This world is a masquerade. A brutal and indecipherable one! Everybody around us wears a mask to disguise the actuality of their feelings. We wear band aids all over ourselves and we do so in order to hide the wounds incurred by the closest as well as to heal the scars given by the society.

But in the midst of our fast-paced lives gyrating around this masquerade, do we ever stop for a while and think about all such hearts that we have hurt and about all such deeply hidden wounds that we have incurred? It’s undeniable that such spans of self check are very rare around us because our self-accountability vanishes when it comes to accounting for the mistakes that we have committed by our behavior towards others.

Sadly, the truth is not one that needs to be said nor do we want it to be said because its resonance is a moral burden that our conscience is too feeble to tolerate. It’s hard to absorb that one of the sheerest degree of pain people undergo is neither incurred by swords nor by daggers. It is the pain that is bore into the hearts by the treatment we receive from the world. It’s drilled into our minds by the unforgiving words and cold demeanor of those who surround us. But as a result of our negligence to this pain, the world, at large, has failed to rehabilitate the most hurt of all victims, the victims of social rejection!

It will not be erroneous to call body shaming, an indispensable part of social rejection. Even if the term sounds new, its connotations are not. Body shaming occurs every single time we call someone fat with the intention of embarrassing them, every single time an overweight girl is shunned away by her peers just because of her body shape. It takes place every single time a volunteer is rejected in a modeling audition just because their physique is ‘inappropriate’ for the oh-so-standardized outfits.Even the media adds to the issue when it portrays slimness as a symbol of beauty and ushers in advertisements of numerous methods to become slimmer and ‘hence’, prettier.

Apparently, it seems just as unobjectionable as gravity but underneath the surfaced inaction of this social notion is a whirlwind of voices that want to speak up against this excruciating embarrassment but end up being drowned by the society’s powerful declaration of what’s beautiful and what’s not!
This assertion stereotypes beauty and induces specific yardsticks of beauty in the minds of people. Consequently, those who donot conform to this assumed framework of beauty are considered unworthy of appreciation and being caged beautiful.

But the most generic question provoked by this baseless value judgment is “Who gets to set these standards of beauty?”Absolutely no one should have that right, for it strongly violates the freedom of general public. However, our society has become a tunnel in which all these baseless verdicts echo all the time, shouting hard in the ears of those who do not strike others as appealing by their looks and demeaning them in numerous unimaginable ways.

Tortured by words, persecuted by embarrassing glances, oppressed by rejections and disgraced by doors of opportunities shut at their face, these victims are crippled by a battle waged within themselves. This battle prevails between who they are and who they ‘should’ be. This inner struggle fades away their motivation and aspirations. They are compelled to question their own abilities and think less of themselves. A labyrinth of self doubt, it becomes. The impacts of this stereotypical tyranny are manifested in a lot of tangible ways as well. These individuals lack self confidence which generate a vacuum in their personality building, professional life as well as academic performance. Complexes and fear of being shunned away, generates engulfs their ability of socialization and through that, paves way for isolation and introversion. All these setbacks are destined at eroding the present and future of the youngsters of our society because the mindsets of teenagers are very vulnerable to being molded by societal dictation.

Teenage girls starve themselves in order to lose body weight and in the midst of this ‘dieting’, they deprive themselves of extremely essential nutrition which then harms them physically.Such cases can perverse to become anorexia, a disease which is becoming very common in teenage girls and is a strong testimony to the brutal impacts of body shaming.

All these notions should sum up to make us realize that the flaw is not in anyone’s physique, it’s in the perspective of the people around them. Hence, judging and categorizing people based on the shape of their body is not just an ideological flaw but also a social evil that continues to secretively ruin the youth of a lot of our youngsters The need is to sensitize our morality and conscience in order to negate body shaming and to uplift all those who have been targeted by it because body shapes and weights are not meant to be despised and beauty can never be caged in how we look!!

Malyaka Imran 
Beaconhouse School System
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