6 helpful tips to overcome Body-Shaming
Body shaming is the action or practice of humiliating someone by making critical or mocking comments about their body shape or size. Sometimes body-shaming can extend to a perception that one does not sufficiently display masculinity or femininity. For example; men with a lack of facial hair are sometimes shamed for appearing feminine.
Body shaming isn’t particular to one body type, it can happen to anyone despite their body type. People can be body-shamed when they appear underweight, overweight or when they don’t fit into society’s description of a normal body.
Even in my school, Body shaming is very common. I’ve even heard about cases where MSS officials told people that their “Body isn’t compliant”. If you reading this post and you are not a Covenant University student, you maybe wondering who MSS is. I explained who they are in my previous post on “Life of a CU Student“. I just wonder, how is it even possible for someone’s body to be non-compliant? Body shaming is normal at Covenant University. Like there are clothes that you can’t wear if you’re not skinny.
There was even a time I wore an orange turtleneck to service on Sunday. I’m sure we all know what a turtle neck looks like. So at the end of the service, I was leaving and there was a girl that wore the exact same thing that I wore in front of me. Well, the difference was that my turtleneck was orange while hers was white and she was slim, whereas I’m…not slim. Lol. We both wore black palazzo trousers.
As I was about to step out I felt someone drag my bag and I went back only to see it was an MSS official that was dragging my bag. He asked why I was wearing the turtle neck and I said there was nothing wrong with what I’m wearing. He said it’s not compliant and I said the girl in front of me was literally wearing the same thing. Then he says “what you wearing is indecent”. The funny thing was that as he was talking, girls wearing turtle necks kept passing but he didn’t call any of them. Maybe he thinks that turtle necks are only for a specific body type. I mean, turtle necks are completely covered, it’s not like it was exposing any part of my body. At the end of the day, he ceased my turtle neck. But we move.
Do you know that you might even body shame someone inadvertently?
To body shame, someone inadvertently means to body shame someone unintentionally or accidentally. It means the body shaming was not deliberate.
WAYS BODY SHAMING CAN MANIFEST
- Criticizing another person’s appearance without his/her knowledge: I honestly think that this is the most common way of body shaming someone. It’s not right but if someone were to body-shame me, I would actually prefer the person doing it without my knowledge than for the person to actually body shame me in my presence.
- You may think that your body is okay, but who knows, people may be body-shaming you without your knowledge. For instance, you are walking on the road and you walk by a group of friends. So someone in that group whispered to his friend “Did you see what that girl was wearing? Someone as fat as her shouldn’t wear such clothes”. Guess what? You just got body shamed
- Criticizing another person’s appearance in their presence: This would really hurt a lot. Just imagine that you’re a girl with beards. Yes, there are girls that have beards, I think it’s caused by genes. So, you always shave your beard because you are ashamed of it because society doesn’t approve of it. After years of shaving your beard, you just decide to accept how you are.
- You walk into a restaurant, and some minutes later someone walks up to you and says “With that beard, you’re never going to find a date”. Don’t you think you’d feel bad if that happened to you? I mean, it’s not your fault that your genes are like that. But you were body-shamed because you decided to be yourself.
- Criticizing your own appearance: This happens when you view yourself negatively. Example; Looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you’re ugly. It also happens when you compare yourself to others. Example; “Compared to him, I’m so ugly”.
TIPS TO OVERCOME BODY SHAMING
- Use affirmations instead of negative self-talk.
- Do what makes you happy.
- Learn to love your body because you only have one.
- Find something you like about your body and celebrate it every day.
- Identify people that are body-positive and spend more time with them. They will encourage you to view yourself positively.
- Confront those that bodies shame you.