I don’t have a yoga teacher, but if I had one, he would have wisely advised me not to get carried away by the body images presented on social media.
But in Nepal, the first line people talk about after saying hello to Namaste is a reminder that you have gained or lost weight. Gaining weight is considered okay by a certain class of people and is seen as a symbol of well-being and wealth.
Often times, obese people are teased, mocked for their body size, given a slogan, and repeatedly reminded of how overweight they are. It ends there and there for those who make such remarks, but for those who receive the comments, the residue of those comments remains, accumulates over time, disturbs the peace of mind and interferes with the quality of the talk. life.
The intention behind such comments and behavior is not detrimental.
These mindsets and intentions are passed down from generation to generation, and one way or another talking about increased body weight, especially in women, is now part of our culture.
These comments are sent by both types of people.
The former are those who perceive that they have an appropriate body image. The rest are the ones who think they don’t have a proper body image but are comparatively less overweight and do so to make sure that they are at least not too overweight.
At a 360 degree level, following the trend is the trend in every branch of the planet. There is pressure to follow the trend to avoid the fear of missing out.
Highly applicable for those available on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok as they see virtually a lot of people around the world following the trend.
One such tendency is to define oneself in terms of so-called appropriate body size. It becomes very easy and true for those who fall into the category to stay in the trending area.
For those who miss this, it could be a nightmare if not taken jokingly.
Self-esteem and self-confidence improve with the physical condition and appropriate body size that one perceives.
According to some studies done in the past, men and women who think they have the right body size have better self-esteem. This is more common in women than in men, not only in the Nepalese context, but also worldwide.
The darker side of this would be people who perceive that they are missing the appropriate body size category, who repeatedly start to lack self-esteem and self-confidence during certain periods of life. Such repeated encounter will not only affect self-confidence, but also lead to poor quality of life.
This is very common during adolescence and will continue through various stages, but at different intensities. As adolescence is a time of stress and storms, one tiny little thing about the body that people are keenly aware of could hit teenagers hard. In adults, it can lead to reduced performance at work and can also affect relationships with friends, colleagues and partner.
Being kind, sensitive and empathetic would help.
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes before passing judgment. Whether it’s commenting at a family reunion, naming friends after their bodies, or posting a rude comment on social media, people need to be thoughtful.
Men mostly go to gyms, while girls and women tend to practice yoga.
For a long time, women have mainly been seen doing yoga in movies, commercials and as a result people might have gendered yoga (mythically).
However, there are also men in the community of yoga practitioners. Nowadays, a lot of people are doing yoga and training for social media validation. Posting a photo has been so important that people practice yoga and go to a gym just to post a photo on social media.
Taking a photo of someone doing yoga or exercising and posting it on social media has also helped motivate people to buy a yoga mat or join a gym. It has been a remarkable yet delicate way to motivate people to experience the health benefits of yoga.
Certainly, there are benefits to having a suitable body weight. These are mainly health benefits.
In addition to gaining confidence, the benefits of losing weight are: 1) more flexibility in the body and the ability to exercise and burn calories; 2) The risk of noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes is lower in people of normal body weight than in overweight people.
Not to mention their benefits for mental health. It improves mood, keeps the brain young, increases focus and focus, and reduces anxiety, stress, and depression.
Recently, the standardization of different body images has been an evolving culture, but it is far from erasing people’s perception of so-called inappropriate body images.
People who have internalized this problem should draw attention to this problem and regularly talk about its normalization openly.
It could be a family chat, a talk show, or a class discussion at school. Such a discussion will slowly change our perception of seeing different body images and end the humiliation associated with not so appropriate body image. The end of such a culture will add a spectrum of colors to life.
Normalization of different types of body images should be done by everyone and heard by everyone.
Everyone should show respect to all people, regardless of their body weight. This should go hand in hand with practicing self-love and self-acceptance, which will help you gain more confidence in yourself.
No one is ugly. There is no defined body standard.
We should all try to love ourselves first and be kind to others. Being different from each other is what makes each of us so special in our own way.
Nepali is a public health professional
A version of this article appears in the December 22, 2021 print of The Himalayan Times.