What is Body Shaming?
Body Shaming is something that has become the norm in our society today. It is something that is constantly around without us being fully aware of what those judgements are or the effect they can have on others. Today, I want to introduce you to body shaming so that we can open up honest conversations around our own preconceived ideas as well as look at how we can raise awareness within society to eliminate body shaming all together.
Body Shaming is choosing to make a judgment about a person based on their body type. It is choosing to live with the idea that a certain look or body image is better than all others and therefore all others must change/conform. It is the idea that the “perfect body” has one shape or size and all other body’s are less than.
Body Shaming is the hidden villain within society today.
How Body Shaming Presents Itself
Body Shaming presents itself in the subtle comments, remarks and captions within our own heads and the media.
Have you seen the latest celeb magazine that is out this week? My guess is that if you look at it you will see comments about a celeb body that is not “perfect” or in line with societies standards.
Did you walk down the street today and look at another person and think “what is she wearing?!” or “I wouldn’t be wearing that if I were her”. A different way we automatically judge someone because of their body and their choices.
Have you been somewhere and felt eyes looking you up and down? Did you hear a comment whispered about your body? Has a friend walked up to you and commented that you look good because you’ve lost weight?
Or maybe you have made or received a judgement that somebody is not healthy because their body is overweight, underweight, curvy, flat and all the other labels we attach to our body’s.
All of these are examples of body shaming. There are so many more that I could share and I’m sure you could come up with a few of your own too.
My Personal Experience of Body Shaming
Throughout my life I have experienced times of being body shamed. It affected my self esteem, self worth and most of all my ability to actually love myself for who I am. From the bullies at school to my closest friends and family members, body shame has come.
The most recent form of body shaming I have experienced is actually because I do this work and share this message. I get a lot of comments from people generally saying “how can you coach women on loving their body’s when your own body isn’t perfect?”. And again it is the idea that a body has to look a certain way to be considered capable of doing a certain task or be acceptable that is really damaging. It is damaging self esteem and creating a culture where we turn to diets and disordered eating patterns in order to conform.
The truth is that my body is perfect. I can love my body, tune in with her, connect with her and still want to make changes that do my best for her. The difference is that I choose to nourish and exercise my body not because I want her to look a certain way but because I want her to feel a certain way. I want to feel strong and energised and I love myself enough to make choices that match that feeling.
Sophia Bush once said “I can be a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously” and this is something that I live my life by.
Now I’m not perfect and have also body shamed others, however I am going to be sharing more about that tomorrow.
What You Can Do
First of all let me say that it’s ok if you have had these thoughts, we are all human and I am not here to shame you or make you feel bad about yourself for doing this.
What I am going to ask you is…are you willing to change it?
Body Shaming is something that I want to shine a light on today because it is still so common within the world. Most people I talk to haven’t heard of body shaming and don’t actually realise when they are doing it because it has become such a normal thing to do.
In order to overcome body shaming, here are some belief systems that you can adopt.
Her body is none of my business. Just as my body is none of your business.
Start to recognise that your idea of health is just yours. Your choices and decisions belong to you and you do not need to force them onto other people. Let go of any judgements or ideas that you have around what a person looks like or is doing and focus on yourself. When you notice yourself making a judgement (and its ok if you do) remind yourself that their body is none of your business and forgive yourself.
You are worth more than your weight
Let go of the attachment that a body needs to be a certain weight. When you meet up with friends or see someone, instead of asking if they’ve lost a few pounds or commenting on how they look choose something else. Maybe their smile is beautiful or their energy is infectious or they have the most amazing personality. Choose something beyond weight to reflect their worth or your admiration. Learn to do this for yourself too. Look in the mirror and notice something about yourself that is more than your weight.
Health does not have one look
Remember that a healthy body is different for each body. One persons healthiest and most vibrant self looks so different to another persons. Health has a million faces, so don’t get stuck looking for just one.
I hope this has been helpful and has given you an insight into how you can help change stagnant ideals and limiting beliefs within society.