Body shaming – the action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size.
We’ve all been witness to judgement and body shaming most of our lives. I have seen this my whole life and for so long thought nothing of it; I thought it to be normal…this is how we talk to ourselves. She’s calling herself fat again. She’s squeezing her fat and expressing hate for herself. She made another comment about my size. He used words like “skin and bones” in a negative tone. They say I look sick and disgusting. She’s crying about losing a feature that she feels defines her, “they’re all going to make fun of me.” She hurt herself because she felt ugly. She changed because she didn’t look sexy enough. She verbally abused herself again in front of the mirror.
We, as a society have normalized talk of hate and disgust towards our own bodies. We negatively assess how we compare to others we know and the “perfection” we see in the media.
Body shaming does not discriminate, it happens to people of all shapes and sizes. If I’m being honest with you, I’ve gotten it from both ends. “Oh, I didn’t know your stomach was that big”, “oh, you should start tightening your butt”, “oh man, you’re skin and bones.”
People don’t understand the power of their words. Although they may not be intentionally judging or shaming, often times any comment about someone’s body triggers some sort of emotional response.
When it comes down to it, body shaming is not actually about the person being shamed. It’s not about what they’re wearing, how they look or what they chose to do with their hair. No, the body shaming is nothing about the one being shamed. It has EVERYTHING to do with the person shaming and judging. It has to do with their insecurities, their anger, their hate, their need to break someone else down to feel adequate and worthy.
When someone body shames another person, it speaks to who they are. When they judge someone, it’s about them. When they degrade someone based on appearance it’s a representation of their own insecurities, yet we… the people being shamed take it personally and more often than not, hold it to be true.
Our hair does not define us. The number of fat cells on our body do not define us. The number on the scale does not define us. Our clothes do not define us.
The only thing that defines us is us. If you want to be fun and crazy, then be fun and crazy. If you want to be carefree, then do carefree. If you want to be angry, then do angry. If you want to shave your head, you know what… I’m still going to love you. We make choices every single day to represent who we are.
Step outside the media and create your own version of beauty; there’s more to it than just our appearance.
When hearing judgement, being judged or a victim to body shaming, take a moment to step back, recognize that it’s not about you… it’s about them. Speak up, stand up and be strong. See your truth, feel your truth … it does not come from their words of hate and anger, it comes from you.
Find yourself, define yourself and be the person you were made to be.