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The Effects of Body Shaming

by Semita Chowdhury


Women are strong, capable of leading the charge, and versatile. We deserve to be empowered as life can oftentimes present obstacles. On a daily basis the average woman may look around and observe some semblance of what body-positive as a bonafide physical appearance exhibited on particular social media platforms. This leads us to ask, what does it mean to be real? Real means being able to be free and different. Real means accepting the conditions of expressing who you truly are without bias. We need more encouragement for realness.

Young girls growing up in this digital age spend a lot of time utilizing social media. They scroll hours and hours on their Instagram spotting celebrities with hourglass figures inevitably idolizing their pop culture lifestyle: tiny waist, enlarged hips, big thighs and no belly fat. Then there are the Kardashians’—an affluent family powerhouse with billionaire lip kit Kylie--who post about going to the gym and promoting their fitness only to imply that they got their hourglass body from working out naturally. However, it is safe to say the credit should be going toward their surgeons. There is nothing wrong with body augmentation, if it makes you happy then that is enough reason. What is out of line is to tell young girls that it is natural. Girls as young as eight years old who look at that one tiny roll on their stomach and begin developing insecurities. They further go on to asking themselves questions like, “Why don’t I look like that?” All in all they compare their own bodies to what is promoted as social standards, which misleads many into thinking they are too fat or too ugly. Here we say, the truth needs to be shared in hopes that women and adolescents do not grow to self-loathe. The message should be to allow girls to understand that there is no universal body type that is the most beautiful. If we can make this change, we will have happier and more confident women uplifting one another.

How can we do this? We can begin by leading the charge necessary to change the stigma that only skinny Caucasian women can be models. We need variety. We need to see people who look like me and you up on stage so young girls can have authentic role models. We need models of all shapes and sizes. We need to promote diversity. Make trendy, fun, and sexy fashion styles for a wide range of sizes and shapes. The goal is to show veritable women on the runway so women can establish a sense of relatability. Being able to relate to your audience has an enormous impact on your ability to influence them. If we can produce more body positive youth, we will ultimately have more fearless adults who can bring positive development into the fashion world which is exactly what we need.


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