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Body Image has been the topic and the main idea of discussion amongst different people all across the globe. There have been different ideas, points of view, and opinions about the certain topic that have formulated throughout the years. This has become quite a delicate subject to talk about for some individuals. But in countries such as the United States of America, wherein liberation and freedom of speech is something the people hold onto strongly, a lot of people have been speaking up and standing up for people who have been criticized for their body image.
It is due to the fact that often times; people become a target for ridicule and harassment due to their body.
In an article by Amy Guard (2018) for UNILAD wherein they had interviewed psychologist Dr. Jenny Cole from Manchester Metropolitan University and she said: “Body shaming is extremely complex.” Here she said that one cannot simply tell how healthy a person is based on how they look on the outside and that it is immensely an ineffective thing to do because it then leads to poor body image.
Aside from normal citizens, celebrities such as The Kardashians or even models such as Gigi Hadid have experienced being body-shamed by social media trolls wherein they are told that they are either ‘too fat’ or ‘too skinny’. But these celebrities have used their platforms to speak up about the body-shaming they have been receiving. And there are even plus-size models such as Ashley Graham or even Tyra Banks who continuously fight against body shaming.
According to the Office on Women’s Health, it is said that in the United State, many women have a negative body image which could put them at a higher risk of having mental issues. That is where the subject of Mental Health comes in. There are multiple campaigns for mental health awareness in multiple countries but mainly in developed ones. Through the years, a lot more people are trying to bring mental health into the light a little more and try to educate a whole lot more people, especially those in developing countries.
Here in the Philippines, people have made quite a little progress when it comes to the acceptance of body image. Most Filipinos look up to celebrities with fairer skin, a narrow waistline, and with more Western facial features. More often than not, Filipinos are more critical about the weight and skin color of other Filipinos. A lot of Filipinos ridicule each other for their body image although there have been a lot more people these days that have become open to all different body types and try not to just follow a mold the society has set for them. But even celebrities are not immune to body shaming from people. According to an article for Inquirer by Nina Guno (2018), there was an interview with Broadway star and now a judge of The Voice Philippines, Lea Salonga, wherein she said that she has been a victim of body shaming as well. Even to the extent of being told face-to-face throughout her career that she was fat. She proceeded to then go to Twitter to speak up and tweet with “#NoToFatShaming” and “#FatShamingIsNotAcceptable”. Lea Salonga also stated that fat-shaming only exacerbates one’s insecurities and that body shaming is a form of bullying. This leads us to mental health. The World Health Organization said that over 6 million Filipinos are known to be suffering from mental illnesses mainly anxiety and depression.
The researchers believe that in the Philippines, people are more conscious of their body types and their physical features which could put these citizens especially the adolescents at risk of developing mental illnesses. Through this study, the researchers aim to provide better insights regarding growing issues with body image and the mental health of adolescents
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