Body Shaming

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Why do people feel they can discuss your weight in an indiscreet manner in an open environment? The reason I raise this here is because over the years I have been subject to this on many occasions.

Last week, whilst in a professional environment I was asked in a very loud way if I had lost weight? Then he proceeded to say in a very loud voice “Yeah, don’t lose too much though” as I was walking away from him.

Now, my point here is that I do not need an acquaintance that I have a purely professional relationship with to feel they can openly comment on my body.
Yes, I had lost weight and yes it was a choice to do so. And I am happy with that decision and the journey. I am focussing on my health by eating well and exercising. But what if I was not?  What if I had an illness that caused the weight loss, including an eating disorder? I come across these types of comments so often and it can, but not always, be said in a malicious way.

So that’s an example of body shaming from others. However,  we can without realising it,  be body shaming others too. Body shaming is judging either yourself or somebody else. How many times do we find ourselves looking in the mirror and saying that we hate our bodies the way they are?
We are constantly bombarded with what is considered to be the perfect or ideal body type (these body types vary in different cultures).
I would say that women more than men are subject to body shaming more frequently this can be seen with the number of young girls falling victim to the imagery of what is considered to be the perfect body but we need to change that.

You may have heard that Tennis Champion, Serena Williams was recently subject to a barrage of body shaming comments. People in the public eye may be victim of this more frequently as some may feel that this is acceptable to judge those in the public eye, but it’s not. Also, how do we behave  when we see somebody who is considered to be overweight or underweight walk into the office. Do you give a look? Say a comment about what they are wearing? Or do you participate in conversations about those individuals? It’s surprisingly easy to get drawn into that negative spiral.

Body Shaming

Let us spread love including self-love when it comes to body image.

  • Spend some time reflecting on the messages you tell yourself on a regular basis about your body image. Create positive self-love affirmations. Stand in front of the mirror naked and tell yourself you love every aspect of your body for what it brings you. For example, I love my legs because they carry me to where I need to go.
  • Make a note of the times when you may think or say a judging comment about somebody else, even if it is somebody in the public eye. You may be surprised how often you do this.
  • And finally, we all want to be loved and accepted but tell yourself that what other people think of you is of no concern of yours. Don’t let the negative comments of others bring you down. This is not always easy. However, little by little it will get easier especially as you practice self-love.

Please share your thoughts on body shaming experiences in the comment box below. 

I would love to hear from you.


Sonia  x

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  • Reply
    Mbeke Waseme
    24th July 2015 at 11:04 am

    Thanks for this. You raise some great points. I hadn’t thought of this in this way but the examples you site really support the concept of body shaming.
    Keep up the great work

    • Reply
      31st August 2015 at 12:59 pm

      Hey Mbeke,

      Thank you for your comment. It is a common problem that many of us take for granted. I hope things will get better soon.

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