Body Shaming: Another Form of Bullying

bullying body shaming

People, especially males, are visual creatures. A part of human nature is that appearances do matter. We choose dates based on how the other person’s physical appearance.

Although how you look isn’t the entire package and things like personality and disposition are what counts in the long run, looks are what gets your foot in the door. It’s just the  crazy, unfair world we live in.

It’s no secret that many females pride themselves on how they look. Hey, I do it too! Beauty is power. There’s also a phenomenon known as the “halo effect.”
The halo effect is “a cognitive bias that occurs when an initial positive judgment about a person colors the individual as a whole.”

Beauty often makes a person appealing, making it difficult to change the minds of others when they receive new and negative information about the person. It makes the person appear more trusting and friendly. People who possess a certain positive quality or strength are assumed to have positive qualities in all other areas as well.

A teacher might be so impressed with a student’s looks or charming personality that they may give that student an A when, in reality, they may deserve a C. Clothes, hairstyles, and makeup are presumed to be of more value than, say, a person’s good heart or generosity.

Bullies instinctively know this, which is why they not only bend over backward to keep up the best appearance, but they will either shame someone else, particularly girls and women if they don’t look as good as them, or tear them down if they look better than them.

body shaming

Weight-shaming is all too common these days. Many people ridicule overweight females (and some males) because “they’re not thin enough.”  Bullies may also taunt tiny women and men and tell them they “need to put some meat on their bones.”

Because the person is overweight or underweight, those around them take pleasure in making them feel as if they aren’t good enough and that they should not love and accept themselves.

This is wrong!

I want you to understand that weight doesn’t mean that you’re unattractive. I know many overweight and underweight people who are beautiful. They have impeccable hygiene, they dress nice, and they have fantastic personalities and positive outlooks on life. These people are happy, regardless! And they feel good about themselves!

Realize that bullies will often pick out what they perceive to be flaws in your physical appearance when they have nothing else to judge you on. They have a real flair for picking out something about yourself that you’re highly insecure about and using it simply because they know it triggers you.

But know that it takes a shallow and superficial person to resort to this kind of behavior.

No matter how you look, you still have value, and you matter! You are loved regardless!

However, here are a few ways you can feel better about yourself if your classmates or coworkers are body-shaming you.

body shaming

1. Dress your best. Because if you look good, you feel good.

2. Apply a little makeup. Again, this will do wonders for your self-esteem.

3. Maybe get a new hairstyle. Something new will often make you feel better about yourself. It will give you that burst of excitement that you’ve probably needed for a while now.

4. Eat right and exercise. But only if you’re not happy with your present weight or physical endurance.

Do it because it’s better for your health. We should take steps to take care of our bodies so that we can ward off any illnesses in the future. Also, exercise is a great stress-buster!

You should always practice self-care!

And don’t do it thinking that the bullies will stop harassing you because chances are, they won’t. They’ll only find something else to disparage you about. It’s what bullies do best!

But do the above for YOU, because YOU want to do it and because you want to change things about yourself that YOU don’t like. Not because others say you should.

And if there’s something you cannot change, don’t beat yourself up. Find ways to embrace it. And if others don’t like the way you look, tell them to hit the road!

body shaming

Change the things you can and accept the things you can’t change.

Understand that good looks isn’t what makes you as a person. A beautiful outer appearance counts for nothing if you’re ugly on the inside. And beauty is fleeting, but a good personality lasts a lifetime!

Look your best not to impress others, but to make yourself feel good.

And lastly, know that you’re beautiful and that you’re loved! You have a purpose for being here! Never forget that!