Breaking The Body Shaming Cycle: A Tale Of Two Women

Tale of Ayesha

Ayesha was a hefty girl. From childhood, she was a little more “healthy” than the rest of her peers. Though she was like every other child- enjoyed running, playing, cycling. Also, she loved eating sweets and enjoyed occasional junk foods, but those enjoyable treats were visible on her body. These common habits are quite normal in all children, but these habits had a punishing effect on her.

When she started her higher education in college, things started taking more dramatic turns. Although she was 60-61 kg, she was funnily insulted for taking too much seat on the bus, being called a bouncer for her pretty-looking friend who used to be with her and so forth. In all these bullied comments her male peers were the ones who sneered at comments behind her back. These comments never encouraged her to face the stage during college festivals and tarnished her self-confidence to be a public speaker. Her talents were visible as the topper of the college, a great writer -overall a proficient person in hiding.

But she was a warrior-she was body shamed her whole life, but she was always ready to give back answers. So, what if she succumbed to her cravings and that showed on her body? It’s none of their business.

She never had extreme desires to eat, just the normal ones like everybody else, then what was the reason that the junk food hugged her tightly around her tummy and waist?

Tale of Shweta

Shweta was not always overweight, but after hitting puberty, her body changed drastically. Now, being a successful manager in an MNC did not protect her from being funnily insulted by her colleagues. But here she learnt a coping mechanism. Instead of feeling insulted she rather started accepting their insults and laughed out loud. She even started insulting herself before anyone could comment on her. She became like “Bharti-the comedian” who insults her own body in many of her comedy acts.

Like Ayesha and Shweta, many women do not fulfil the beauty standards of our “so-called society” because of their bodies. In both the above-mentioned cases, who do you think is following the right approach? Ayesha lashes out at her bullies or Shweta who accepts and learns to demean herself.

What do statistics say?

According to the National Family Health Survey of India 2019-2021, the percentage of obesity among women in the 15-49 age group is 22.9 %, whereas among men is 20.2%. The high risk of the waist-to-hip ratio being more than 0.85 % among women is 56.7% whereas among men 47.7%.

Why women are more prone to being overweight than men? There are several factors other than diet that contribute to this:

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Hormonal effects- Women’s bodies produce estrogen hormone which tends to hold the fat in the body. Women undergo hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy and menopause which bring a drastic effect on their bodies.

  1. The difference in body composition-Women naturally has a higher proportion of body fat than men due to differences in hormones, genetics, and other physiological factors. In general, women need a higher percentage of body fat for reproductive functions, including menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and lactation.
  2. Cultural and Societal factors– Fewer physical activities are mainly because of the cultural and societal factors where women are considered to be the caregivers of the family limiting them to have a personal time or routine for mental and bodily health. From a very young age, they are trained to prioritize taking care of others rather than themselves.
  3. Psychological factors- Psychological factors like stress, anxiety, lack of sleep and low self-esteem are the major causes of emotional eating as well.
  4. Difference in metabolism rates – Metabolism is the process by which the body converts food into energy. On average men tend to have a higher metabolism rate as well. This is seen due to hormonal differences. Women’s bodies produce more estrogen, which can affect metabolism by increasing insulin sensitivity and promoting fat storage.


The above factors indicate that if a person is overweight many factors lead to it. Overweight people are always judged as “Overeaters”. Instead of understanding the psychological scenario these people are shamed and looked down upon as some outcasts of the society. Hence, society divides into an “obese ”category and one “slim trim” category.


So, if you come under the “obese category” be ready to give back to the people who have always underestimated you leading you to live a hidden life. Give them answers, spread the word, do not take insults on your face. Be the bold and beautiful one who knows to stand and face criticism rather than a person who has sleepless crying nights. Being fit and healthy should not be considered by the measurement of scales but rather measurement of mental peace. Keep yourself fit and active for yourself.

To those who are bullies and find it funny when they see an overweight person, here is my robust reply to them. “Stop body shaming. You have no right to criticize and bully a person for how they appear. Making fun of them, bullying them, or passing obscene comments upon them may be pleasurable to you but you are tarnishing that person’s self-confidence and mental health. People with low thinking should be mind-shamed.

No one is perfect in this world and people should show empathy towards one another. Instead of bullying these people, helping them to overcome their weaknesses will be more rewarding to your as well as your friend’s conscience.

It’s high time that we reflect on our behaviour towards one another and make amends. We never know who might face a similar problem in the future.

Do let me know in the comment if you have ever faced body shaming and what was your coping mechanism.


About the Author

Ambika James Sasi

Hi, I'm an Educator turned Content creator. Currently, I have taken a career break and taking care of my children( 8yrs old daughter, a 4-month-old son). Want to be an independent entrepreneur read more...

1 Posts | 31 Views

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