How often do we look at ourselves or others and appreciate our whole, with all the flaws and imperfections? So many people dodge social gatherings or networking because they don’t have that ideal body as per the norms set by society. It’s because what only matters is your physical appearance and other things confidence, empathy, and honesty come secondary. At least in this era, social media is doing its best to disseminate that “perfect body” image, and many people are out there to nudge you about your “imperfections”. Celebrities face the music too. Selena Gomez has recently opened up about being body shamed over her weight gain due to the medical condition Lupus, 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 the stage of the epidemic in India in this century, with 5 percent of the country’s population suffering from morbid obesity. While passing insensitive comments to others about their body weight, little do we realize how much of a psychological impact it can have on others. Fat shaming can make people lose their self-confidence and can take a toll on their mental and physical well-being. In severe cases, under the psychological effects of body shaming, anxiety, and depression can set in, leading to aggravation of the health issue, or eating disorders.
Health Shots got in touch with clinical psychologist Dr Kamna Chhibber to understand how to overcome body shaming.
How to deal with body shaming?
It all starts with us. Before asking others to mind their tongue and before criticising the bodies of others, we need to learn how to love ourselves first and have acceptance towards who we are as a whole.
1. Focus on your whole self
Understand that you are a whole, a combination of strengths, weaknesses, perfections, and imperfections. Having a certain body type is just a part of you and not your whole. In moments of low-self esteem, drift your attention towards who you are and what strengths you are made up of to be able to adore yourself and accept the way your body is. “Look at building a positive sense of self which integrates your understanding of attributes and skills you possess, “tells the expert.
2. Set some fitness and health goals
Instead of whining about your body type, shift your perspective to see where are all the areas where there is scope for improvement in terms of your health. If you feel that you want to look your best, consider getting your fitness and physical health in place by indulging in healthy eating or workout. Look at it as an opportunity to grow and become healthier.
3. Express your emotions to the shamers
There are many times when slim people fat-shame others with the belief that this might motivate them to eat less, do more workouts, and lose weight. However, this does more harm than good. Being a victim of such petty comments, the expert suggests, “Express how you feel and think when someone comments on your body size or type. Feedback can make people aware of the impact of their actions.”
4. Surround yourself with supportive people
You can have all kinds of people around you. But, you can always step out of the company of those who discourage you or mock your weight. You can choose your friends wisely, the ones who are empathetic towards your issues and motivate you to do better.
5. Practice positive self-talk
You spend the most time with yourself, and the way you talk to yourself can largely impact the quality of your life. Create more positive self-talk that reinforces the goodness of what you do and who you are.