According to WHO, there are more than one billion obese people around the world. As per another study, about 2 billion people are overweight. The menace of obesity is spreading like an epidemic and is linked to more deaths worldwide than starvation. WHO also estimates that by 2025, approximately 167 million people will become less healthy because of obesity. However, in such a world, telling someone that they look unhealthy or are probably obese is considered offensive and termed as ‘FAT SHAMING’.
What is Fat Shaming?
Fat Shaming is the act of criticising or drawing attention to someone for being fat, making them feel embarrassed or ashamed. The term fat shaming, as per urban dictionaries suggest that it involves criticising someone for their weight.
As per common notion, fat shaming is looked down upon as a very negative practice and hence the term ‘shaming’ is being used to denote the connotation. Bullying a fat person is not something that deserves encouragement.
The negativity associated with fat shaming
Shaming is the wrong way forward and makes people feel worse and lowers their self-esteem. As per a behavioural scientist, ‘If making fun of fat people made them lose weight, there’d be no fat kids in schools.’
However, every conversation or comment made on the aforementioned topic may not necessarily be done with the intention to shame. Even the intention of the speaker must be taken into consideration.
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‘Positive Fat Shaming’ may exist
Whenever the food habits or say lifestyle of any kid of the family goes haywire, the first ones to observe and mark that are the closest family members. Being pointed out by family and friends motivates people to either change their lifestyle or induce the required changes.
In most of the cases, the pre-diagnosis by the close family members have resulted in diagnosis of bigger fatal ailments. Suppose, someone starts developing heart ailment or any kind of congestion in the bloodstream. The first one to notice the change in sweating pattern and fatigue would be a sibling, partner or a friend who spends some part of the day with the person. If the conversation begins over fatigue or sweating, it might indicate that the person might be suffering from heart ailment.
In the same manner, if a conversation begins between two people over weight gain and the question and harms of obesity comes into question, the intention behind what is spoken must first be realised before labelling the entire conversation as ‘Fat Shaming’.
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