How many times have people told you that you look fat? You don’t have a pretty face? You are too skinny? A bag o’bones? A barrel of fries? Or you should wear more makeup to look beautiful?
If it had happened to you even once, then you were a victim of Body Shaming. Fortis Healthcare conducted a survey among 1244 women (between the ages of 15 to 65) across 20 cities in order to gain an insight into the attitudes and perceptions of women towards the concept of body image, as well as the impact that body shaming has on their psychological well-being and at times leading to stress.
The Key Findings of the survey are:
90% women recognized that body shaming is a common behavior
84% participants reported that women tend to experience more body shaming as compared to men
47.5% women reported having experienced body shaming at their school or work place
32.5% women reported that their friends often tend to make negative comments about the way they look, be it in terms of their body weight, body shape, skin tone, hair, etc.
89% women reported feeling uncomfortable about their own selves when they read comments about other people’s appearances on social media platforms
28% women reportedly find it difficult to stand up for them when someone criticizes their physical appearance
Dr. Samir Parikh, Director, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare said, “In the contemporary world, our perception of physical appearances tends to be significantly influenced by a multitude of factors, including the inevitable role played by the media, peer influences, as well as societal factors. Given such a context, it can be evidently understood how commonly many of us might experience a sense of dissatisfaction with our body image. And more so, it also creates a platform which encourages others to be able to judge or comment on a particular person’s body shape or size.”
“Body shaming includes acts of sending provocative insults, and harassing others based on their inability to match up to the expectations related to stereotypical physical appearances, which can be in person, but is also becoming increasingly prevalent through the internet,” added Dr Samir.
The survey states:
31% participants reported that they sometimes don’t feel like facing the world because of what people would say about their physical appearance
62% women reported having felt anxious and nervous when people have commented on their looks and physical appearance
19% women reported feeling embarrassed about the way they look
46% women admitted having passed negative remarks or comments about people’s appearances without their knowledge
95% women believed that most people do not tend to realize that they indulge in body shaming
Dr Parikh adds, “Given the significant role of media influencing our perceptions of body image, be it the portrayals in films, television shows or other social media platforms, it is a common tendency for us to form comparisons which may not be realistic in nature, and as a consequence be unhappy with our body size or shape. In fact, such excessive comparisons based on the media portrayals can also create a sense of social pressure and competition to fulfil perceived demands and expectations of our physical appearance. Such social pressures can often be translated into a form of bullying known as body shaming.”
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