Everyday it seems we are told how we should look, act, or think. It is a matter of culture that tells us all the time through marketing and other means how we should cultivate a certain lifestyle, dress a certain way, or work to hide ‘imperfections,’ without knowing who we are or what we need. Subtle and overt body-shaming is everywhere. Television, print magazines, and especially social media play a huge role in this, along with family and others who may participate in this behavior. Learn more about body shaming, how it happens, and how to find support.
How it Happens
Quite often, body-shaming starts because we think about how we are told to change our appearance or become a certain way. It manifests in myriad ways, including:
- Criticism of our own appearance through comparison to others and self judgment
- Criticism of another person, how they look, and directing subtle or overt comments towards them
- Criticism of another person when they are not aware of it (behind their backs, gossiping)
Body-shaming is common because people have fears and insecurities they have not dealt with. It can be a defense mechanism people use to deal with difficulties in life or just to be mean to others and make themselves feel better.
Challenging the Shame
One of the best ways to challenge shaming is to be true to yourself and set healthy boundaries. It also helps to have some tips on how to avoid getting criticized and letting it turn into self shaming.
- Figure out what is upsetting to you about what was said or heard. Perhaps that person is hiding their comments behind fear, anger, or insecurities and is not sure how to express this towards you. You may also harbor it so be aware of what you’re feeling inside rather than cover it up with shaming comments
- Find positive people who affirm who you are. Think of people who celebrate themselves and you for you are. Don’t waste time with people who are not helpful and are not supporting you to view yourself in the best light possible
- Confront others who perpetuate body-shaming. You may notice how often friends, family, or co-workers shame you or others. Talk to them about this behavior and discuss why it is bothersome. Help them see how it may be harmful to them and what can be done about it
When you like your body, you are more likely to push away negative comments. Find something you love about others, as well, that you can balance out the challenges and figure out how to do what you need to do for yourself to feel celebrated rather than shamed for being okay the way you are in this moment.
Body shame can lead to challenges in your recovery. It is difficult to feel healthy when you are being criticized from within your own mind as well as from those who say they support you. We are founded on the principle of providing the best in care and services at affordable prices. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. If you struggle with body shaming issues, addiction, and mental health disorders, we can help. Call Oceanfront to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 877-279-1777