Everyone has had insecurities about their body at least once in their life, no matter what type of body they have. The media portrays one single body type as the ideal or perfect type, and this leaves a lot of room for body shaming. Women who don’t fit into the “ideal” type are constantly harangued by others with “helpful tips” and “advice”. For example, a woman who is visibly overweight might be told that a certain diet might help her lose weight, even though she has no problem with the way she looks. Everyone has a unique body type, and that does not mean that one is better than the other when it comes to valuing someone for who they are. Even though things are changing, the most meaningful change starts from us. Here are 7 ways you can put body shaming to an end:
1. Stop Using These Hashtags
There are tons of hashtags out there that promote body shaming without really being malicious, like #thinspiration or #thighgap because this promotes the idea that being thin is the only goal of exercise and fitness. You can be healthy and fit without being really thin. Using hashtags that promote a healthy body and using your journey to inspire others to feel as good as you do can help to send a better message across.
2. Accept That Everyone Is Unique
Most often, our ideas of beauty are based on what popular media portrays as attractive. Magazine covers, movies, and music for example, are dominated by a certain body type, but not everyone looks this way and not everyone needs to. There are many things that can make a person attractive, and body type doesn’t have to be the sole factor.
3. Don’t Tolerate People Who Body Shame
One of the biggest insecurities comes from the worry of being seen naked. While everyone has their own preferences about who they find attractive, don’t tolerate anyone that thinks you aren’t good enough. People who want to change others by shaming or bullying don’t accept people for who they are, and might extend this controlling behavior in other parts of the relationship too. You are perfect the way you are, and you certainly deserve better.
4. Encourage Variance In The Industry
In the age of social media, your voice and your ideas can make a difference. If you find an industry with a good cause, promote them and support the movement. Get in on conversations started between people and share your own. Praise brands that use minimal retouching and celebrate diversity. The great ideas will never gain the recognition unless they are shared and talked about.
5. Praise Other Women
A popular saying goes that “Women are their own worst enemy”, but put this idea to rest as often as you can. When you see someone you think is beautiful, let them know. Never be afraid to appreciate a person’s sense of style, or choice of clothing. A genuine compliment can make anyone’s day, and can help to bolster someone’s confidence.
6. Don’t Limit Your Goals To Weight Loss
Everyone wants to lose weight and be thin, but in all of this, the message of being healthy is lost. No matter what your body type is, a balanced diet and exercise are imperative in maintaining good health. Being a gym rat isn’t the only way for you to be at your healthiest, so don’t limit your goals to just losing weight or being thin. Though it might be a great goal, exercise comes with a whole lot of other benefits too.
7. Don’t Avoid The Beach
The beach is a wonderful place, and if you love the sun and the sand, don’t let anyone stop you from enjoying it. Pick a suit that can help you to feel comfortable and confident, and go to the beach to have a great time with friends, or to swim in the sea, or because the sunset looks absolutely beautiful. There is no obligation to impress others or gain their approval.