Negative and Positive Responses to Body Shaming

It Hurts
Body shaming implies making inappropriate or depreciating comments about a person’s body, body size or stature, hence making the addressed individual uncomfortable or insecure about how they look.

With the above definition, it can be clearly stated that being body shamed hurts, as the referenced individual is being made to not feel good about how they look.

When being body shamed, your body tends to shy away sometimes, or in other cases, lash out at the speaker. It is safe to say that there are positive and negative ways to react to body shaming.

Who Body Shames?
A body Shamer can be anyone, ranging from a friend to a foe, or from a stranger to one you're familiar with. Comments that make you feel insecure about your body can come from a friend, stranger, or even a close  family member.

It is also important to know that body shaming can take place anywhere; whether online or onsite.

Responses to Body Shaming
After going through this section, you can identify how you respond to body shaming; negatively or positively, and how to work more on responding positively.

Negative Responses
1. Self-sabotage
This refers to you acting or in a way that undermines your progress. In response to being body shamed, you might want to take steps that may be detrimental to your well-being. For example, an individual that faces skinny shaming might go ahead and start binge eating. The disadvantage of this is that the food consumed might not be balanced in nutrients.

2. Marinating in negative self talk
My friend wrote a blog post titled "How to Break Your Own Heart". At first glance, the picture that came to my head was one of hurting myself first before others do, that way, the pain reduces. In this case, it is you taking the liberty to body shame yourself first before other people do, that way their words will have less impact on you.

3. Body shaming others
The saying goes "do me I do you…". Sometimes when you are body shamed, your immediate response is to go ahead and body shame other people. Thereby adding to the number of body shamers out there. However, it is not appropriate of you to go ahead and inflict pain you're going through on another person.

4. Unhealthy attitude towards food
You have to come to the understanding that food is not the enemy when it comes to being body shamed. Food is a necessary part of your life that you need to gel with so as to live healthily. So treating your food with contempt is not the best response to body shaming. Relish and live in the moment while you eat each meal.

5.  Inexpressiveness
Being inexpressive in this scenarios means you're holding your feelings in, bottling them up without telling them to anyone. Maybe because you think they don't matter or because you are of the opinion that no one would understand you. If you're of the latter opinion, you can book a session with Askthedoc, where you'll have a professional ready to listen to you.


Positive Responses
1. Body positivity
You have to understand that feeling good about your body is pertinent to how you should carry yourself (with confidence). Be of the opinion that you're whole and good looking. And even if you want to switch up your appearance, let it not be because of someone's snarky comment.

2. Positive affirmation
Instead of marinating in negative self talk, learn to speak good things to yourself, say positive affirmations daily, or as often as you can. It will/can be hard starting out, but over time, these affirmations will start becoming an integral part of you that will shut out negative comments from your head.

 3.Polite call out
When someone body shames you, you can call the person out on their rude comment, making it clear that you do not appreciate such comments or compliments even. Or you can choose to pay deaf ears to comments that you do not want to deal with. This way, you can bring it to the attention of individuals who are unintentionally doing it that you do not like it. Hence, preventing them from crossing you.

4.Disconnect yourself from negative comments
Sometimes, when people call you a certain name over time, you would start seeing yourself in the light of who/what they call you. However, when it comes to body shaming, you have to separate yourself from the negative comments people pass. For example, when an individual is being pretty shamed; he/shes' intelligence is being downplayed because their look is visually appealing. Such an individual may want to start believing that he/she is not smart, which is wrong.

5. Open up to a trusted person
It can be hard bottling up your feelings while trying to act like you're perfectly fine. It is quite draining, so gradually opening up to someone you can trust will be of help to you, because that way you let out the words that are eating you up on the inside, and they tend to lose their power and potency.


Dealing with body shaming can be hard, and sometimes you may not know how to react or what response to give, other times, you might want to disappear or you  just want the ground to swallow you up. You need to recognize the need to appreciate your appearance, and also what your body does for you. Be your own hype person, even on days you feel there's nothing to go hyper on.




Igho-Uloho Divine

Igho-Uloho Divine is a writer and school teacher. She loves writing and sees it as a medium to share her thoughts, educate and inform. 
Her interests spans different areas including personal development, EdTech and content writing. 

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