they have been facing these hateful comments from an age when the only thing in their minds should be games, dolls, and education. Zehra Husayn an MBBS student faced such comments at the early age of 8 at the hand of a PE teacher who spoke behind her back saying “ Dekho moti bhaag gayee( the fat girl ran away)”. Another brave girl recalled how she was called vulgar for the way she would sit due to her obesity. One was told that her grave had to be dug deep so she could fit in it and that the African starvation was her fault(metaphorically).

 

 

Promotion of body positivity is not to be misunderstood as a movement, it is an awareness for more social acceptance and a wider spectrum of ‘perfect bodies’ to choose from because the skin in which a person is born is not their choice but maintaining them is mandatory. By maintenance, it doesn’t propose that people should strive to get the perfect figure or get multiple surgeries. It is to clothe yourselves and prepare yourselves in the best possible way. People like Hadiyya Javed have promoted body positivity by introducing clothing for women from the smallest to the largest possible style as a result of questioning themselves “can’t oversized girls be stylish or fashionable”. 

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