Mild teasing, taunting, constructive criticism or hardcore body-shaming – call it what you want. It is an eerily discomforting notion to see people look down upon you because of your looks, more so when it happens while you are surrounded by your most loved ones. In fact, you are being constantly body-shamed (albeit subtly) every time you go on the internet. Every day, you will see hundreds of articles, blogs, pictures and videos that show you different ways to obtain that perfect “Bikini body” or “Toned Muscular Frame”.
Does this not make you want to slog and tire out trying to get that slender frame? Well, this is what fat shaming does to you. It forces you to feel depressed with your own body and makes you yearn for that “perfect frame”. In this article today, you will learn about how to deal with such criticism and overcome them to improve your self-belief and confidence.
10 ways to overcome body-shaming from family and friends
Some of the best ways to deal with and overcome body-shaming from friends and family have been discussed here.
1. Express your Disappointment and Feelings Appropriately
Not every person making a crude remark about your body intends to hurt you. At every stage of our life, we have been taught to strive towards achieving a certain body-shape while viewing fatness negatively. Hence, some crude remarks might also be a result of such thought patterns.
It is important to explain your views and thoughts about their remarks and taunts in a polite manner. Make them understand that their remarks cause a great deal of pain to you and that they should stop. On many occasions, this is enough to get your family and friends to stop body-shaming you.
2. Self-Care Routine
In order to counter the negative effects of body-shaming, it is important for you to develop your own thought patterns and appreciate your body. This will help you avoid feeling underwhelmed due to the negativity spread by the body-shapes of others.
This can be achieved through proper self-care routines and indulging in fat acceptance contents. Even regular self-administered compliments in front of a mirror can be of immense help in maintaining a positive mindset about your own body.
3. Educate and Enlighten
This method is not only very effective in helping you overcome the negativity of body shaming, but is also a rather difficult one. Instead of learning to ignore the criticism and taunts made by your family and friends, why not educate them to see the positives of varying body sizes and shapes.
For instance, a fat pole dancer really packs a punch; it gets the audience cheering for more.
This will help them to appreciate all body shapes and sizes, and avoid making any derogatory comments in future.
4. Understand Root Cause and Sympathize
Many people indulge in body-shaming tactics due to the bitterness of their own pasts. Mothers often tell their own sons and daughters to get in shape so that their children do not have to deal with the mental suffering and hardships that they themselves had to face.
Hence, it is important to for you to understand where these thoughts are actually coming from, and deal with them positively. You need to be sympathetic to their thoughts and feelings while trying to change their outlook towards body fat.
5. Patience is the Key
Like most other aspects of life, a little patience can work wonders here too. Hence, it is important to avoid radical retorts to a family member who makes a derogatory comment about your body.
Instead, you need to be patient and deal with their fatphobia patiently, explaining to them about your own positivity of your body shape and size. This will help them understand and appreciate your viewpoint as well.
6. Don’t Feed the Trolls
Sometimes, all your efforts to educate and enlighten your family and friends about the positivity of different body shapes and sizes and fall on deaf ears. No matter how much you strive to explain things to them, everything is going to roll downhill.
In such circumstances, turning a deaf ear to their derogatory comments will do you a world of good. At the end of the day, thinking about what they have to say to you might not be worth your time at all.
7. Getting Upset Sometimes is Okay
No matter how much you try, it may not be possible for you to show a straight face all the time. Sometimes, the derogatory taunts may come from a person very close to your heart, and that might hurt you. In these situations, you must know that it is fine to be upset.
Do not bottle up your feelings and emotions or they might burst awkwardly at some point. Instead, acknowledge the fact that your feelings have been hurt and work on a way to repair them using your very own positivity.
8. Bank on your Support System
There must be at least one member in the family or your friends-circle with whom you are able to rely upon every time for moral support and strength. Reach out to your support system and talk about your feelings and emotions. This will help relieve you of your baggage and make your hear light.
9. Practice Self-Belief
Simply saying positive things about your own body may not be enough to help you overcome the effects of fatorexia. You need to believe everything you say, and that is easier said than done. You must learn to believe in and appreciate your own body. If you keep saying positive things about your own body and then comparing and regretting the next instance you see a fitter body-shape, you do not really believe yourself.
10. Seek Professional Help if Needed
If you feel that your mental condition and body image has been tarnished beyond repair due to years of constant body-shaming from loved ones, get professional help. A little expert help can help you repair the damage and get your own confidence back. It might also help you set upon a healthier mental path.
Body-Shaming is Not Uncommon, but Can Be Dealt With
Regardless of whether you have had to suffer derogatory comments about your body for a few months or a number of years, it is quite natural to feel hurt or get offended. Sometimes, it may also lead you to a path of depression. This is, in fact, very common in almost every corner of the world as seen from body shaming statistics. In fact, 94% of teenage girls and 65% of teenage boys have been fat shamed before.
Hence, it is very important for you to learn how to deal with such derogatory comments and overcome their negativity, especially when they come from loved ones like family and friends. Once you are able to deal with such reactions from your loved ones, dealing with outsiders may become a walk in the park.
As you overcome fat shaming, you will be able to concentrate on your weight loss efforts. And if you have been struggling to lose weight, there's good news.
Scientists have been researching the root cause of obesity and have found some interesting leads.