You may have seen the term ‘body shaming’ used on social media and you may have seen it being dismissed as ‘being woke’ or some people claim that shaming someone will help them to be ‘happier and healthier’. So let’s first look at what body shaming is.
What is Body shaming?
Body shaming is making negative comments about the appearance of someone else’s or your own body. For example, implying someone would look better or would feel better if they lost of gained weight or comparing your body to somebody else’s in a negative way (“My thighs are disgusting and huge compared to hers”. It can even show up when trying to comfort someone else when they are feeling insecure i.e “You look better than her, people don’t like skinny girls”
But what if body shaming will motivate me?
You may hear people say that while body shaming is not very nice, it will motivate people to reach their fitness goals or to become ‘healthy’.
Firstly, it’s none of your business to decide what is healthy for someone else. Secondly, Scientific studies have found that not only does body shaming not help motivate people, it does the absolute opposite!
A study found that fat shaming actually leads to further weight gain) Other studies showed exposure to weight-stigmatizing information made people feel less in control of their nutrition and a study in 2019 published in Pediatric Obesity found that children who were bullied about their bodies had increased weight gain well into adulthood.
"All of the evidence is that fat shaming just makes people feel worse. It lowers their self-esteem. It makes them feel depressed and anxious and as a result of that what they then do is self-destructive." Jane Ogden, a professor of health psychology at the University of Surrey.
Worse still body shaming can be extremely dangerous as it has also been linked to eating disorders and can be damaging to peoples mental health One in eight (13%) adults experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image.
What can I do about Body shaming?
It can be difficult to tackle body shaming, because it is so normalised in society through magazines screeching that a celebrity has cellulite or even sitting around with family commenting about someone’s appearance on a reality TV show, some people will believe in it’s existence as much as they’d believe in the Easter bunny or worse some people deem it helpful. So how can we stop body shaming?
This Is me:
I’m Emma, I train women (Offline and Online) who may struggle with their confidence and self esteem. I believe that women need more options that suit different lifestyles and needs, some of us don't have time to stick to a rigid plan, some people are to scared to even set foot in a gym (I have been there).