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Body Image: the Effects of Body Shaming (and how to Overcome it)

No matter our gender or size, we all potentially feel the effects of body shaming. But why not find parts of ourselves that we love and will not give up?

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Whenever we try to satisfy our desires there is someone who considers us unruly. We tend to consider our bodies as bad, weak. They tell us that we cannot control ourselves, so they feel obliged to do it for us. And this is where shame comes into play.

When someone judges our body we tend to be ashamed of having that body. No matter what our gender or our size is, we all potentially feel the effects of the body shaming.

We often forget that shame is not only a verbal fact, but that it also concerns the looks, attitudes or disapproval actions that people have. There are times when the shame is so subtle that those who try it tend to minimize it talking about confusion or sadness. And this happens especially to men, who do not easily admit to being ashamed of their bodies. Because being vulnerable with our feelings is considered weak or “unmanly”.

All this affects our relationships: we tend to always be on the defensive. Because we must protect ourselves emotionally from any potential risk of shame. We get nervous and we start being terrified of people because we are afraid.

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How can we overcome body shaming?

We all have something that doesn’t like about ourselves and would like to change. It’s human. But why not find parts of ourselves that we love and will not give up? Whether it’s a beautiful smile, eyes, calves, there’s something we love about ourselves.

And if we can’t find them, rather than looking at all the characteristics of those who make us feel inferior, we can look at the people who look like us and use their bodies as inspiration for themselves. Positive representations of various body types and body features are important and can help us.

How to deal with others’ comments

In the same way, one of the biggest changes is altering the way we perceive others’ comments. This is obviously easier said than done. But it’s enough to look at criticisms in two ways: who criticizes us is doing it because it starts from a personal shame (so we must not to become this kind of person because of our shame!). Or remembering that what that person says doesn’t define us or our body, but it is only the opinion of someone who does not think that we deserve to be happy. And honestly, who can decide that others shouldn’t be happy?

Even if we talk about body shaming, it’s important to remember that we are more than just our body. We are our emotions, our minds, our thoughts, our various senses, our personalities, our love and our empathy.

No one feels comfortable feeling ashamed, but one of the best things we can do is to be honest with others about how we feel and make them understand that what we want is just respect. And anyone who disagrees with this, it’s not worth losing any more time

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