How often do we look at ourselves or others and appreciate them as their whole, with all the flaws and imperfections? So many people avoid social gatherings or networking because they do not have the ideal body as per the norms set by the society. This is because only your physical appearance matters and other things like confidence, empathy and honesty are secondary. At least in this era, social media is doing its best to spread that “perfect body” image, and many people are out to point out your “flaws.” Even celebrities face the music. Selena Gomez recently opened up about being body-shamed over her weight gain due to a lupus medical condition, while Priyanka Chopra Jonas was emotionally hurt after being told she wasn’t “sample size”! So, how to deal with body shaming?
Well, obesity has reached epidemic stage in India in this century, with 5 percent of the country’s population suffering from morbid obesity. While passing insensitive comments on others about their body weight, we do not realize the psychological impact it can have on others. Fat shaming can lower people’s self-confidence and affect their mental and physical health. In severe cases, the psychological effects of body shaming can lead to anxiety and depression, which can lead to health problems, or eating disorders.
Health Shots caught up with clinical psychologist Dr. Kamna Chhibber to understand how to deal with it body shaming,
How to deal with body shaming?
It all starts with us. Before telling others to mind their tongues and criticizing others’ bodies, we need to learn how to first love ourselves and accept ourselves for who we are.
1. Focus on your whole self
Realize that you are a whole, a combination of strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, and flaws. Having a certain body type is just a part of you, not the whole of you. In moments of low self-esteem, draw your attention to who you are and what makes you strong so that you can worship yourself and accept your body. “Look at building a positive sense of self that integrates your understanding of the qualities and skills you have,” the expert explains.
2. Set some fitness and health goals
Instead of complaining about your body type, change your perspective and see where all the areas of your health leave room for improvement. If you feel like you want to look your best, consider working on your fitness and physical health by eating healthy or exercising. See this as an opportunity to grow and become healthier.
3. Express Your Feelings to the Shamers
Many times skinny people fat-sham others in the belief that it might motivate them to eat less, exercise more, and lose weight. However, it does more harm than good. Being a victim of such petty comments, experts suggest, “How you feel and think when someone comments on your body shape or type. Feedback can make people aware of the impact of their actions.
Read also: Freedom From Body Shaming: This Woman Who Was Once A Victim Copes Her Size With Style, Literally!
4. Surround yourself with supportive people
You can have all kinds of people around you. But, you can always break out of the company of people who put you down or make fun of your weight. You can choose your friends wisely, who sympathize with your issues and inspire you to do better.
5. Practice Positive Self-Talk
You spend the most time with yourself, and the way you talk to yourself can affect the quality of your life to a great extent. Have more positive self-talk that reinforces the goodness of what you do and who you are.