Body Shaming : Why You Should Ignore It And Be The Best Version Of You
Once upon a time, we all lived in a world where size and shape didn’t matter. We didn’t take an awful lot of notice of how anyone else looked. Instead, we were more concerned with covering up and getting on with our daily lives to be caught up with something so trivial as the shape of our bodies. And if we did happen to sneak a peak, we’d feel a slight pang of jealousy over curves we didn’t have. Oh if only that were still the case.
In today’s modern society, this thing called body shaming exists. Who knows where it came from, or why anyone thought it was okay to start doing it. In short, body shaming sucks. It’s ignorant, mean and just plain rude. To comment on another woman’s (or man’s) figure seems like a right to online trolls, even if an opinion was neither asked for nor needed.
As the internet has gone from strength to strength, it seems, so has body shaming. Where once we could only see other bodies in person or magazines, now, we have instant access to them online. When once we may never have dreamt of commenting on a friend or family members figure, or felt the need to say anything about the polished silhouettes in magazines, now it seems suddenly ‘okay’ to some – those that do it online.
Why They Shame
In all honesty, you’d probably have to ask serial body shaming troll to find out why they do it, but there have been theories as to why it started in the first place. Surprisingly, body shaming isn’t all that new. It’s something that some of us have been doing for decades, but subconsciously. While in some, it may sound like ‘her figure is incredible, I wish I had one like it’ as a thought in the mind, in others, it would appear more like ‘how disgusting, how could she look like that?’ Sometimes, jealousy can transfer what should be a kind comment into an unkind one, and the spiral starts from there.
And yes the references to ‘her’ and ‘she’ have been used, because let’s face it, women can often be worse than men!
But it isn’t always jealousy that causes the shaming to start. In fact, it’s a lot more in-depth than that. Jealousy will always be a factor for why some people dislike or lash out at others, it’s sad but true. It isn’t the only culprit that started the idea of body shaming.
How Media Escalated It
It’s a commonly known cause, but the media has a lot to answer for. Just like in those days when we had no other form of comparison to make between ourselves and others than in magazines, the same sort of ideals are available now. Because that’s what the media portrays (most of the time) – ideals of life, ideals on happiness, and ideals on how a ‘normal’ or ‘healthy’ body should look.
Although the media are entitled to print whatever they choose, within reason, of course, they’re effectively overexposing us all to what something ‘should’ look like. In this case, it’s a body. So, subconsciously, when we look at any other shape that is other than the ideal we’ve been exposed to, we start to think it’s wrong. Thus, the body shaming begins.
Despite the reasons for why it happens, we may never understand what causes an individual to think such mean things about others and then go on to say them – or, as they’re more commonly shared, typed out online.
Should You Listen?
Why should you? If you’re happy and you’re healthy, then who are online trolls to tell you to change? You may not have received any first-hand body shaming before, but when you read about it going on, or hear others saying things, it can have an effect on your self-esteem.
As long you are the best possible version of yourself, you should never feel pressure to change. If you’re unhealthily overweight and you make a decision to change your lifestyle to benefit your health, then you’re making a decision that is best for you. And that’s okay. But if you’re within a healthy weight range and have curves in all of the right places, never feel like you should change your natural body shape, because others say it’s ugly.
In fact, what you should do it start your own feel-good campaign. Life is too short to stress over other people. Instead, start to love yourself and the skin you’re in.
Be Comfortable In Your Skin
It’s not always easy to feel comfortable just as you are, but all you can do is work on it. If you’re constantly trying to be your best, love yourself and be happy in your life, you’re off to the perfect start.
One of the best ways to improve your inner confidence is to stop comparing yourself. After all, from what we’ve learned about the origins of body shaming, it seems that comparisons have a lot to answer for too. When you compare yourself to someone else, you’re instantly setting yourself up for failure. There’s a well-known quote that sums it up nicely:
“Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”
And it couldn’t be any more relevant. If you’re comparing the way you look to others, you’re missing the point. You are you and you can only ever be you. And you may not look anything like the person, or people that you’re comparing yourself too, so you’re messing with your self-esteem by even thinking that you’re insignificant or worthless, just because you look nothing like them.
You can change your hair color, you can wear makeup, you can get plastic surgery, you but you’ll still be you inside. It’s time to start loving yourself for who you are. You can care for your hair, experiment with makeup and even get surgery if it’s what you want (here’s why we should stop shaming that too), as long as you start to feel happy in your own skin, because that’s what counts.
Be The Best Possible Version Of Yourself Your Can Be
And that brings us back to you. Being the best version of yourself isn’t about listening to negative comments or letting online trolls get to you. It’s about focusing on you, your goals and feeling good about who you are as a person, inside and out.
In fact, as well as the hate that can be found online, there’s a lot of inspiration available too. You can find inspirational vloggers on YouTube, bloggers, and influencers who can help you to achieve your goals. Say you want to lose weight, not because you’re searching for a body ideal, but because you don’t feel good in yourself anymore. You’re tired and lethargic and want to get that spring in your step back. Well, there are so many inspiring voices out there that might just be able to give you the motivation you need to get it done.
But these voices are not just online. You can find them in books too, even in the media. It’s not all bad, despite the impression that the body shamers have given you. You just need to learn to block out the negativity and find the good. And yes, that mantra can work with people too. None of us have time for negativity in our lives, and that includes people that bring us down. If you’re trying to be the best possible version of yourself, it might mean cutting a few individuals lose. But that’s okay. Because for every one bad egg you find, there’s be a diamond backing you up, spurring you on and fighting your corner. And they are exactly the kind of people you want to keep around (they’ve probably never trolled online either)!
Find Your Healthy Balance
When we talk about weighing up the bad people with the good, the body shaming comments with the inspirational, we’re talking about balance. It’s finding a healthy balance that can get you through tough times. To you, that might mean taking care of yourself. Getting your hair cut regularly, making that dentist appointment (if you’re behind, find a local one here – http://www.dentists.local24hour.com) or joining a gym – the things you do to take care of YOU! And that’s okay, because self-care is so important in today’s society. It might be the only thing that can allow us to break through body shaming and trolling when we start to get sucked in.
As long as you’re working on you, basing your decisions on what healthy looks like to you, then you’re doing just fine. Do you best to ignore negativity and never pay attention to anyone that wants to try and put you down for the way you look You only get one body, treat it well, and it will do the same to you. When you find the balance that works well for you, happiness is never that far away.