Pope Francis Condemns Body Shaming, Citing Own Youth and Pushes for Authentic Beauty Appreciation

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In a recent dialogue with students in Asia, conducted via video link, Pontiff Francis sincerely addressed the pervasive issue of body shaming among young individuals, a behaviour he confesses he was guilty of during his youth in Argentina over seventy years ago. He was touched by the story of an Indian woman who professed her experiences of feeling less than her peers due to her weight and body shape as a teenager, escalating to instances of being bullied.

“Every individual, irrespective of their physique – being fat, thin, short or tall, bears importance in the world,” he declared. “The triumph of life lies in harmony, the resonance of one’s heart, for each man, each woman holds their unique form of beauty, and it is crucial for us to learn recognition of this fact.”

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In preparation of his heartfelt response, Pope Francis narrated a personal anecdote to the woman who had also noted the pressure exerted by social media. “There was a friend of mine, a little on the heavier side,” he shared. “We would ridicule him, dare I say we even bullied him, culminating in an instance where we pushed him, causing him to fall.”

Upon hearing of this behaviour, his father intervened, necessitating a visit to the childhood friend’s house for Francis to tender an apology. Connecting with this friend again in more recent years, the Pope, now aged 86, discovered the friend had become an Evangelical pastor before passing away.

During this insightful conversation with the university students, Francis touched on the topic of cosmetic surgery. He denounced the false promise of wielding beauty it suggests, quoting the well-known anecdote of 20th Century Italian actress, Anna Magnani who said “Please don’t retouch my wrinkles. It took me so long to earn them”, as a statement emphasizing the futility of physical alterations as they are destined to ultimately fade.

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