Body shaming has affected almost everyone
No one can deny the power of love. We all long for it and we can’t live well without it. So many of us go on that eternal quest to find love. We seek high and low out there in the world. Yet we often miss one of the most obvious places to find love—within ourselves. Self love is just as important as love shared with others, if not more so.
Everyday we encounter a number of people who are not satisfied with how they look, their weight, their hair, their skin colour or something else about their body. This dissatisfaction can happen when someone is repeatedly hard on themselves or ridiculed by others for not fitting the “perfect body” type which is called body shaming.
Body shaming has been in the news for years now. The only difference between now and then is that victims had been too embarrassed to talk about it. The issue of body shaming has recently gained limelight and people have actually started to address it, particularly celebrities. Many articles have been published against body shaming, specifically fat shaming, and psychologists have claimed that body shaming can induce depression and can actually lead to weight gain.
Various celebrities all over the world have come out swinging against the media or people that post comments about their looks on social media. Author and professor of social work Brene Brown has defined shame as “the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging.” For Brown, shame can be painful enough to destroy lives. This is the very pain health and fitness media trains us to feel, each and every time our reflections fail the standards they set for us.
Not only has body shaming affected celebrities but also our friends, families, classmates and ourselves at some point in our lives. Swynda Nichols, a social service worker student at George Brown College, talked about why it is important to love oneself before loving someone else.
“Your body should be your first love or yourself. Self love is the best because for me it took me a really a long time to understand the concept of loving yourself. Because if you love yourself then only you get the ability to love someone else,” she said.
Nichols, who has felt stigmatized because of her size, said that when you have self love, it’s okay if individuals walk out of your life. She also said that it is fine to let go of individuals who cannot accept you for who you are.
So all the girls and the guys who have ever been a victim of body shaming, do yourself a favour. Take a deep breath, give yourself a big hug and realize that you are the most important person in your life. It’s not about being selfish or self-centered, it’s about realizing how important you are to yourself.