BODY SHAMING IN KIDS!
With the festive season finally getting over, Avi was helping his mom, Meera, keep the gift hampers away. When Meera wasn’t looking, Avi opened a box of cookies and polished them off in no time. Vishal, Avi’s father, caught him in the act. He came over and tickled Avi’s tummy.
“My little Golu. What else have you stuffed in that rotund belly of yours? How will we stitch it together when it bursts?”
Meera and Vishal let out a squeal of laughter. Avi wasn’t amused.
“My dear Golu’s father. The last button on your shirt is about to come undone. Our bellies are just the same. How will we stitch it together when it bursts?” Avi stomped away to his room.
Such remarks were getting thrown at Avi quite too often. His parents thought of them as jokes but they made him feel really bad and ashamed of himself.
Later that evening, Avi’s aunt Shilpi and her daughter Myra came over. Everyone was sitting in the living room when Avi spoke to Myra.
“Myra, you are the perfect fit for Halloween. You are so dark and skinny. You will make for a great witch.”
Myra started sobbing and Avi’s parents were aghast. They started scolding Avi.
“But mom, when you guys say such things to me you call them jokes. Even I was joking with Myra.”
His aunt sensed the real situation. She pulled Avi aside.
“Avi, I know how you really feel when someone makes fun of your body. And no one has the right to make you feel worthless. Our bodies are vital for our survival and we should respect them and keep them healthy and fit. Each person is different, just like Myra is different from you. We should respect others just as we respect ourselves.”
Little Avi and his parents finally understood the gravity of the situation. He went over to his father and hugged him.
“My dear Golu’s father. Our bellies hold the love and care of mom. We should do something about our jiggly bellies. We just have one and have to take care of ourselves. If we don’t, how will we stitch it together if it bursts?”
All of them had a hearty laugh.
Body shaming is real. A few inconsiderate remarks could scar a child for life. When children are made to feel worthless and underconfident about their bodies, they start considering looks like the most important thing. Children who are body-shamed are more likely to body-shame others. Instead, we should teach them that their bodies are an invaluable asset that needs to be healthy and fit and not conform to stereotypes.
About the author
Shweta is the Strategic Designer & Editor for News Shuttle. Writing has been a passion with her and she hopes that this endeavour will help kids learn and have fun at the same time.
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Aptly written. As parents we must teach our children to love and respect themselves and respect others also. Looks do matter but only when one is comfortable in one’s own skin.
Very apt . We as parents unknowingly sow the seeds of apprehension and low self- esteem . Am going through the same in my hole and working on it . Shall share the experience