Media and culture around us constantly persuade thin white girls to be the most attractive. People are convinced to believe them. Despite all of these, the media business still uses dark and obese individuals as a source of jokes and entertainment. These are the main causes of body shaming, a serious issue. 

What is body shaming?

  • Body shaming involves negative comments about an individual’s body, including weight, size, shape, and appearance.
  • It can be verbal or nonverbal, and it can happen in person or online.

What triggers self-body shaming?

  • Many of us have lost sight of the value of our bodies. We have never been pleased because we constantly contrast it with someone else’s. Our greatest foe is comparison. We must acknowledge that everyone around us has been created uniquely and that every appearance is lovely and distinctive.
  • We are constantly misled by television commercials. Their skin whitening, weight loss kits, and more have made women believe that being thin and white are the essentials of being a beautiful woman. 
  • Most people are never satisfied with their physical appearance or material needs, seeking more. Some individuals continue to undergo plastic surgery to mimic others’ appearances.

How to prevent body shaming

  • Be mindful of your words and actions. Think about the words you use to describe yourself and others and be mindful of how your actions might make others feel.
  • Challenge the media messages. The media often portrays unrealistic body images that can be harmful to our self-esteem. Challenge these messages by being aware of them and by seeking out images that are more realistic and diverse.
  • Talk to your children about body image. Teach your children about the importance of loving and accepting their bodies, regardless of their size or shape.
  • Support body-positive organizations. Many organizations are working to promote body positivity and challenge shaming. You can support these organizations by donating your time or money.
  • Speak up when you see body shaming. If you see someone being shamed, don’t be afraid to speak up. You can simply say something like, “That’s not a nice thing to say.”

How to deal with body shaming caused by others

  • Validate your feelings. It is important to acknowledge that body shaming is hurtful and that it is okay to feel angry, sad, or upset.
  • Challenge the negative thoughts. When you start to think negative thoughts about your body, challenge them. Remind yourself that your body is beautiful and that you deserve to be treated with respect.
  • Focus on the positive. Take some time to focus on the things you like about your body. What are your strengths? What do you like about your appearance?
  • Find support. Talk to a trusted friend or family member, or join a support group for people who have experienced body shaming.
  • Seek professional help. If you are struggling to cope with this, you may want to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor.
  • Remember, you are not alone.  Body shaming is a common experience; coping strategies can help improve self-esteem.