We may have been targeted for body shaming and made fun of either because of the size of our body or the belly fat or the double chin. Often, this is an unconscious pattern due to the messages we hear growing up and through our cultural lens. The concern is that body-shaming doesn’t end with passing mean comments on people with curves, stretch marks, and fat. It extends further. Body shaming is also about making fun of thin people. Skinny people are often accused of being anorexic and asked if they even eat food or are on a diet. This is also termed skinny shaming and can be just as toxic as fat shaming. This is why being body positive is more crucial than being a fitness freak.
Lately, there are more and more voices raised against fat-shaming. However, thin shaming persists to still be around. People who accept themselves as being body positive sometimes even don’t shy away from passing on comments on thin people. This is against the normalization of all body types and society continues to stay at a low vibration.
Here are a few tips to be body positive:
1. Know and appreciate your body type
We must understand our body type, know how our body reacts to different foods and exercises, and learn to accept and appreciate our bodies the way it is. Even though I am overweight, I practice martial arts three to four times a week, this helps me manage my lifestyle. As per your body type, you can plan out your diet and exercise schedule, so you lead a healthy lifestyle. The change in your usual lifestyle must not be a reflection of others’ comments but a shift in your mindset so you can live life in an unapologetic way.
2. Body confidence
The comments that we hear, be it for fat or skinny shaming are hurtful just the same. They affect our morale and confidence so much that we grow socially anxious and insecure about our looks and bodies Often leading to mental health problems. We can’t rewind and force others to stop speaking their minds but we can make efforts to ignore and unlearn those comments.
We can love, admire and accept our body as it is and project confidence when we go out in public. To be body positive, confidence can start from the outside, the clothes you wear, the accessories you use, but ultimately, we have to work on our inner spiritual confidence which starts from knowing who we are and from their practice of radical self-acceptance. Remember that once we start respecting ourselves, others will treat us with respect in return.
3. Raise awareness about normalization
Many times, when people make comments on our physical appearance, they are unaware of the impact it can cause in future. The hurtful comments may have been passed as a joke and they might not even be conscious of the words they have used or of the aftermath. It is our duty and moral obligation, as the recipients and a human, to raise awareness about the boundaries and the effects that a single comment can cause. We should stand up not only for ourselves but also help bring in the agency for others and talk more about the normalization of different body types.