In this article, we will know what is body shaming and ways to deal with body shaming. Body shaming has become a common occurrence for both men and women. Whatever the size of the body or appearance or color of the skin, or the shape of the body, people can still experience this kind of bullying. Even scars or stretch marks can be used to shame someone.
It can happen online as well as offline. It’s harmful and can adversely affect the health of an individual’s mind. Body shaming is a type of bullying in which a person is judged on the basis of how they appear. Most often, a person is victimized for being overweight or underweight or not meeting society’s standards that they should be “thin and beautiful”.
The repercussions of these comments can be humiliating and devastating that can impact the self-esteem of a person. It could lead to anxiety and depression. The negative remarks of others can cause you to feel embarrassed about yourself. Nobody deserves to be judged solely based on their looks. What can you do? How to deal with body shame?
What is Body Shaming?
Body shaming can be defined as an act that involves making unintentional and negative remarks regarding someone’s size or weight. It is often an issue that people who are overweight are subjected to; however, there is an increasing trend of criticizing people who appear ‘too thin”.
Body shaming in this decade has become a more common problem. It’s found in school, newspapers, magazines, television shows, movies, conversations between friends, on the Internet as well as social media websites.
No one should live in a place in which people are made to feel ashamed about their body by people around them, especially since people tend to be conscious of their appearance.
Body shaming is a serious issue, regardless of whether you’re doing it to yourself or another person, and could lead to mental health issues.
How to Recognize Body Shaming?
In order to deal with body shaming, you need to recognize if it’s happening to you. It will make things easy to overcome, avoid, and deal with body shaming. Obviously, someone saying “You have gained weight” or “You’re so skinny, you need to eat more” are upfront and most hurtful forms of body shaming.
How Can Body-Shaming Affect a Person?
Body shaming negatively impact people in numerous ways including-
- Low self-esteem
- Eating disorders like Bulimia
- Body image disturbance
- Body dysmorphic disorder
How to Deal With Body Shaming?
It doesn’t matter if it’s fat-shaming or body shaming it’s one thing that’s clear no one should be judged or embarrassed by how they appear. Only one body is yours that you are responsible for, and you need to take care of yourself. People will always have opinions. You can’t satisfy everyone.
It is not possible to live your life according to society’s expectations of you, live by your own rules, and cherish yourself. It is important to learn to feel confident about yourself because you’re worth it. Here are helpful suggestions to help you deal with body shaming.
1. Body Positivity is Important
The first step towards overcoming body-shaming is to be positive about your appearance. Body positivity is about acknowledging and accepting that feeling happy about yourself is crucial to your mental well-being. No matter your appearance, you should be happy. Take pride in your health. Be grateful for the things you have, not the things you’re lacking.
No amount of therapy will help you if you don’t feel confident in yourself. Let go of worrying about what your peers think. Enjoy your body regardless of your imperfections. There is no perfect body, no one is perfect, and you need to feel comfortable with your body.
2. Acceptance your Body and Stop Hiding
It’s heartbreaking to learn that those who suffer from body shaming are often ostracized. They can be isolating themselves, covering up their bodies, or prefers to be ‘invisible’.
It shouldn’t be that way. Life is too short to stay within the darkness. How do you live your life to the fullest when you are constantly worried about what other people will think?
Don’t let this go to your head, and start accepting your body. Stop hiding! If there are circumstances that cause you to feel uncomfortable, make small changes to get over this.
Should you limit yourself and the things you are allowed to do due to body shame? NO! Make small steps and notice what you feel about the scenario. In time, you’ll overcome your fears and will be able to stop hiding.
3. Take Responsibility and Accountability
You must be comfortable with your appearance and feel proud of it regardless of the circumstances. But, you should also be open to something wrong in your body.
The trick is to find the right equilibrium. A few, but not all, might make comments motivated by a positive heart and without ill-intent; however, they could be perceived as snide remarks.
But you need to consider whether they’re coming from an area that is a source of anxiety and wish to do the best for you, specifically your parents. For instance, weight gain is a sensitive subject. It’s off-putting being called fat and, yes, it’s body shaming.
But what happens if there’s an actual issue? As we’ve seen that this could lead to overweight. Also, obesity increases the chance of developing illnesses such as heart attack or diabetes.
To do this, you must take responsibility and be accountable. It’s, after all your health and well-being that’s on the line. Therefore, if you’re willing to make a decision, take it for your own health. Remember, looking good equates to feeling good as well. It doesn’t matter if you’re slim or fat; you only need to be healthy.
4. Self-Love: Be Kind to Yourself
There are plenty of bullies around all over the globe, but the only one you’ll want to contend with is you. It is therefore essential to treat yourself with respect. You must treat yourself with self-love, respect, and compassion. Do self-love, practice positive self-talk, and appreciate your body.
In the mirror, take a look at yourself, and begin to accept your body. Don’t be self-deprecating, as your inner bully is the biggest thing that could bring you down. Be a positive person, not a perfect person.
5. Take Control Of Your Social Media Platforms
Social media has many things. Informational content, staying close to friends, and, sometimes, cyberbullying. If comments make you feel shameful on social media to make you feel anxious, you need to take charge of it. Take steps to remove the negative people in your life or stop following people that make you feel uneasy about yourself.
It’s your social network, and you have the ability to take charge of it. Instead, you should have a body-positive feed. Follow the pages of influencers who encourage positive body image messages.
If you’re looking to make yourself more physically fit then, you should follow pages that inspire fitness or those that promote health. If your aim is to feel positive, you should look for pages that promote self-acceptance.
6. Be Grateful for Your Body
To end the cycle of body shame, you have to be thankful for the body you have. Instead of worrying about the things you don’t have, be grateful for what you already have. Be grateful for your good health. Be thankful for the things you have now, and hope to enjoy the best health for your entire life and not be a perfect body.
Keep in mind that all celebrities have flaws, they’re too good not to reveal their flaws. Social media posts could be misleading, altered, or edited. Don’t be swayed by the flawless photos you find on social media.
I hope you know now what is body shaming. You may not be aware of your actions or choose the right words, but you might body shame other people too. Make sure to choose the right words and be extra sensitive to others. We all need to stop body-shaming because this can cause trauma and have low self-esteem. Seek professional help from Dr. Neha Mehta.