We cannot escape it! Endless talks in media to have the ‘perfect’ body — being skinny, but not a stick; being curvy in the all the right places; no stretch marks or bumps. It’s like we are being forced and conditioned to hate our bodies. At this point of time loving our bodies seems aberrant. But what we don’t realize is that body-shaming is making us sick, not motivating us to do anything and pushing us towards depression (okay maybe ‘depression’ is a strong word, but you get what I mean).
We are constantly told to change our appearance. Even articles in magazines write about hiding our ‘imperfections’. The entire concept sells us the lie that by shaming ourselves we will be motivated to take action, lose weight and feel better. And it’s not just happening to people who are fat. Skinny people are body-shamed too. Criticizing yourself or others because of some aspect of physical appearance can lead to a brutish cycle of judgment.
So what is the pathogen for body-shaming? Criticizing your own appearance, through a judgment or comparison to another person or vice-versa. Expressing genuine feelings rather than physical criticism can be a great first step. There’s a thin line between constructive criticism and being plain harsh. Identify it! Find people who celebrate their body and make you feel positive. It’ll help you deal with body image issues more than you think. Find something you like about yourself (for the love of god). There’s a good chance you love your new hairstyle or eyes, despite your struggles with your body image. Don’t stop at one. Find some THINGS.
In an interview with WebMD about loving your body, Christina Hendricks stated: “Even now, it’s never been a focus in my life. I’ve always been fit, I’ve always been active, and I’ve always been healthy, but I’ve just tried to live my life the way I live it. It’s nice that I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about it lately, but I’m just doing what I normally do.” Having gone through body shaming myself, I’ve realized that it takes a second to get bothered about every comment. People tell you, you should avoid negativity, even if it’s staring you in the face. However it’s easier said that done. So take baby steps. Maybe you’ll feel stronger with balanced eating. Nothing and I mean NOTHING beats that.
Note: Body shaming imposes mental, emotional and physical pain. Let’s avoid it!