Body shaming is always wrong, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. Women who’ve faced weight-related discrimination deserve to know ways to arm themselves against these rude comments.
We collected some psychologists’ opinions on the effects of body shaming... and how to rise above them!
SHUT THEM DOWN!:
If you can’t (or don’t want to!) remove particular fat-shamers from your life, set clear boundaries when your weight is brought up in conversation. This doesn’t have to be aggressive! A simple “I can’t believe you chose to say that out loud,” or “did that sound right in your head, because it came out rude” or even “wow, I didn’t realize you were in a sour mood. We can talk when you’re feeling better” can do, when direct correction isn’t possible.
Avoiding Negative Self Talk:
Watch how you speak to yourself! A 2012 study found that the way women speak to each other about their bodies affected the way they thought about themselves. In other words, shame is contagious and often must be extinguished at the source.
Co-Issues Caused By Body Negativity:
VeryWellMind describes multiple issues that can arise when a person is subjected to body-shaming, including but not limited to:
- Body dysmorphic disorder
- Higher risk of self-harm or suicide
- Poorer quality of life (due to body dissatisfaction)
- Psychological distress