Full-figured women are mostly on the receiving end of bullies, as they are ridiculed and called names when walking in the street.
Some suffer in silence with depression, the result of being “body shamed by meanies”.
A local rap group, Hussle Top GDogs, and a film producing company, CA Films, have joined forces to produce a song and short film speaking out against body shaming – especially against women.
One of the rappers, Lizo Simons (19), says he has seen how people suffer from the hurtful remarks hurled at them.
“When you tell a larger woman that she is beautiful, she does not believe you because of what is being said by people on the street,” he says.
“They cry in silence and we want to be their voices because we believe this practice is wrong.”
Twenty-year-old Andile Manqindi hopes the song will change people’s minds on the matter.
“We want this trend to change,” he says.
“Releasing this song and short film is a means of creating awareness.
“e also hope to influence those who are body shamed to be strong, and not let the remarks get to them.”
The film will showcase how victims of body shaming feel after being “attacked”, explains filmmaker Lwando Gxilitshe (27).
“Some people are not even aware that they are hurting people. Body shaming is wrong and we want to stand against it. This film will show real-life stories, and how some victims have even attempted suicide because they think their bodies are not acceptable in the society.”
The effects of body shaming has psychological effects on victims, who could also withdraw from society and become introverts to avoid being seen in public, Gxilitshe added.
“Some even starve themselves to try lose weight which puts them at risk and can even die from starvation.”
Pumlani Mkiva (24), a victim of body shaming, believes this is a good initiative.
“I like the idea, especially that it is coming from men,” she says. This is because it’s usually they who start with body shaming.
“I have accepted my body; the remarks no longer have an effect on me, but it certainly did at first.
“Growing up, people did not want to play with me and called me horrible names.”