Updated: Jan 5
No matter how an individual looks, they’re subjected to different kinds of body shaming. Those who look skinny and thin are advised to put on weight. Those who have weight are asked to trim down. People with stretch marks, scars, acne, pimples, pigmentation, and so on experience body shaming in countless ways for not matching up to the beauty standards. . It's challenging for young people to accept differences due to pressure from social media, comparison to bollywood movies, etc. even when the individuals try to be self accepting of differences.
Receiving harsh comments on an everyday basis about one’s body can lead to low self-esteem, low self-belief, depression, eating disorders and a sense of worthiness. Although it is said not to judge people by their looks, societal expectations have bruised the mental health for many individuals.
ManoShala offers affordable and accessible mental health solutions to everyone dealing with anxiety, depression,grief, body-image issues and other conditions through one-on-one counseling as well as art-based group wellness workshops. With music, body movement, art and drama, ManoShala offers support to individuals dealing with various mental issues including mental health body shaming. Book a free 15-minutes pre-screening call with us to discuss your requirements.
If you are experiencing body shaming mental health, what should you do? How to overcome body shaming? Do you observe changes in mental health from body shaming? How to avoid body shaming? Let’s figure it out!
Damaging effects of body shaming!
Have you ever wondered, how can body shaming affect a person? The effects of negative comments can lead young girls to take unhealthy actions such as extreme workouts, starving oneself, obsessing over body fat and extensive use of social media for external validation. People who have experienced trauma, depression, self-harm, low self-esteem, or borderline personality disorder are more likely to develop body shaming and eating disorders.
Cause for body shaming
There are many factors that can contribute to body shaming. Some common causes include:
Social media and movies: Social media platforms often present a narrow, unrealistic standard of beauty, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and body shaming
Appearance-based discrimination: Body shaming can be a form of discrimination based on appearance, and it can be directed at people of all sizes and shapes
Stereotypes and biases: People may body shame others because they are influenced by stereotypes or biases about certain body types, such as the belief that thinness is more attractive or that certain body types are more successful or capable
Childhood experiences: Some people may experience body shaming or negative body image due to negative experiences or comments they received during childhood
Pressure to conform: There may be societal pressure to conform to certain standards of appearance, which can lead to body shaming and negative body image.
Personal insecurities: People may body shame others as a way of deflecting attention from their own insecurities or as a way to feel superior.
A lack of education: Some people may body shame others because they simply don't know better or because they haven't been educated about the harmful effects of body shaming
Mental Health Effects of Body Shame
Body shaming can have serious mental health impacts. Low self-esteem, feeling of unworthiness, inadequacy can contribute to depression, grief and anxiety. Negative body image can lead to social isolation, causing loneliness and depression .Also, body shamed individuals may have difficulty in forming healthy relationships
How to handle Body Shaming?
Don’t try to please everyone as people will always have something to say. It’s impossible to meet society's beauty standards every day. So, here's some thoughts on how to face body shaming:
Acknowledge your feelings
It's important to validate your feelings and acknowledge that it's okay to feel hurt, angry, or frustrated.
Bullies are everywhere. So, love yourself. Instead of judging yourself harshly, try to be kind and understanding towards yourself. Remind yourself that everyone has flaws and that no one is perfect. Face the mirror, look yourself in the eye, and learn to love your body. Don't be self-deprecating. Your inner bully can ruin your day. Keep your best qualities in mind and stop trying to be perfect.
Focus on your strengths
Instead of dwelling on negative comments about your appearance, try to focus on your strengths and the things you like about yourself.
Embrace body positivity
Positive self-perception is the key to good mental health. Be grateful for what you have instead of focusing on what you do not possess. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Love yourself no matter what shape or color your skin is. You don't have to worry about what people think. We're all imperfect, so don't be too hard on yourself. Be body positive, and don't worry about what people think. It's better to enhance your appearance based on how you feel.
Stop hiding and put yourself out there!
Isolating yourself from others, covering your body, or wanting to disappear is sad. Life doesn't have to be like this. Don't live in the shadows. What's the point of trying to live when you're worried about what others think? Accept and love your body. Get out of hiding! You don't have to limit your potential because of body shaming. By taking little steps and paying attention to how you feel, you'll get over your fear and stop hiding.
Manage your social media accounts
Get rid of toxic people and unfollow those who make you feel uneasy about yourself. It's your social media account, so be sure to manage it. Follow influencers who support body positivity. If you're looking for health, follow fitness pages. If you're looking for self-acceptance, follow pages that celebrate it.
Some people body shame others because they simply don’t have the awareness. Educate and explain to them there is no one way to define beauty. It comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
It’s easy to realize when you’re being body shamed. However, you might not realize that you might be body shaming others too. Pick your words carefully. Do you know what does body shaming lead to? Body shaming can cause serious mental health impacts to others. If you or someone that you know deals with mental health issues due to prolonged body shaming, schedule an appointment with a mental health professional. They can provide you with support and strategies to cope with body shaming and improve your self-esteem.