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What is Body Shaming

Body shaming can cause eating disorders, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and body dysmorphia, as well as an overall feeling of disliking one's body.

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What is Body Shaming

What Is Body Shaming?

The act of criticizing a person's body is known as body shaming. It could be about your own or another person's body. The remarks can be regarding a person's physique, age, hair, attire, food, hair, or perceived attractiveness level.
Body shaming can cause eating disorders, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and body dysmorphia, as well as an overall feeling of disliking one's body.

Types of Body Shaming

Body shaming is most commonly associated with body size, although it can also refer to unpleasant comments about any aspect of a person's body.
The following are some of the reasons why people may be body shamed:

1. Weight

The weight of a person is one of the most prominent types of body shaming. Someone may be body-shamed because they are "too fat" or "too skinny." "Fat-shaming" is another term for this. "They'd be pretty if they dropped their weight," or "I suppose they had to buy an extra plane ticket to fit," are examples of body shaming comments. People with slimmer bodies may be stigmatized because of their weight too. "They look as if they never eat," or "They seem like they have an eating disorder," are common examples of skinny-shaming.

2. Body Hair

Body-Hair

Except for those with particular health concerns, everyone's arms, legs, private areas, and armpits grow hair. Many individuals believe that if women don't eliminate all of their body hair, they won't be considered "ladylike." Calling a lady with underarm hair "beastly" or telling her she has to shave are instances of the most common body hair shaming.

3. Attractiveness

"Pretty-shaming" is one of the most prevalent types of body shaming or bullying or prejudice directed towards attractive persons. Bullying occurs when people are judged to be unattractive, a phenomenon known as "lookism." Lookism is the term for prejudice or discrimination directed at those who are physically "unattractive" or whose physical appearance is thought to fall short of social standards of beauty. 

4. Food

Food shame is usually associated with physical size. For example, food-shaming occurs when someone comments on what a person is or isn't eating. Food shame is when someone says something like, "They do not look like they need to be eating that." People often food shame themselves for eating. You might say, "I'm so overweight, I shouldn't eat that slice of chocolate cake."

5. Age

Age

Age-shaming, also termed ageism, is discrimination or bullying directed at someone because of their age. This mainly focuses on the elderly or senior citizens. "They're rather old to wear all that makeup," an ageist would say about body shaming. Furthermore, news articles that show photographs of celebrities without makeup looking "ugly" or "aged" are insulting. Another aspect of body shaming is making hateful remarks about someone's wrinkles or loose skin.

The Effects of Body-Shaming on a Person's Wellbeing

  • Body shaming has a variety of detrimental mental health implications. Here are some of the most prevalent effects of body shaming:
  • Body-shamed teenagers have a much higher incidence of depression.
  • It carries the risk of causing eating problems. 
  • Makes it more difficult for obese people to overcome unhealthy eating habits. 
  • Body shaming can lead to body dissatisfaction, which can lead to low self-esteem.
  • Mental health disorders such as:
    • Anxiety
    • Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) 
    • Depression
    • Self-harm or suicide is more likely to occur.
    • A lower standard of living (due to body dissatisfaction)
    • Psychological agony

How to Make Yourself More Inclusive

Although body-shaming is common, this does not imply you should participate. Making it a point to avoid body-shaming is the kinder option for everyone, including yourself. Being deliberate about avoiding various types of body shaming may improve mental health.
It can be beneficial to be more body-inclusive in conjunction with not body-shaming. This entails encouraging respect and appreciation of body shape and diversity, emphasizing health rather than size or weight, knowing how do you stop body shaming, and valuing the human body for everything it is and does.
Here are some strategies that will help you understand how to deal with body shaming and how to quit contributing to the culture of body shaming.

1. Stop Discussing Other People's Bodies

Stop-Discussing-Other-People-Bodies

People mocking and body-shaming someone may be socially acceptable, but you do not have to approve, engage in, or tolerate such comments or acts. It is also important to be self-analyzing if you have body shamed someone before accidentally or on purpose, by accepting that you were wrong and offering them an effective apology even if they didn’t say anything to you. You wouldn't want it to happen to you, and now you know how serious it can be for individuals who are affected.
So, the next time you're inclined to comment on a person's body hair, hair type, or size, resist. Instead, come up with a polite thing to say to the person and know how do you stop body shaming. They got your attention, so you may utilize this as an opportunity to highlight something positive about them. "I like your grin," for example, is one method to appreciate someone without criticizing them.

2. Change The Way You Talk About Yourself

It can be difficult to speak positively of our bodies in a world when so much focus is placed on what is amiss with us and what needs to be fixed. However, being aware of how to love yourself, is not only beneficial but also protects others from damage. We can improve our care, empathy, and relationship with others and with ourselves by knowing how to deal with body shaming and practicing speaking positively about ourselves and our bodies, and noting aspects about ourselves and others that we like and value. 

3. Make Your Voice Heard

Make-Your-Voice-Heard

That's fantastic that you've taken the measures to stop body-shaming yourself and others. However, more remains to be done. When you see other people harming others, you should know how do you stop body shaming and remember it's crucial to speak up—as long as you're emotionally and physically safe. If you witness someone making a snide remark about another person's body, whether it's about their dress, age, or size, gently remind them that it's impolite to make such remarks. If it happens frequently with friends or loved ones, you can bring it up in a more formal way, informing them that their ways of speaking about bodies aren't necessarily healthy for you.

Conclusion

Body shaming may be widespread, but you may help heal its damaging consequences by practicing body positivity with yourself and others. Body shaming, like any other form of bullying, will persist unless you stand up for yourself positively and healthily and understand the various effects of body shaming. It's critical to practice self-love and avoid allowing negative comments to disturb you. Additionally, if you see body shaming on social media, you can report it and label it as improper. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) has taken a stand against body shaming on social media, encouraging those who observe it to report it to the organization through the Media Watchdog program. Remember that entering a nasty comment cycle will not help you in this case. Maintain control and a kinder, respectful, and empathetic attitude.

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