“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.
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....
Table Of Contents
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 honour 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 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 I.
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, is 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?
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”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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) “No body 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!
Till next time.
To each, his or her own. That is why we all are uniquely different.Love, Jennifer.