Body-shaming manifests when we criticize our appearance, through a judgment or comparison to another person, criticize another individual's appearance in front of them,
and when we criticize another’s appearance without their knowledge. It often leads to comparison and shame, and perpetuates the idea that people should be judged mainly for their physical features. This isa sad and dangerous state of affairs because families deserve better. Also, just like any other form of bullying, body shaming will always be present unless you stick up for yourself in a positive and healthy way.
The best way to end body shaming is to realize that we are part of the problem and start right from home. Below are certain ways to combat body shaming:
1) Use affirmations instead of negative self-talk: Continuously silence the voice in your head that tells you that you are too fat or thin, tall or short, big- or small-breasted, or any of the other ways in which you may echo the insults of the person who abused you. As you silence the negative, prioritize affirming the positives, i.e those things you like about yourself. Say it loud in front of the mirror and love up on yourself the way you are.
2) Remember, you are more than just your body: Know that your body doesn't define who you are. You have excellent qualities that distinguish you from the crowd and your body is not going to be a limitation to that. Even if you are dissatisfied with some aspects of your body, know that you have great value as a human being apart from your physical self. Your thoughts, your feelings, your actions—these all make up that unique self that is you.
3) Move in ways that please you: Get involved in activities that make you feel good and help you develop confidence in your body. Avoid being entirely sedentary because it is not good for you both mentally and physically. Find activities that will cause you to move your body frequently. Many activities don’t cost a penny, such as walking, dancing, or stretching.
4) Rest: Give your body space, don't be too hard on it. Take out time off the too much exercises and diet plan. It is not good to push ourselves physically hard all the time. Even if you want to attain some goals, work toward them with love, support, and compassion for yourself. You are more likely to get there, and you’re definitely going to be happier along the way and beyond those goals.
5) Explore and thank the skin you’re in: Appreciate your various body parts, they might not be as glorious as you want but they have carried you through the thick and thing. There are always things about your body to be thankful for. Your body keeps you alive, your body carries you every day, and your body protects you in many ways. Your body has survived a lifetime of events so far. Review your entire body with gratitude and try out items that make you look great .
6) Make friends with food: Try to find healthy foods that you like and savor them slowly. You are in charge of your relationship with food and your body now. Celebrate that freedom.
However, if you have experienced body shaming or you were raised with body negativity and you are ready to take the above listed steps to turn those feelings around, the good news is it’s not too late. Focusing on your body’s health, not looks and breaking the cycle or the feeling of body negativity is a good way to start. Feel free to drop your suggestions in the box below!!