Societal and cultural norms are teaching young people to associate their body size with success, or lack thereof. Photo: Alamy

Fat shaming in Asia has to stop – it’s time parents and teachers changed their attitudes towards weight

  • Young women in Asia are under pressure from family and society to look ‘thin and dainty’. Some go to extreme lengths to have the ‘ideal’ body
  • Habits formed in adolescence have long-term implications for mental and physical health, so it is up to family and teachers to set the right example
Topic |   Health and wellness

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Societal and cultural norms are teaching young people to associate their body size with success, or lack thereof. Photo: Alamy
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Steph Ng

Steph Ng

Steph is an undergraduate majoring in psychology at Duke University in the United States. Having grown up in Hong Kong, she is particularly interested in cross-cultural differences in eating disorder symptoms, development and treatment. She is currently writing an honors thesis exploring how conflicting expectations regarding eating behaviors and body shape in Chinese culture may contribute to disordered eating in Chinese adolescent women. Outside of school, she manages bodybanter.com, an online platform that empowers young people to redefine their relationships with their bodies through exploring diverse perspectives and engaging in advocacy projects. In her free time, she can be found listening to audiobooks, sweating with her Crossfit community or scouting for the best sushi restaurants in town!