How to counter body shaming?

Instead of accepting our body, we are more often ashamed of it. This is the effect of a very dangerous phenomenon called body shaming.

What is body shaming?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, body shaming is criticism of someone based on the shape, size, or appearance of the body.”

Body shaming wouldn’t exist if we didn’t create a culture that says beauty comes first. First, we impose a canon of a perfect appearance that is impossible to achieve, and then we consider those who care about it to be vain.

Types of body shaming: 

1. Weight: one of the most common reasons why a person’s body is shamed is because of weight. How many times you have heard such statements like: ”you are too big, do something with yourself, go to the gym, follow a diet” or ”you are too slim, are you ok? Have you eaten something today?”

2. Body hair: it’s a totally normal thing, that hair grows on different parts of your body like arms, underarms, legs, and private areas. Women are forced to follow the ”beauty canons” and shave all parts of their bodies. According to images imposed in different social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, one more visible hair on women’s body parts is the reason for big shame!

3. Attractiveness: known as well as ”pretty-shaming” is the form of bullying and discrimination against people who are good-looking. Unfortunately, this trend is very frequent, especially in the working environment. Attractive women are less likely to take up authority positions at work.

4.Food:  food shaming occurs in relation to the body size. It happens when, other person makes remarks about your diet. Have you heard the statements like: ”stop eating that sweets!”, ”you eat too little, is your food sun energy?!”  It is also possible that you can food shame yourself: ”why I ate one more slice of this cake, I’m so fat already?!”

5. Clothing: cloth shaming is related to body size. It happens when for example people who have larger sizes of clothes are criticized in fornt of others, and asked to wear spandex clothes in order to look slimmer.

6. Age: age-shaming is the discrimination of people because of their age. This phenomenon is related more likely to eldery people. Probably, many times you heard or notices such statements like: ”this woman is too old to wear such a make-up!!”, ”she would like to look like a teeneager, she can’t stop ageing!!”

Body shaming has negative impact on the person’s well-being! It may cause serious consequences on mental health such as:


*eating disorders


*high risk of suicide 

To sum up, we all should do our best to create more inclusive societies, where everybody is accepted despite of their body shape. Don’t judge others. Don’t be too critical for yourself! The appearance of  the people bodies change because of different reasons: health issues, stress, age.  Be supportive to others, and to yourself too. Remember the best you can do is self-care and taking care of other people feelings too!!

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