Body shaming is the odious practice of making critical, unpleasant and potentially humiliating comments about a person’s body size and weight. ‘You are so fat, you look like a pig! Watch what you eat!’ or ‘Why, you look painfully thin the mildest gale of wind will sweep you off your feet.’ express in utter disgust at a body that is not yours won’t give anyone joy. If the recipient of this bile is an emotionally unstable person, it can send them into a severe bout of depression whose end one don’t always know.
These people are emotional bullies that you don’t want to get at you and start toying with your emotions. You should do whatever it takes to prevent anyone tilting your emotional and mental health dangerously off normal. I call this people emotional health predators that none of us should accommodate in our life.
Imagine someone who perennially pokes fun at some part of your anatomy, they are never kind and are always looking to inflict maximum damage and laugh at their victims’ misery. These Human Weight Scales are not really concerned about your health and fitness. Their aim is to make fun and subject their victims to untold misery.
Someone who is genuine won’t ever jeer at your body. They will rather lovingly encourage you to make the right decisions with zero judgment while not been forceful. Should we then give these bullies free rein and allow them run amok all over our emotions? My answer is no and I’m certain yours is as well. So come with me on this journey to freedom from emotional health predators.
1. It’s Not About You.
Don’t ever take any of the taunts and jeers to heart; it’s never about you! It’s about them and their depraved minds. Anytime they are on and on doing what they know how to do best, instead of getting angry that you want to break things, pity them. Come to think of it, they deserve pity really.
They are probably suffering from some far reaching emotional issues that they are afraid to face heads-on, so they cowardly see bullying others as an outlet for their pains. They think they can get validation for their own existence by asserting their perceived bodily superiority over yours. They are not better than you.
Don’t forget that the humiliating, cruel things another person says are about their own prejudices and misconceptions, not about who you are as a person. Their intent is to make you feel like crap while they are the real crappy ones: the Royal Crappy of Crap Land.
It takes a depraved mind to glory in another’s misery. Again I say, pity them.
2. If You Can Defend Yourself, Please Do So
If you know you are emotionally and mentally strong enough to take the body shamers up, or to defend someone being bullied around you, by all means step up. Some people might think getting verbal with the bully is out of place, or that it’s not worth it.
While it’s probably not a good idea to get into a serious verbal or physical altercation, in fact it is not a good idea, but there are many civil ways one can deploy to put the emotion predator firmly in their place.
3. But If You Can’t ,That’s OK too
A lot of things might contribute to this: it could be the kind of job you do. For instance, you are a member of the clergy. It wouldn’t speak well of you to be involved in an altercation – even it’s mild - with another especially, if you find it tough to control your temper. Things can escalate pretty quickly and that won’t bode well for your reputation.
Or you might just be exhausted by it all and plain allow the blabbers ample opportunity to blab away while you continue living a fabulous life. It takes a lot of energy to talk you know. It’s like this: you put them to task without asking. They see you and get to work.
So deciding to keep cool through it all is also valid!
4. Some People Might Not Know That’s What They Are Doing
Some people body shame not knowing that’s what they do as the intention is not to make the person or anyone within earshot feel bad. For instance as a man, when you see a woman that ticks all the boxes for you physically and exclaim ‘That’s a real woman!’
Does that mean those women outside that bracket are not real?
If the body shaming is coming from someone you care about and trust, albeit inadvertently, you can try to engage with them. It doesn’t have to be serious discussion, you can express it with humour and you both laugh it off.
It might mean the difference between a negative a negative interaction and an experience that can be ultimately be positive.
5. ‘Holy’ Anger Is Permitted
Society has an incredibly dangerous attitude that dictates the type of responses an aggrieved person should make. It is common place to see people berating an aggrieved person while leaving the oppressor to walk free. It’s like this: once he says ‘sorry’ and follows it up with a sober look even if it’s not genuine, the aggrieved must as a matter of fact, forgive immediately.
They don’t give them the chance to process the apology and work up the forgiveness at their own pace. The line is “He said sorry already! What else do you want? Are you God? We even offend God and He forgives, who are you?
Just like that! The aggrieved becomes the villain. His offence? Well, he was angry at an offence!
That being said, body shaming is conflict, and if you encounter it and it rubs you the wrong way, you’re allowed to get angry. Your anger is constitutional.
However, it’s important to note that the anger must be well modulated. Flying off the handle while leaving the cause of the anger unaddressed will surely not give the desired result.
6. It’s An Opportunity To Educate
Never miss an opportunity to educate! When your anger is spent and it’s all over, make the moment teachable. That is if the person is open to being corrected. Remember that many negative interactions like this have the potential for a positive outcome if one is patient enough to seize the moment. Not only will the person stop body shaming you, but he will also stop body shaming anyone. That’s a win!
I hope I have been able to equip you with armour against body shamers. The next time they come at you with their body shaming antics, keep these points in mind and remember: it is not just your battle. You stand for yourself, you stand for us all.
I soothe with my pen. Or keyboard. Or both.