While body shaming might be a confusing and a hard subject for some of you to talk about, body shaming is something that has become quite prevalent among teens and young adults. Addressing it, however, can lead to overpowering those negative thoughts. Remember that body shaming is not just for one set of people, it applies to those who consider themselves either too fat or too skinny.
I can remember when I was told: "eat something you are way too thin." You cannot imagine how bad I felt, and it just grew worse. Due to illness, I put on some weight and was now on the flip side of things. Those who did not call me a cow told me to leave food alone. I felt as though I could not win. Interestingly, constant criticizing happens every day to people.
Whether the comments came from family, friends or strangers, it all felt the same, hurtful. I found myself always having to defend myself whether I was feeling too skinny or when I was feeling too fat. Just when you think people are in acceptance of the differences in others, you find that there is a double standard when it comes to women's body weight and image.
When you look in any magazine, you are sure to find ten different ways to lose weight, and in that same journal, you will find articles criticizing our favorite celebrities on their weight. Our media has created a standard for beauty that is virtually impossible to achieve, yet people, especially women, consistently strive for perfection, hurting themselves in the process. I decided to take control and reset my confidence.
Here are some steps to break your TOO FAT OR TOO SKINNY self-barrier.
To secure yourself, surround yourself with positive people who will accept you for who you are.
- Create a no-tolerance of body shaming zone around you.
- Keep away from body shaming gossip.
- Walk away from derogatory body image conversations.
- Know that you have the POWER to allow or not to allow what is said to you.
- It is your body learn to LOVE it and accept yourself for who you are.
- Encourage others to also be in control.
- Body image degradation is a problem, but it does not have to be YOUR problem.
- Decide that until society begins to change their views and care about the everyday teens and young adults, be that person who loves themselves.
As cliché as it sounds, realizing that the media's standard of beauty is unrealistic, it is probably the first and most important step. By allowing this to resonate, we not only have more confidence in ourselves but also have more acceptance and respect for each other.
Header photo by Joe Desousa