Body shame usually refers to others saying humiliating or critical things about someone’s body. However, bodyshaming can also take the form of self-directed statements if a person feels unconfident or unhappy in their skin.
Unfortunately, many people today suffer from low self-esteem because of unrealistic expectations. They see beautifully sculpted, perfect bodies in the media and believe they’re inferior if they don’t look like them.
However, they must remember that these bodies have been digitally altered most of the time. Also, celebrities have hair and makeup artists working around the clock to ensure they look flawless. In other words, they have the money to spend on vanity and work hard to perpetuate this image of themselves. It doesn’t have a solid foundation, making people get caught in the comparison trap.
Looking within oneself is the only way to have confidence and a healthy self-image. You’ll always find disappointment if you compare yourself unnecessarily to others. But it’s easier said than done to let go of societal expectations and judgments about yourself. Below, we’ll teach you a few tricks to finally release body shame and find self-acceptance.
Seven Ways to Liberate Yourself From Body Shame
1. Embrace Your Individuality.
Body shame happens when you don’t stop to appreciate the beauty already within you. Society teaches women, in particular, that another hair product, lipstick, or plastic surgery will make them happier. The media bombards us with images of celebrities constantly, distorting our idea of what beauty means. We’re taught to compare ourselves to people to see how we measure against them. But we can never feel content by searching for our identity in someone else.
It’s time to own your uniqueness and love everything about yourself. Love your stretch marks, beauty marks, freckles, and body hair. Please don’t apologize for being human; life’s too short to feel sorry for existing, anyway. You deserve to take up space and show people your most authentic self. Leave body shame at the door because you’re already perfect the way nature made you.
2. Reimagine Your Definition of Beauty.
What does beauty mean, anyway? People have so many definitions and can’t seem to agree on one. After all, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That means you don’t have to live up to someone else’s expectations of beauty. You get to create your own idea of what makes you feel beautiful. Focus on everything you love about yourself instead of what you dislike, and the body shame will melt away.
3. Become Friends With Your Body to Release Body Shame.
Bodyshaming occurs as a natural consequence of a society obsessed with perfection. People never feel good enough and want to change something about themselves constantly. There’s nothing wrong with self-development, but it should come from a place of love rather than self-hatred. Unfortunately, most men and women feel pressured to look a certain way so that people will accept them. That inferiority complex can drive people to extreme measures in some cases.
For instance, studies have found that bodyshaming can lead to eating disorders and mental illnesses. It can even cause weight gain because people internalize stress associated with fat-shaming, causing poor metabolic health. Conversely, some people can be cruel to naturally thin people, mocking them for their healthy metabolism–that is equally as damaging.
To combat this tragic epidemic, we as a society need to practice self-love and compassion. It starts within ourselves, so block out all the negative programming you’ve learned over the years. Remember your true nature as eternal love and bliss, and forget the ignorant ideas which promote sickness in the world.
4. Express Gratitude For Your Body Daily.
Each day you wake up, remember to give thanks for your body and health. Getting caught up in self-loathing is easy, but gratitude immediately counters negative thoughts. Make it a habit of counting your blessings in the mornings before starting your day. You can either keep a gratitude journal or write positive affirmations to enhance feelings of thankfulness in your heart.
5. Practice Positive Affirmations to Release Body Shame.
Bodyshaming occurs when our predominant thoughts focus on negative aspects of ourselves and others. Most of these thoughts stem from our environment and social influences. But we can’t always escape circumstances in life or control who we interact with. So, if you can’t change your environment, try to shift your attention to self-improvement. By making your inner world peaceful and loving, you can create a more positive atmosphere that will create a ripple effect on others.
6. Remember That Skinny Doesn’t Always Equal Healthy.
It’s no secret that we have an obesity epidemic on our hands. Being overweight can lead to numerous health problems, but being underweight has its own negative consequences. Skinny people may suffer from malnourishment or osteoporosis, for instance. The glorification of being skinny also causes eating disorders and psychological problems in millions of women worldwide.
Remember that other people don’t determine your value when you feel unworthy of love or acceptance. Feel good enough for yourself, and don’t worry about what others have to say.
7. Focus on Your Inner Beauty to Stop Bodyshaming.
We focus far too much on our outer beauty in modern society. We spend so much time pampering and catering to our bodies, but what about our minds and souls? They also need nourishment and attention but don’t get nearly enough. Beauty fades eventually, but a beautiful heart and spirit live on eternally. Focus on purifying yourself from the inside out, and you will know the true meaning of beauty.
Final Thoughts on Ways to Stop Bodyshaming
Do you body shame yourself more often than you’d like to admit? If so, you don’t have to feel ashamed or embarrassed because many people engage in self-destructive behaviors. However, getting stuck in negative thinking about yourself will only cause more pain in the long run.
When you feel ready, you can leave body shame behind by practicing self-love and compassion. Embrace your uniqueness, and don’t get caught up in the comparison game. You have so much to offer the world, but you must get out of your own way first. Love your body and mind, and the rest will follow.