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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

Exclusive year-end essay by Shikha Talsania: “There is body shaming under the guise of humour…!”

The actor writes on why bodyshaming is not funny and we should have zero-tolerance policy for it

brunch Updated: Dec 30, 2018 00:44 IST
Shikha Talsania
Shikha Talsania
Hindustan Times
Although fat-shaming comments have affected Shikha Talsania in the past, she has never let those have a long-term impact. Dress, The Label Life
Although fat-shaming comments have affected Shikha Talsania in the past, she has never let those have a long-term impact. Dress, The Label Life (House of pixels)

Everybody goes through body shaming – the fat, skinny, tall, short, dark, fair...the list goes on. Humans are vain creatures, vanity is a part of us. When I was younger it was tough to deal with it, but, as one gets older, you learn so much about yourself and others that you learn how to deal with it. Actually, no, you learn how much of an importance it holds in your life.

It’s not funny

Fat-shaming comments affected me, but they never crippled me. The minute you have an honest relationship with yourself, the world around you responds to it. There is so much more to me then what I look like and I chose to focus on that. The world around me responded to just that. It was an organic process. I’ve handled it by not focusing and giving all my energy to it. I work everyday to have a happy and healthy mind, heart, body and soul. I’ve been a working actor for a few years now with films like Wake Up Sid (2009), Midnight’s Children (2012) and Veere Di Wedding (2018) and have walked the ramp on multiple occasions. I think that says it all.

“You will be judged for your heart and actions, not your body. Be the best you!”

There is body shaming under the guise of humour in mainstream media. It exists in the playgrounds, in our homes, on social media – it’s everywhere. It’s so ingrained in us that sometimes we don’t even realise that we are the perpetrators of body shaming. But there is hope! We are living in a time where, as a collective, we are getting aware and there are so many who are working towards challenging preconceived notions, stereotypes, labels etc. I refuse to answer about trolls, as by reacting to social media trolls we are just giving unnecessary noise attention, which is counterproductive.

We are living in a glorious time where we are challenging things like unrealistic body standards. It’s a slow process, but it’s steady and going strong. It’s our responsibility to recognise what’s holding us back and change the same. We have to keep the conversation alive.

Keep talking about it!

To all you young ones, regardless of your gender, accept yourself first. Love yourself first. Our bodies will keep changing. What you look like is not the be all and end all. You will be judged for your heart and actions at the end of the day, not your body. Be the best you!

Lastly, there is this great quote I chanced upon, “People who judged her by her looks alone, missed her, completely”. Your loss buddy, it’s going to be 2019 soon, catch up!! There is so much to experience in the world rather than commenting on just what people look like.

As told to Veenu Singh

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Follow @VeenuSingh12 on Twitter

From HT Brunch, December 30, 2018

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First Published: Dec 29, 2018 23:53 IST

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