Let’s be honest…it’s 2020 and I am almost 100% positive every adult has experienced some form of body shaming.
Unfortunately, it has become somewhat acceptable in today’s society. Whether it be to your face, behind your back, or someone hiding behind their computer or phone on social media…most everyone has been body shamed!
What an awful feeling it is to be judged and attacked by people who may or may not even know you, yet proceed to make assumptions about you based on your appearance. I see it occur most frequently with women, and it breaks my heart every time.
As a nurse practitioner, I have seen female patients of all ages battle body image issues or body dysmorphia and turn to eating disorders, medications, or other unhealthy methods out of pure desperation to change their appearance in an attempt to please society! I have watched beautiful women starve themselves in order to get thinner, and others eat ungodly amounts of unhealthy food in an attempt to not look “anorexic” & coincidentally become binge eaters or even bulimic as a result of this behavior.
We are talking full blown mental disorders resulting from body shaming! This is huge, and everyone needs to take note of the impact your words can have on someone else’s well being & how they perceive themselves and see their own body!
I personally have been fit shamed more times than I can count. Some days my DMs are flooded with people calling me anorexic or saying I am a bad mother because I am obviously neglecting my children while I “work out at the gym all day” or ”run all day”. Just for the record, never in my life have I ever worked out all day or run all day, nor do I want to!
The longest I have ever run is 3.5 hours when I was running a marathon! ”You need to eat a cheeseburger” or “when was the last time your husband fed you?” are also common comments I get. Really? Why would anyone think it is okay to spew such hateful and unkind words at someone…someone they don’t even know? Whatever happened to women building each other up and encouraging one another to love our bodies…both the things we like and dislike about them. We all struggle with body image issues at one time or another in our life, so why attack each other?
Yesterday, I was at my gym working out and minding my own business when I overheard two young women fat shaming, laughing, & making jokes about a much heavier lady who was obviously new to working out at the gym & struggling at times to push through her workout. My first feeling was sadness!
How could someone be so mean and so insensitive! This lady may be here to improve her health, feel better about herself, or to change her life…so why would someone not celebrate that with her & offer her words of encouragement? To say I was appalled would be an understatement! The immediate next feeling I had was anger…..the old me would have just kept my mouth shut and felt sorry for the poor woman the girls were poking fun at, but not said a word to them about it! However, this 38-year-old mother of four that has endured body shaming herself has little tolerance for unnecessary meanness, so I called them out on it, right there in the middle of the gym…sure did!
I simply reminded them that being a woman is difficult & women should only build each other up because society is constantly trying to tear us down and make us feel less than!
Shame & embarrassment flooded their faces almost immediately! I then proceeded to introduce myself to the lady they were mocking and welcomed her to the gym! She lit up like a Christmas tree when I introduced myself and told me that this was her first day back in a gym since her husband was killed in a tragic car accident over a year ago. Wow! You never know what people are battling in their life, so please keep that in mind before you say anything negative or derogatory about someone, especially in regards to their body!
Why do we as women not only allow society to make us feel this way, but we also participate in inflicting body image issues on one another? I am against all forms of body shaming, fit shaming or fat shaming… it’s disgusting and it needs to stop! My hope is that we all will consider the damage we can do to someone with our words and always choose positivity and kindness over negativity and hate.