I read on my friend’s Social media timeline a few days ago, on how he was trolled of having a big head throughout high school and this reminded me of how my grandmother body shamed me a few years ago. She told me of how skinny I was and compared me with my cousins whom we were born the same day and were obviously fatter than I was. Now I have added a few pounds and people still tell me of how fat I am.
Why do we often tell people to change their appearance and hide their imperfections without knowing anything about them? Why do we crack unhealthy jokes about people’s body to make them hate their own bodies and physical appearance?
Body shaming is known as the action or practice of making critical, potentially humiliating comments about a person’s body size or weight. It includes criticisms of being ugly, too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short etc.
Body shaming can be done by parents, siblings, friends, enemies, colleagues and even on social media. It can also be done consciously or unconsciously.
The different forms of body shaming include criticizing your own appearance through comparison to another person,
criticizing another’s appearance in front of them and criticizing another’s appearance without their knowledge.
Anytime you make a judgment about someone else regarding their body, weight, or image, you are body shaming whether you know it or not. Our actions are not based on our intentions, but on how they are received by those around us.
Making a negative comment on someone’s social media page regarding their weight or look is body shaming.
Gossiping about that five pounds your friend has recently put on is body shaming.
Looking in the mirror and calling yourself names is body shaming.
Body shaming can lead to self-harm, trauma, low self-esteem, eating disorder, depression and suicide.
How to overcome body shaming
Do not allow negative comments to bother you.
Confront those who body shame you
Surround yourself with positive people
Body shaming spreads negativity, and we should do anything we can to eradicate this behaviour in both ourselves and others.
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