We live in an image heavy culture that’s governed by our new society – the Internet. Representations of what our body should look like flock us endlessly. We start to feel and believe that our looks are inadequate. That we are part of the minor imperfect completely flawed group. Many of us in these shoes become devastated. Body shaming is now a popular culture laden with its stamp of approval that translates as the stamp of acceptance in this new society. People’s bodies go viral within seconds as the ideal of what we all should aspire to. But deep down, the larger percentage of us in the real world – the offline world – are paying dearly for this. We are getting increasingly unhappy from a body shaming culture that has dissipated every aspect of our lives. Perhaps, it’s time to do things differently.
Celebrities used to be the target of body shaming attacks. From Instagram to stages, they are worried about how they look and about whether they look right. They are constantly held to the ideal of the thin body. Today, the target is everyone. We are all victims of body shaming. Talking about body shaming and its adverse effects has become a matter of urgency. How often do you feel you are a bit too fat? How often do you wish you had a different body? You look at the mirror and compare your features with those of images shot across your screens. Body shaming can pull your self esteem to point zero. Now is the time you need to recognize it and attack it. While men can be body shamed too, women have been the subject of societal scrutiny on how their bodies should look for a really long time. Many women have attached their sense of worth to their bodies. We need to correct that.
Body shaming can manifest on the internet and in our minds. It is the reason we have to take loads of pictures before deciding on one. We cannot post in our selfie loving generation without first editing our photos. We now seem to have a certain dependence on editing softwares. The problem with that is there is more to life than us. There is more to life than our selfies or how our bodies look. We are raising a generation of girls and boys who attach their value to their looks. The size of our bodies are now a marker for our character. How exactly did we get here? It’s the reason we develop eating disorders, anxieties, and depression. Feeling that you are not good enough because of how your body looks is the worse feeling in the world. It can lead to emotional eating and to a sadness that’s indescribable.
Start right now to change what you see on your feed. Start taking your power back. When you judge your body and yourself based on what others think you should look like, you are handing the power of your ‘self’ to them. You are allowing them define who you are and who you could be. Replace celebrity overly edited photos with other things that are of interest to you and which expand your awareness of what else there is in life. You could follow dog videos, soothing photos of nature, or learn a new language. Taking your eyes off pictures of the ideal body can mean shifting your mind too. And if you want to work on what your body should be, do it from a place of self awareness, acceptance, and self love.
When you want to lose or add weight, think about this as a self-care choice. Don’t do it from the pressure to be like others or to be like the images the media sells you. Be good to your body for your own wellbeing. Body shaming is easier to deal with when you change your perspective from everyone’s expectation to practicing kindness to yourself. Change your thoughts from self loathing ones to action propelling ones. Notice how well you have been doing despite any relapses that got you where you are, and encourage yourself to do better. Realize that this is a culture and it is not the truth. There is no perfect body and there is no specific body idea that you need to aspire to.
Respond to the haters. When people body shame you, show them exactly how fabulous you are. People come in all shapes and sizes. There are no specifics on how we should look and we are all unique. Our beauty is in our uniqueness. You are fabulous just as you are. And maybe they do not know it. You tell them. Behind body shaming people is a sense of insecurity and most body-shamers project their sense of inadequacy on others. Even the internet trolls do. So the next time somebody tells you you look a certain way, tell them you are fabulous. You are one of the many awesome humans there are. If they don’t realize it, that’s on them.
Your body shape isn’t what defines you but your personality. Never forget that.