Pope Francis condemns body shaming, shares personal experience

Body shaming

Pope Francis strongly denounced body shaming among young people and revealed his past involvement in such behaviour during his childhood in Argentina.

Francis commented on the issue while speaking to university students in Asia via a video link.

The pope was moved by a young woman from India who shared her experiences of feeling embarrassed and inferior due to her weight and body shape. This led to her being subjected to bullying.

“Regardless of you being fat, thin, short or tall, the important thing is to live in harmony, harmony in your hearts … every man, every woman has their own beauty, and we really have to learn how to recognise it,” the Pope emphasised.

Pope admits to bullying

In the lead-up to his answer to the woman, who also spoke of the pressures of social media, Pope Francis shared a personal anecdote from his youth.

“I recall a friend of mine who was a bit fat, and we actually mocked him, I dare say bullied him. We once shoved him, and he fell down,” Francis admitted.

The Pope’s candour continued as he recounted his father’s response to the body shaming incident.

“When I got home, my father was informed about this, and he took me to this schoolmate’s home to apologise,” he said.

In a poignant twist, Pope Francis revealed that in recent years, he had reconnected with the friend he had once mistreated. The man had become an Evangelical pastor.

Sadly, the friend had recently passed away, underscoring the importance of forgiveness and personal growth.

The conversation also touched on the topic of cosmetic surgery, where Pope Francis offered his perspective, “Plastic surgery serves no purpose because its beauty is going to fade eventually.”

To illustrate this point, he quoted the renowned 20th-century Italian actress Anna Magnani, who famously said, “Please don’t retouch my wrinkles. It took me so long to earn them.”



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