Over the past few months, there have been several prominent instances of body shaming occurring online. These cases have affected individuals across various demographics, including high school students and well-known public figures such as Vietnam’s Bao Anh and Sofia, as well as American singer, Camila Cabello.

Sofia was overcome with emotion and halted her performance after experiencing body shaming.

It’s no laughing matter.

Many individuals dismiss negative comments or body shaming as a mere joke, attributing their behavior to the fragility of those who are affected. However, it is important to recognize the harmful impact such comments can have on people’s well-being.

Woman from Mekong Delta Province Recounts Experience of Appearance-based Humiliation

P.T.H.G., a woman hailing from Kien Giang, a province in the Mekong Delta region, recently shared her heart-wrenching story of enduring humiliation due to her physical appearance with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

In late 2022, G. shared a heartfelt photo on her Facebook account, capturing a beautiful moment with her beloved family. Unfortunately, the comment section took a negative turn when two individuals made hurtful remarks, targeting G.’s appearance and suggesting that she was the least favorable member of her family due to her weight, dark complexion, and acne.

According to G., after reading the comments, they made the decision to delete all the photos they had previously posted. This experience caused a significant emotional impact, leading to excessive crying and self-loathing. Consequently, G. experienced a sense of detachment from their parents and a desire to avoid communicating with anyone, including relatives. The incident also resulted in a significant change in their personality, transitioning from a confident individual to a shy and introverted person who refrained from posting anything on social media platforms.

Singer Bao Anh often faces body shaming no matter if she gains or loses weight. Photo: Facebook Bao Anh

Singer Bao Anh often faces body shaming no matter if she gains or loses weight. Photo: Facebook account of Bao Anh

Recently, there was a widely shared story on social media regarding a 12th grader who sought compensation of VND800,000 ($34) from a photographer for subpar photos. This incident garnered considerable public interest.

Unfortunately, the disheartening aspect of this story is that rather than discussing appropriate conduct, the majority of online audiences chose to disparage the young girl’s appearance. To compound the issue, some individuals went so far as to maliciously manipulate her photograph for the sake of a joke.

Nguyen My Hien from An Giang Province in southern Vietnam commented on the matter, stating that while she does not support the student’s behavior, she also disagrees with the photographer’s reaction.

It is considered inappropriate to share an individual’s photograph on a personal Facebook profile. It is disconcerting to ponder the extent of emotional distress an eighteen-year-old student endures when subjected to body criticism of this nature.

There is a growing trend on social media where individuals feel compelled to comment on others’ physical appearances. Discussions revolving around love affairs or rivalry often devolve into harsh and derogatory critiques of women’s looks. This widespread negativity is alarming and reflects the toxic nature of online discourse.

The Impact of Online Vulnerability

Celebrities and popular social media account holders often find themselves among the most vulnerable victims of online body shaming, enduring its harmful effects on a regular basis.

On June 13th, Bao Anh courageously shared her personal experience of being humiliated due to her appearance. She bravely recounted the ongoing struggle she faces, as insensitive comments continue to impact her emotional well-being, regardless of her weight fluctuations.

“Bao Anh expressed mixed feelings about her ability to keep up with the numerous demands placed upon her. While she acknowledges this reality, she admits that occasionally, these comments do affect her.”

“For me, personal well-being, good health and a sense of tranquility are paramount, as striving for an elusive ‘perfection’ is futile. It is virtually impossible to satisfy everyone.”

In another incident, popular Vietnamese singer Sofia faced a pause in her performance towards the end of March due to body shaming comments and criticism. Overwhelmed by the hurtful remarks, she broke down in tears.

“Sofia took to her Facebook account to address a distressing incident, emphasizing her stance against body shaming. With disappointment, she expressed her assurance that she has never encountered such behavior throughout her singing career.”

Camila Cabello confidently posted sexy photos to fight against body shaming. Photo: Instagram Camila Cabello

Camila Cabello confidently post sexy photos to fight against body shaming. Photo: Instagram account of Camila Cabello

In 2019, internationally-acclaimed singer and songwriter, Camila Cabello, took a stance against the pervasive issue of body shaming through social media platforms. Cabello revealed that body shaming had profoundly impacted her mental well-being.

“I am writing this message for young girls like my little sister who are immersed in the world of social media. They are constantly bombarded with manipulated and edited images, leading them to believe that this altered reality represents the norm. It is important to understand that this is far from the truth. These images are fabricated and do not reflect real life. Unfortunately, this false perception gradually becomes ingrained in their minds, distorting their understanding of what is real and attainable.” – Camila Cabello

We need to challenge society’s unrealistic standards of a woman’s body. Embracing cellulite and body fat as normal and beautiful is a step towards a more inclusive and natural perspective. Today, I refuse to be manipulated by false ideals!

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Nguyen Thi Dao Luu, a lecturer at Van Lang University in Ho Chi Minh City with a master’s degree in psychology, offers valuable insights on combating body shaming.

According to Luu, it is essential to be mindful of certain key factors in order to prevent being adversely impacted by detrimental remarks on social media.

First, it is important to ascertain that there is no individual with the authority to pass judgment upon you.

Building Emotional Resilience Through Self-Love and Self-Confidence

Developing a strong wall of self-love and self-confidence is essential for protecting oneself and maintaining emotional resilience. It is crucial to recognize the significance of cultivating a deep sense of self-worth and belief in one’s abilities.

Emotional resilience is like a fortress that shields individuals from the hardships and challenges of life. By strengthening our emotional walls through self-love and self-confidence, we become better equipped to handle setbacks and overcome adversity.

Self-love serves as the foundation of emotional resilience. It involves treating oneself with kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. By nurturing a positive relationship with ourselves, we cultivate the inner strength necessary to weather the storms of life.

Self-confidence is another crucial aspect of building emotional resilience. It is the belief in our capabilities, strengths, and worth. When we trust ourselves and have confidence in our abilities, we are better prepared to face challenges head-on and bounce back from difficult situations.

Building a strong wall of self-love and self-confidence takes time and effort. It requires practicing self-care, setting boundaries, and challenging negative self-talk. It also involves surrounding ourselves with positive influences and seeking support when needed.

By investing in our emotional well-being and building a strong wall of self-love and self-confidence, we equip ourselves with the tools to navigate life’s ups and downs with grace and resilience.

Instead of wasting your time dwelling on and internalizing negative criticism from others, redirect your energy towards surrounding yourself with positive individuals and focusing on uplifting experiences.

Believe that you are always surrounded by a multitude of individuals who hold great affection and admiration for you.

You can strive to continuously enhance yourself, improve your abilities, and embrace a resilient approach in order to become the best version of yourself.

Do not allow the negative opinions of others to impact your self-worth. You deserve recognition and appreciation in every aspect of life.

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