By Tracey Leslie
The Oxford dictionary definition of ‘body shaming’ is the act or practice of humiliating a person based on their body type by making critical and/or mocking statements about their body shape and size.
Whatever your age or gender, the sad truth is body shaming could affect you! A 2016 study, found that as women and men age, women report consistent levels of body shaming while men start to report feeling more confident. The researchers concluded that this was because, as a culture, it’s more acceptable to comment on a woman’s body whether she’s 14 years old or 84 years old, while men are deemed “just fine” throughout their lives.
Although initially men and woman were ‘fat-shamed’ for being overweight or not having that stereotypical ‘model thin/hunky muscle bound’ body, social media has taken it to a new level. Body shaming has taken a new dimension, coming from all directions, shaming about your parenting style or your lifestyle, it’s gone from body shaming, to mind, body and soul shaming. And it has to stop!
These days any sign of imperfection or too much perfection can bring you abuse. Sadly, individuals are being body-shamed for being ‘too thin’ or ‘too muscled’, jealous individuals continue ‘bitching’ on social media.
A recent survey carried out by ‘Filtrated’ found that 93 percent of women and 83 percent of men reported being body shamed, with their stomach, legs and abs being the body parts most criticised. body shaming has caused self-harming, eating disorders and even suicides. You hear nowadays of teenagers having aesthetic surgery, all while their bodies are still developing, sadly due to bullying/social media and peer pressure. It’s a mean world.
Why do People Body Shame?
I have two children, I work, I have a busy life and certainly don’t have the time, let alone the desire to start trolling someone for the way their body is, whether it is natural or surgically enhanced that surely is their choice? Even if asked for an opinion I wouldn’t be able to be harshly truthful! It’s a form of mental bullying. There is enough negativity in this world without being unfairly cruel to someone, just because deep down you probably envy them!
Learn to Love your Body
I have never been blessed with large boobs, to be honest people have always questioned if I am lying on my back or front!! Many of my friends over the years have shown off their ample cleavages, while I had the chest of a 12-year-old boy! And two kids later!! Say no more! My friends and I have laughed about me wearing socks in my bra! I have looked on with envy when friends have an outfit that compliments their bodies, enhancing their boobs, yet after years of listening to their complaints of back-aches, sagging, difficulty exercising ……. The envy is no-longer! I work out and they would get in the way!! That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it!
There seems to be no age limit on being a target of body shaming, you can be a beautiful 47 year old woman like Kelly Ripa, who has an extremely gym honed body, her proud husband photographed her recently in a bikini. Oh no! the trolls were unleashed! One quote: ‘even if you have the body to wear a bikini, surely there is an age limit’ – REALLY! What are they on about? We are lucky enough to live in countries where we are allowed to wear/say what we like. If you have a body like that and can rock a bikini, then go ahead! Jealousy is a very horrible trait!
Check out what Mark Consuelos posted on Instagram of his “sexy one.”
Holly Willoughby was trolled recently for losing too much weight, although she looks amazing the trolls sadly were out, saying she is too thin, has lost too much weight, her curves have disappeared and that she used pills to diet! It’s a jealousy thing sadly! Small minded people with too much time on their hands!
Journalist Bryony Gordon and model Jada Sezer ran the London Marathon, in their underwear to support body positivity.
Proud to be seen, Sophie Mayanne, ‘behind the scars’ and how she loves her body.
This is MY body and I'm PROUD of it. I recently took part in an interview for @bbcthree called "The Naked Truth: Obesity" where 5 men and women (including me!) talk real about our bodies, and the skin we're in. You can catch it now on BBC iPlayer. #bbcthree #mybody Any comments with advice on how to lose weight, or any of a rude nature will promptly be deleted and blocked – as this account is a space that celebrates ALL kinds of bodies.
Ways we are fighting Body Shaming
We are all about body positive, strong over skinny, healthy over thin, inner happiness over the looks. Here are some of the ways we are embracing self-love:
- A healthy lifestyle is important, don’t put the primary focus on weight (and numbers)
- Realise inner happiness is not all about how you look – thin does not mean happy
- Remove negative people from your life
- Love yourself for who you are and be realistic about your goals
- Don’t judge others, there are many reasons people struggle with their weight. Many of which are health-related and can be a constant battle for the individual. It is important not to shame people, but to especially not shame someone for something they have little control over.
So, what we are saying is to love your body, own it by accepting the one you have. Join our body positive community today by subscribing to our weekly newsletter and never miss a thing!