What is 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.
Related: Powerful Techniques To Manage Your Emotions and Feelings
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!
Follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration on building Self Esteem and Self Confidence
Use these 7 STRATEGIES to boost your self-esteem and confidence.
37 Powerful Quotes On Body Positivity Quotes To Love Your Body
16 Body Shaming Quotes About Self Image To Help You Love Yourself
3 Powerful Ways To Love Yourself More
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.
Meanwhile, take a minute and share this on social media.Body Shaming: 5 Unbelievable Reasons People Do It! Click To Tweet
I love this article – everything is spot on. First, I will say that I am glad you got rid of that ex. Many women continue to accept abuse like that because they feel they can’t do better – and such comments like what your ex said will only fuel that belief. It is classic with abusive partners, it is their way of controlling another person because THEY are the ones who are insecure! I have been on both ends of the spectrum; as a young adult I was very skinny. I got comments like “she’s anorexic”, “she must be sick”, and the like. I even had a woman come up to me in a restaurant bathroom and tell me to my face that I was too skinny! She sneered when she said it, too. I hated being skinny and shapeless and I felt awful about myself, like something was wrong with me. Several years later I was on a medication that had the side effect of making me gain weight, and I went up to nearly 200 pounds. My boyfriend at the time told me “Wow, when you bend over your butt is sooooooo wide, you need a wide load sign put on it.” Then he proceeds to make the sound of a truck backing up…. beeeeep beeeeep beeeep…. He is now an ex, too! I am now back to a normal weight, but in truth, I am happiest when I connect with others who don’t look at the body, but at the soul. Most of my closest friends are overweight, and they have been wonderful because nobody is comparing. True happiness comes from within – and we are all beautiful regardless of shape, color, or size.
Christy, I had to take the time to respond to your comment because I was busy at work when I read it! I am so sorry about those horrible things your ex said to you! It was cruel of him and I am greatly happy about how you took that comment and turned it around on him and made yourself better! Thank God he is an ex now and will remain so forever. Amen. Lol. I don’t tolerate people who make ‘body shape’ about someone. Body image is not everything. I don’t want to make this a ‘man problem’ but men are fond of doing this. Belittling their partners, body shaming them. We, as women also body shame each other a lot and it is so not right! A friend of mine who dated her then-boyfriend for years was dumped because the guy said ‘she has added weight and would add more when they get married and starts having kids’. It was a very trying period. She would cry for hours and days. The guy married a very ‘skinny’ girl’. Do you know what happened? Said skinny wife started adding weight rapidly without having kids and holy of holies, my friend started shedding weight. She is married now with two kids and looking superb. She married a great man. Meanwhile, her ex is on the brink of divorce because what he married was ‘body image’ and not the woman. You are absolutely right, happiness comes from within and we are all beautiful regardless of shape, color or size. That is why I have a blog post that says ‘BODY IMAGE IS NOT EVERYTHING’. Thank you for joining the conversation and for sharing your inspiring story with us!
Great information, thanks for sharing
I have been a victim of a lot of body shaming jokes, so I know it hurts. To stop others from hurting me, I started making comments about myself, so others wouldn’t. But this also doesn’t help anyone. Least of all, myself!
I will think twice about letting others body shame me and stop doing it to myself!!
Thanks! Will definitely check it out!
You have nailed the list. Body shaming is rude. While we cannot those who shame us, we can ignore and move on. Treat them like “barking dogs”. Great post as usual!
Hahahhaha, I like the idea about treating bodyshamers as barking dogs. Thanks Anu. I appreciate your comments.
I’m so glad he is an ex, I cannot believe he said those things to you!
Great post x
He is staying an Ex forever lol. Thanks Claire
No truer words have been said! Thanks for joining the conversations Brie! Enjoy your weekend
You are gorgeous. Honestly, body shaming is so normal and i blame social media!
Thank you! Social media has played a huge role in body shaming.
I will honestly never understand body shaming, even if you listed out why people do it. I don’t understand why people feel the need to be mean to others. I live in my own little bubble and I let people live their lives. I don’t feel the need to tell anyone how they should live or look. Now if people come to me for advice, I will certainly give it to them but I certainly never dole out any unsolicited advice because F that shit. Bullying is so foreign to me. SO foreign. We have absolutely no idea what might be going on in someone else’s world so why be negative. I feel that people who bully are so insanely insecure with themselves, it’s sad. But hey, I just said that I don’t judge, lol, so who really knows, right?! What I do know is I am going to go off on my merry way and dance to the beat of my own drummer and not give a F. 😉
Gigi! This is the 2nd time I’d be screaming your name! Lol. I just like the way you write and put things in perspective! I really don’t know why people body shame others and yes I do believe bullies themselves are insecure people. Like you, I dance to the beat of my drummer and not give a F about what anybody thinks! Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the conversation!
You look beautiful with nice shape girl. Thanks for sharing your story, Body shaming is never okay, Good you discovered yourself.
YES! Body shaming is so real and it’s just sad. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Thanks for reading and joining the conversation! Have a great week!
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I wrote that from a personal experience and it made it easier talking about it! And thank you so much for your encouraging comments!
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This is a really great post – it is a shame people can be so mean to others. I wish people cared more about others and the damage that their actions can cause.
Thanks Kirstie. It would be a better world if we cared more about others!
Comments like the ones you received say more about the person giving them than the person receiving them. Obviously he felt insecure when he saw you again after all this time and felt the need to hurt you in order to make himself feel better. Body shaming is such a complex topic and I feel you expressed it really well, I have both body shamed and been body shamed in the past. I body shamed another person in defence of a friend who it was happening to, not something I’m proud of but I felt it was necessary because it’s never right to make fun of others and I can be a little hot headed and passionate at times. I think you look amazing and you should own it, who cares what negative and insecure people think!
Your post on body mass insecurities reminded me a lot about this very post on body shaming. Generally body shamers are big bullies and like all bullies, their bullying acts stem from their own insecurities and your ability to recognise it for what it is makes you live above and beat bullies to their own game! Thanks for your lovely comments! I’ve always loved my body and will continue to love it regardless of anyone’s opinions and thoughts!
That’s excellent 😄
Thanks. It would indeed be a happier world if we didn’t bodyshame
This post is the TRUTH & I love your blog page by the way!! I’ll be making my way through your page and reading more of your posts!! Super interesting. Oh & I am sooo over body shaming. It’s so lame!!! You have a banging body by the way!! Keep giving folks something to hate on! 🙂
Awww Jessica! Thank you for your lovely comments! I will keep giving folks something to hate on lol! I am going over to your blog right away!
Before some people even ask how I am doing they are judging how I look. I don’t need a reminder of being overweight as I can see that myself. Then after they have made me feel insecure they tell me how pretty I am. My point is you would not have to inflate my spirits if you did not initially deflate them. This was a good read.
Like what’s the whole point? I get you! Thanks for your thoughts and comments! Have a great week
Thanks Julia. I am at a place in my life where i don’t ever let people put me down.
Jennifer, this is so relatable! It’s a sad world we live in and it’s getting even worse for our young ones. I love how you ended this on a very positive note. Keep spreading the love, hopefully more and more of us will come to love us for who we are x
Thanks Kam! We really do need to love ourselves by ourselves. Not be defined by other’s perceptions. I do hope we will all love us for who we are. Enjoy your week!
There are very few people who can tell their side of story. They are the people who are what they actually are and not faked self.
Just so you know, i was following your blog under the name ufuomajenniferesegine.wordpress.com but self hosted and lost a good number of my followers and likes on my blog so it looks like as if i am starting all over again! Thanks for following again! God bless!
My pleasure ma’am.
Thanks Jennifer ma’am.
Not everything is bad. i love woman as creation from god. the bad is from the man himself.
Thanks for sharing your personal story in this post. Body shaming is so not okay.
Thanks Annreeba for being part of the conversation
Very good information
Body shaming is so not ok, I can’t believe people think it’s still acceptable to do it! Great post babes!
so true, its like tall guys always making fun of short guys and girls makes it worse by always saying “I love my girl to be tall, not one short thing” not cool so not cool
Body shaming is NEVER OKAY! You look smoking! Keep doing what you’re doing girl xx
I agree. Body shaming is a no no and thanks for the nice compliments!
people dont realise how much damage someone can do by body shaming! we are who we are and are all beautful in our own way!
Yes. We are all beautiful in our own way! Thank you!
Thanks for sharing your personal story in this post. What I try to do is just ignore and separate myself from those type of people.
Exactly, I am gonna separate myself from those kinda people! Thanks for your thoughts on this!
Ugh!! I’m so over body shaming!! The next person to even give you a sideways look I’d just go ahead and close the door in their face, smh. Rude people are EVERYWHERE
Lol. Now that is a very good suggestion!
I’m glad you wrote about this topic because it is so important!!!! I dated a guy that used to poke at my belly and stuff! He would say he was joking, but that stuff sticks! i hated it! Screw that guy, and i’m glad that came out of that recent encounter with this post instead of letting him win! good for you!
It is indeed important. I have seen someone who constantly had suicide thoughts on account of body shaming. She is in a better place now. I don’t let people like my Ex win. Never.
Thank you for sharing such an honest account – and that man…..! Please don’t go near him again!
No i will not!
Body shaming is not less than a crime.People who don’t feel confident in themselves tries to lose others confidence as well.
Unfortunately the world is full of this type of conduct..people belittling others in different forms. They are the sad ones that don’t know the difference.
I’m sure he will stay your ex !
He’s been Ex zoned for years and forever.
1. You are so ridiculously beautiful and your figure is slammin! 2.) wow, what an asshole. That is fucking unacceptable.
That’s why i love you! You say it as it is! Thank you! And yes, he is an asshole lol
Hmmmm! “Body Shaming” this is Da Bomb Sis! Body shaming only flourishes because we accept it. To support what the piece says, as soon as I am healthy and attractive in my own unique way… What one thinks or says matters not… Thumbs up for u Pompaski
This is so real! Gosh! I felt this to my loins! Social media has become a federal government that set norms for citizens to follow. Good one sis.
Thanks Paula. Glad you relate!