What is BODY SHAMING?
Table Of Contents
- What is BODY SHAMING?
- WHAT IS BODY SHAMING?
- WHY DO PEOPLE BODY SHAME? CAUSES OF BODY SHAMING
- Conclusion On Body Shaming
Hi everyone. So, I met Caro on a Facebook page, we connected and she asked if I could guest post on her blog. I agreed. This is actually the first time I am guest posting on a blog and I wrote about body shaming.
We were brainstorming on what to write about and she suggested “body shaming” after going through a section of my blog titled “Thought provoking””. So here is my first international blog as a guest on another blog.
WHAT IS BODY SHAMING?
The Oxford dictionary defines body shaming as the action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size. It is a defamatory act, a bullying act and it has become prominent in recent times. Body shaming is the leading cause of depression especially amongst women who are prone to body changes in relation to age and birth, as well as other extenuating factors.
During my recent trip to Scotland where I visited Aberdeen and met up with an Ex, some comments made by him triggered some memories from when we were together. Those memories were not pleasant ones I must tell you.
I needed a tour guide to see the city since it was my first time there and since he was living there, I called him up to check if he would do the honor of showing me the city. He agreed and I took a night coach from Glasgow to Aberdeen. I arrived and he picked me up, took me to my hotel and came round the next day for the first day of sightseeing.
He needed to pick up some paints from a hardware shop and when I got down from the car, he made a scathing remark that goes thus “the gift I would get you would be a gym membership!”. Like I said before, this triggered some unpleasant memories from when I dated him.
Now the fact is I have added some weight from when he last saw me which was years ago. Whilst I may have been battling weight gain, I am not obese. I am also not “fat” by any standards.
He was and is the kind of person that would attack for gaining just a pound and it was a constant battle between us. The funny thing is that I was practically skinny when I was with him but he still managed to body shame me.
The second comment was when he tried to play smart with “time” and I ended up missing my coach drive back to Glasgow and him getting a ticket. He took out the frustration of paying an 80 pounds ticket on me by sending a text that when I lose weight, I would be able to walk faster!
These are some of the ways that spouses, partners, friends, families and loved ones are constantly body shaming you and me.
The world has been “brainwashed” by the media about how and what beauty should look like. No. I. DO.NOT.HAVE.ANYTHING.AGAINST.SKINNY.WOMEN! We are constantly bombarded by these super cool pictures of the “ideal body” on all social media platforms that it is now a norm. No one should be made to feel they are “less than human” simply because they have booties and thick thighs! As long as they are healthy, then all should be okay. This is however not the reality on ground.
Body shaming comes in different forms. Being criticized by someone directly to your face, criticized behind your back and the most pathetic body shaming act, are you criticizing yourself.
Body shaming can have a lot of negative effects on persons. It can lead to low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders and profound health issues amongst others.
If body shaming can lead to all sorts of negative effects, why then do people do it?
There are a number of reasons people do it and they include the following:
WHY DO PEOPLE BODY SHAME? CAUSES OF BODY SHAMING
Causes Of Body Shaming: Bullying
Body ”shamers” are most likely bullies who derive pleasure from belittling and victimizing people. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. A bully who body shames you, may not even necessarily be someone “skinny”. It could be someone more or less with same body shape as you but just derives pleasure in making you feel sorry for yourself. These sorts of body shame bullying will only have effect if you are the type that feels you are “fat”. In other words, you are affected by the body shaming act simply because you believe that your body is “not up to par”
Causes Of Body Shaming: Taking Out Their Frustration
People body shame because they want to take out their frustration on anyone and you just happened to be the next available person! My Ex dissing me was simply an act of frustration. I was available and I became his victim.
Frustrated persons mostly come online to pour out their frustration on innocent people. At times, I see the “venom” people leave on posts related to body shaming and body positivity and it leaves me dazed and shocked! I mean how do people seem to have so much hate inside of them?
It is as if their very existence is to mismanage their lives and then find people to pour out their frustrations on.
Causes Of Body Shaming: Having Low Self Esteem
Another reason people actually body shame others is because they too feel inferior about their own body! Now think about it. Why would someone who is same body shape and size as yours, body shame you? It is simply because they have a low self-esteem. These sorts of people will generally and naturally be bullies.
Low self-esteem will make people do what they ought not to do in a bid to make themselves feel better. and body shaming others is one of the ways they do it.
I have a friend who constantly body shames other women. It is a normal thing for her. A routine if I may add. I had to ask her one day why she does it and she told me because she knows she’s fat and that when she was growing up, people body shamed her a lot and she constantly feels inferior (low self-esteem) when she’s around others.
She said she decided that before anyone comments about her body type, she hits out first. It doesn’t matter if you are slim, big like her or bigger (her words, not mine), she will mock you. As long as she does it first, she is fine. This is like a coping mechanism for her but she doesn’t know she is actually body shaming.
After a long talk and follow up conversations about body shaming, she understood what I was saying. These days, she politely “educates” you on body shaming when you body shame her. She always tells me that people end up being contrite and shameful, apologizing profusely whenever she does it.
Causes Of Body Shaming: Just Being Mean
Do you know there are people who are always mean in any and everything? Well, this is another reason why people body shame. They just want to be mean to you. Make you feel bad about your body.
There are lots of mean people these days. I don’t know if the privilege given by social media is what is making this menace to increase on a daily basis because the manner in which people hide behind their tablets and phones to be so hateful and mean is quite bothersome.
The other day on my Facebook page, I made a post about some unwritten social rules everyone should know and included a photo of mine in the post. A random stranger who isn’t even following my page decided to leave the “message” and troll me by saying the clothes I was wearing wasn’t nice.
I laughed off my head when I saw the comment because I recognized her for the bully she is. The shocker is I was looking real great in the picture, clothes weren’t revealing (even if they were, it wouldn’t be her business). The next day, I posted the same photo and called her out. That was the last time I saw her on my page.
You have to confront bullies. Always. Not confronting and calling them out will make them feel they have a power over you. They actually do not!
Causes Of Body Shaming: The “I Am Superior” Feeling.
A babe who feels her body is the “ideal” body will always have the “I am superior feeling” amongst babes who have different body shapes than hers.
Someone with this mentality can easily body shame others without blinking an eye.
I have a colleague at work who is always fond of body shaming me. She would walk to my office and tell me I have fat cheeks. She did it a couple of times and then I told her one day that if she doesn’t stop telling me that, I will do an email to HR to complain of harassment.
She stopped it because they know around my office that when I say I would do something, I will do it.
That was how I put a stop to that body shaming “exercise” she gave to herself.
People can be funny!
DON’T LET ANYONE BODY SHAME YOU
Now, as a lady or guy, what is actually important is the status of your health. As long as you are healthy and do not have any health conditions arising from your weight, then you should be proud of your body. Do not let anyone put you down because you have a body they consider “less than stellar”
If on the other hand, you have health issues arising from your weight, then you should consider eating healthy and reducing your weight to an ideal range as advised by your own physician.
You may be body shaming consciously or unconsciously! I think I may have body shamed one or two persons by my comments!
We all should desist from such acts. Let’s make our environment (offices, homes, streets, and communities) “Nobody shaming zones”. There is too much trouble in the world already and we should not add body shaming to it. Spread the word!
I am an African, with booty (yes!) and boobs. Healthy. I am beautiful the way I am and I love my body.
You should love your body too! Because you are beautiful just the way you are!
Love yourself fiercely!
Use these beautiful Daily Affirmations to boost your confidence and self esteem every day. Do not let body-shamers make you lose your self worth!
Use these 7 STRATEGIES to boost your self-esteem and confidence.
Conclusion On Body Shaming
Body shaming is now a norm in our society and has taken on so much form, it is alarming. Downright alarming.
We women are constantly being told how our bodies should like. To society, an ideal body is a size 0 and that is unacceptable by all means.
Body shaming has eaten so deep into the fabric of society so much so that everyone has accepted it as normal. There are several ways we body shaming that we may be unaware of. I wrote about body shaming types and people who have read the article were in awe because most realized that they have been body shaming people without realizing it.
There are many reasons body shaming occur and these are a few reasons of body shaming but whatever reason body shaming occurs, do not let it get to you. Remember, it is about them, not about you.
Always affirm positively, know who you are and believe in your self-worth. Trust me, those body shaming bullies, will know you are not a pushover.
Have you or anyone you know experienced, body shaming? How did you (they) overcome it? Let us know in comments below. Tell me your body shaming story and how you overcame it. I would love to feature it on the blog and let other women know how to deal with body shaming.
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