Are you inadvertently body shaming?

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I’m sure that everyone has read the many, many articles available on the internet about body shaming and why it’s wreaking havoc on our self-esteems. It’s become a major issue in people’s everyday lives, as well as in the fitness world.

Body shaming is not boiled down to just “fat shaming.” Shaming has many facets and categories in which people feel the need to place each other in. Basically, whatever people feel is not aesthetically pleasing in their own minds is “wrong.” Yep, this means that basically no matter what you look like, someone out there is going to think that it is too much or too little. Too fat, not toned enough, too muscular, not curvy enough, too skinny, not tall enough. Holy crap, where does it end?!

It ends by us making a conscious effort to change the dialogue and our mindsets on the issue.

Now before you think, “I would never body shame anyone!” I encourage you to think back on if you have ever said any of these things to yourself or maybe a friend in casual everyday conversation.

“That person is too fat to wear that outfit.”

“That woman is too muscular. Being toned is alright, but she looks manly.”

“That woman is too thin; she has no curves.”

“She would look better if she just lost some weight.”

“That girl needs to eat a sandwich.”

Honestly people, knock it off. This fat/fit/skinny shaming thing has gotten so out of control. Blame the media, blame magazines and Photoshop all you want. At the end of the day, it’s what we say about other people’s bodies and how we approach the topic that is the issue here. I absolutely encourage and embrace when people are being #bodypositive, but when it’s bashing the opposite body type to praise your own, is it truly getting us anywhere? If you’re saying these types of things to people, behind their backs, even thinking this way, you are continuing on this ugly trend. If we don’t acknowledge when we do it, we are saying that it’s okay. Which we can all agree, it is not.

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So, what can we do to reverse this?

Sure, we can’t control what the media and tabloids put out into the world. We can’t control the negative internet trolls who post vile content. We can however choose to lift each other up, and acknowledge when we aren’t. We can choose to be kind and focus on the beauty of differences in our bodies. We can encourage each other to find our healthiest selves no matter what that looks like on the outside. Again, this begins by changing the dialogue, or deleting negative words entirely.

Positivity is contagious. The sooner that we make a change in our attitudes towards body shaming, the sooner the issue will widdle away.

Written by Kara Foote

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