Being Judge(mental)!

During my childhood, I have been body-shamed several times by many of my relatives. However, then I used to be under the impression that this was because I was born defective. Probably, I must be belonging to the genre of girls who were not going to be admired or accepted for their beauty.

As time went by, I began to use more of full-sleeved clothes. This helped to hide my skinny arms, which seemed like a defect that was bestowed on me purposely. I would become miserable when the remarks were hurled at me, especially during family gatherings. I believe that nobody except me would feel hurt hearing all these.

Likewise, I grieved in my little corner. But, after a while, these comments grew when it was time to drape a saree. The blouses that I had to wear made my arms look very prominent. I despised a saree. By and by, matters grew better as I was able to overcome these negative remarks either with a smile or a pinch of salt.

The snide remarks became lesser when I relocated to Bangalore. I was learning to overcome my ‘little defects’ and was building on my confidence slowly, but steadily. I was under the impression that matters and mindsets would change by the time I returned to Kerala, the state with the highest literacy rate. People seemed quite nice and everything seemed bliss, till last week. By now, I had married and had been blessed with two children.

But, now, it was my daughter’s turn to become embarrassed by the remarks of the second generation of those very people who had insulted me. She was lost for words when an eight-year-old child bluntly asked her whether she was wearing a loose t-shirt to hide her supposedly lean body. She took a few minutes to reel back, but the array of questions from the boy were incessant. He kept belittling her, and she tried defending herself, but to no avail.

The entire incident shook both of us considerably. I am lost because I realise that these comments of body-shaming can never end because kids too get sucked up into that vicious cycle, both as perpetrators and as victims. My daughter felt that it was not just the old generation, but the youngsters too, who she needed to ward away.

Why can’t we be polite to people? Why can’t we nurture a generation who makes others feel loved and cared? Why don’t we teach our next generation to be a little less egoistic and a little more empathetic? Why do we have to keep pointing at people and call them names like, “skinny”, “fatty”, “lanky”, “blacky”? Can you please be less judgemental, more understanding and obviously more accommodating to people who might look “different” from your “set standards”?

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About the Author

Mary Binoy

Presently working as an English tutor, a dentist by profession, but a writer forever. Love penning down everything I strongly feel about and create a change in mindset, especially among the youth. read more...

16 Posts | 19,190 Views

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