Fortis Healthcare conducted a survey with over a 1000 women respondents (between the ages of 15 to 65) across 20 cities to gain insight into the attitudes and perceptions of women towards the concept of body image.
It also studied the impact that body shaming has on their psychological wellbeing that often leads to stress.
Some of the findings from the survey state that 90 percent of women recognized that body shaming is common behaviour. 84 percent of participants reported that women tend to experience more body shaming as compared to men. Another 47.5 percent of women reported having experienced body shaming at their school or workplace.
32.5 percent of women reported that their friends often tend to make negative comments about the way they look, be it in terms of their body weight, body shape, skin tone, hair, etc.
Approximately 76 per cent of women felt that the media portrayals of beauty contribute towards promoting the prevalence of body shaming
90 per cent of women believed that films and television shows often do tend to make fun of people who do not conform to the standard norms and expectations.
95 percent women believed that most people do not tend to realize that they indulge in body shaming
Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare said, “In the contemporary world, our perception of physical appearances tends to be significantly influenced by a multitude of factors, including the inevitable role played by the media, peer influences, as well as societal factors.
Given such a context, it can be evidently understood how commonly many of us might experience a sense of dissatisfaction with our body image. And more so, it also creates a platform which encourages others to be able to judge or comment on a particular person’s body shape or size.
Body shaming includes acts of sending provocative insults, and harassing others based on their inability to match up to the expectations related to stereotypical physical appearances, which can be in person, but is also becoming increasingly prevalent through the internet.”
Speaking to women in the city, Avni Mathur, Interior designer says, “ people have been body shaming me from the time I was in college.
I have been very conscious and uncomfortable when I hang out with people and almost all the college years I avoided going to parties, events because people use to call me a potato.
After taking up a job in Mumbai, I realized that, what matters is being comfortable irrespective of the dress.
People in Mumbai are very accepting and that’s when I started accepting myself the way I am. After moving back in Pune, I was finally able to tell these people off! After that, till date, nobody has body shamed me.
I have been fat all my life, from school and everyone called me ‘moti’. Even today, several people call me a ‘barrel of fries, doughnut and so on says Neha Singh, Content Writer. I have been ignoring them all my life and will keep doing it.
I think I am comfortable with how I am and that’s what matters to me and my parents, Singh added.