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Neha Bhasin speaking about being fat-shamed and the toxic effects of it shows us why the ‘diet culture’ needs to be eliminated ASAP.
In a recent article in The Indian Express, singer Neha Bhasin spoke of how she was fat-shamed in the early years of her career. She spoke of her early days when she had to sign a contract where she wasn’t allowed to gain even a single kilo of weight.
Neha Bhasin’s social media post read, ‘I was 49 kgs in Viva and I was fat-shamed every day. I am 65kgs here. I put on weight in quarantine and I have never felt sexier. Weight is a number you can change but shaming oneself is damaging and toxic. Sex appeal is not in your body parts. It’s in you.’
Today, fat-shaming on social media often comes into the limelight when a celebrity is trolled through snarky comments on their weight gain or loss. Often female celebrities are criticised for their appearance in real and reel lives. This has made fat-shaming an evident pop-culture phenomenon that doesn’t just target celebrities but also the population at large.
According to Christy Harrison, author of Anti-Diet, ‘Diet-culture is a system of beliefs that worships thinness and equates it to health and moral virtue, which means you can spend your whole life thinking you’re irreparably broken just because you don’t look like the impossibly thin ‘ideal.’
Several research studies have also proven that instead of doing good, this negatively impacts an individual’s cognitive function, heart, and mortality. Meanwhile, it also contributes to social injustice and weight prejudice. Today, several celebrities are speaking about how this diet culture is dangerous for people of all sizes as it perpetuates eating disorders.
The truth about fat-shaming however might not hold true when it comes to the past experience of dieting. An article suggests that it was probably camera vision more than social change or medical knowledge that created the modern dim view of fat.
The diet culture acts as a lens to view beauty, health, and bodies, and colours the judgments and decisions of how one feels about themselves.
Today the weight stigma has become a toxic exposure, like air pollution. The more we breathe it in, the more we put our physical and emotional health at risk. Whereas, the truth is that diet and body physiology are all inherently unique for each of us and we need to stop being trapped in diet culture.
Actor Sameera Reddy, took to social media when she admitted that in her early years of Bollywood, she would pad every part of her body. All this because she felt she wasn’t keeping up with the norms. Actor Jameela Jamil also started a campaign that urged social media sites to stop celebs from promoting posts of ‘toxic’ diet products.
Today more than ever, we need people to come out openly and embrace their true selves irrespective of their body types. Maybe it’s time we start taking small steps towards accepting and promoting body positivity. Irrespective of our background, we need to create a culture that is anti-diet yet rich in a great diet.
Picture credits: Screenshots from Neha Bhasin’s Instagram
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