Body-shaming is one of the most common problems that people face in society. The act of shaming someone for their appearance is not only rude but also very demeaning. Body-shaming can happen to anyone, no matter what age, gender, or body shape they are. It doesn’t even have to be physical. It could be in the form of words used in discussing others or about oneself.
Even though we’re largely aware of the existence of body-shaming, it seems to be something that is getting worse in the modern day society. The world has become an extremely judgmental place, with social media being one of the roots that cause this type of bullying to spread like wildfire.
Mental health professionals believe that body shaming leads to binge eating, overeating, low self-esteem, low self-confidence for many individuals who are victimised or bullied.
Also, let’s keep in mind that the act of mocking or criticising someone’s weight or shape can be either deliberate or unintentional.
Does body-shaming work ?
Body-shaming can be beneficial depending on the context. For example, if someone is overweight, is it beneficial for them if someone tells them that they are too heavy? The answer to this question depends on the person. They may feel insulted and no longer want to even bother with their weight loss goals, which would be a huge setback. Or they may appreciate the honesty and take it as constructive criticism.
The impact of body shaming on mental health varies from person to another, as well.
It is hard to argue that being shamed by society has an overall positive impact, but what’s interesting is that it does not always have a negative one either.
Risks associated with body-shaming:
The risks associated with depression that was triggered by body-shaming are too many for us to go walking around and shaming people in an attempt to see if it will help them lose weight or not. Some people will get severely depressed and devastated, especially when similar comments are made publicly or in the presence of others.
Body-shaming can be defined as a discriminatory language or actions against people who are not thin. People use body-shaming to put others down and to enforce social norms about what an individual’s body should look like. So there should never be a scenario where someone is body-shamed just as an attempt to see if it will end up helping them to lose weight or not. The truth is that it could shatter their heart into pieces and hurt their feelings a lot. So it is not worth it to try and test their reaction.
In fact the person that is criticised and ridiculed for their weight or appearance will disagree in most cases with the comments being mede and feel like this type of act is nothing but a personal attack. This sort of bullying can cause depression or eating disorders in many individuals. It can also cause the person to avoid going out in public for fear of being judged due to their past experiences with body-shaming.
Social media is not the only place where people are body-shamed. People also experience it when they are in a more private setting.
However, commenters on social media platforms can be very rude or often have negative opinions about others’ appearances, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. They can be more daring in shaming their victim, as they’re hiding behind a screen rather than having them in front of their face.
Social media platforms have started responding to this growing problem by implementing filters that will hide comments if they contain body-shaming words or phrases.
How to stop body-shaming when done to you:
Body-shaming is not ok, and we need to take a stand against it. The best way to do this is to confront the bully, tell them how it makes you feel, and ask them to stop. If they don’t stop then you should consider removing yourself physically from their presence and leaving.
This will be a clear way of setting boundaries and demanding respect. The next time that person sees you, they will understand that talking to you in that way is not acceptable and they may feel embarrassed about having tried to do it previously.
Again, if you’re a victim yourself then the best way to reply to body-shaming is with confidence. Confronting the person who shames you may also be an option if appropriate circumstances arise. It is important not to be too hard on yourself if you cannot reply back confidently, because you are simply not ready yet or did not see the rudeness coming.
Another way of dealing with it, if you’d rather brush it off and not cause too much drama, could be to reply to their comment with a witty comeback or simply ignore the comment. But keep in mind that if the bully is truly a sick person that only means harm, then they may perceive this a sign of a weak personality and try to intimidate you more!
Some researchers argue that body-shaming can be beneficial because it may lead to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle among those who are shamed. However, there is a clear lack of evidence supporting this claim, which means there is no way of knowing if a shaming event really will lead to better health habits or backfires.
This is why it is better not to do something similar to people we care about, especially not in the name of love. There are better ways of communicating and sending a clear message to someone you love in private rather than shaming them publicly for their looks. When we body-shame them, they could become very hurt by our words and not ever forgive us even after they lose the weight, if they ever do.