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The Harmful Effects of Body Shaming & Why It Needs to Stop!

Look at social media, what do you read? Body Shaming. Look for an hour. What do you see?

Mostly posts that convince you only thin women look like angels. Unfortunately, celebrity news criticize new moms for failure to lose baby weight. In most cases, media makes fun of everyone for being too skinny, too tall, too thick, too busty, too hairy.

The general message? Your should be ashamed of your body. Regardless. Sadly, words that point out another person’s “otherness” amount to bullying and verbal abuse.

No matter how helpfully intended, body shaming says “who you are is basically ugly, unacceptable, and undesirable. You deserve to be punished until you are more like me.”

Body Shaming hits hard and wounds deeply. Consider the fall out:
Unfortunately, eating disorders can be caused by a history of being teased or ridiculed based on size or weight.

As well as, body shaming crushes the self-esteem and confidence of another human being.

In addition, women with high levels of body shame report higher amounts of infections, poorer overall health, and more frequent digestive trouble and headaches.

Social anxiety often result from a sense of rejection regarding weight or physical attributes.

Not surprisingly, body shamed women also feel ashamed of natural bodily functions. For instance, menstruating, sweating, and eating became problems to hide. As a result, they tend to deny themselves quality care, leading to more illness and disease.

So, why should we care enough to stop the body shaming?
Body shaming is not encouragement or concern. In no way, is it tough love or helpful. It is often judgmental health advice.

Research shows that constant mention of a person’s weight creates more stress causing weight gain.

Thus, the idea that anyone needs to be humiliated into a healthy lifestyle ignores that person’s right to respect and compassion.

And, respect and compassion are two important factors for fostering self love.

Body shaming claims a body is right or wrong. The message? To be on the “right” side of health and beauty, change yourself.

As a result, many people make external appearance a “goodness” or “badness” of human character.

Also, body shaming communicate that those who allow themselves to exist outside the ”right” body norms should be punished. They are seen as being “lazy,” “unmotivated,” or “undisciplined.”

Not to mention, body shaming keeps alive stigmas and social division. Drawing a line between the worthy and the unworthy. In other words, people who count and people who don’t count. The lovable and the unlovable.

Keep in mind that body shaming really speaks to the shamer’s discomfort with a deviation from body ideals and social acceptance.

Ultimately, body shaming labels and excludes people based on an unattainable “ideal” image.

Unfortunately, people suffer when we fail to show kindness towards each other.
Don’t most of us just want to be seen and appreciated? Instead of peered at and picked apart? Therefore, no one benefits from acting as though our value can be lessened by weight gain, muscle tone, or any other external feature. Above all, our bodies are our own, not invitations for public commentary.

And, not invitations for public analysis. Ideally, without shaming, our bodies can be our home free of fear or disrespect. Regardless of shape or size, we can grow compassion and care. Allowing us all to connect with each other and let down our guard.

“It’s time we shift from…
… self-judgment to radical self-love.… shame to radiant self-expression.… chasing an ideal to celebrating what’s right here and now.… what we weigh to how we live.” ~Carmen Cool.


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