So today, someone made a statement to me about a mother and said “I can’t believe that “so and so” is their mother” referring to that mother’s very skinny daughters. I tried to explain to this lady that their mother was very skinny and after giving birth to her children, it was difficult to lose weight and find time to exercise and then I walked away. However, as I reading earlier today, I was reminded of that statement and thought to myself, how is that okay, for people to question and laugh at someone else’s weight gain? Towards the later part of last year, I asked myself the same question as I attended a wedding event and a speaker publicly shamed his wife in an attempt to create a “joke” by saying “my wife was so pretty when I met her but now she looks like a double decker bus, husbands be warned, women change”. Then I went further back into my early childhood, when I attended events and have heard mothers tell their daughters “I wouldn’t take another helping if I was you” and as I began to remember, I realized the constant theme of BODY SHAMING.
I thought how is this okay? For people to make comments like these and how is it allowed? There are far too many observers that politely laugh to avoid having to address the real issues these people are facing. Of course, it is easier to shy aware from the truth than addressing it head on, so we do what we do best, by simply walking away and letting the cycle of body shaming continue. Amongst my many thoughts related to body shaming, I said to myself, why not address it? Why not raise some awareness about it within my circle of friends and family? Why should I be quiet about it? Women and Men need to know that they are beautiful in any shape or form. Why not encourage someone? Why not tell someone they are beautiful?
So I started researching and putting that crafty psychology degree to use, I thought let me try to define body shaming to bring some context into this large social issue.
What is body shaming? Simply put it is when inappropriate, critical, humiliating or other negative comments are made about a person’s weight or size related to their body. This is a form of discrimination and bullying in society. For example, this usually occurs when people are criticized for being overweight or too skinny.
What are some of the causes of body shaming? Why would people even try to body shame another person?
- In stems from their own insecurities, often the insecurities that lay within our own hearts are projected onto other people to make ourselves feel good
- Societal norms, people feed into the belief that you need to be skinny to be beautiful or you can’t be too skinny because you won’t appear attractive
- Media and “pop-culture” as many TV shows portray larger people with uncanny jokes about their weight
How can body shaming be stopped?
- Not to be silent, speak up about body shaming and address these comments within your social circles
- Do not believe or let societal norms influence the way you think about yourself
- Learn to love yourself and others, be kind and considerate, think before you speak and consider how you would feel if someone said something critical about your body
- Compliment each other and be positive, make an effort to be kind on purpose
Lastly, I just want to remind you to be aware of Body shaming and think of ways to stop or prevent it from happening, be observant and tactful in your approach. I would like to dedicate this blog post to all the ladies out there that are suffering from body shame, know that you are beautiful inside and out, that your weight does not define your beauty.
Also, if you have a mother or sister, go and tell her that she is beautiful and thank her for being incredible!
There have been many more articles written on body shaming so if you would like to read up on the statistics and studies done, please click on the links below and expand your knowledge. I would have loved to incorporate these articles into my blog post, however if I tried to do that all within a few hours, you probably would not be reading this article today.
I hope you enjoyed this post and please let’s not perpetuate the cycle of body shaming!!