What Is Body Shaming?

The Prairie.

The Prairie.

Editorial Board

Have you ever stopped to think about how often we are told to change our appearance? That you’re not enough, you’re weird, average, strange, or a distraction? We constantly see magazines, ads, programs, clothing stores, and even people sometimes say that we are not up to society’s standers of beautiful, or attractive. These outlets have been giving off false impressions for years on how we should look, or how we should take this “magic pill” or to join this company to help you lose weight. These are just some of the many examples of body shaming that we deal with today.

Body shaming is when we criticize others or ourselves because of how one part of our body looks or how our physical appearance should match everyone else’s. Body shaming can be anything from worrying about your size, to trying to lose weight, having an eating disorder, worrying about your hair, skin color, sexual orientation, gender, different abilities, and even physical attributes. This has been a problem that has gone on for many years even before our time. You may not realize it, but body shaming actually first starts off with us in our daily routine. When we look at a mirror, we are our worst critics and tend to only see our flaws. But saying something so little like, “I hate my nose”, or “look how big my thighs are” is the start of you shaming yourself.

There are so many things that we tend to do if there is just one little thing that we do not like about ourselves. What people tend to go to first is dieting and exercising more. Some people even work themselves out so much, just trying to get the “perfect model body” or to feel like they will be seen as more attractive by someone if they keep losing weight. Beyond that, many people tend to go out and even get Botox or surgery to fix whatever they wanted to change just to feel a little bit better about their body image.

Recently within the last year, we have started to see more people finally stand up and tell their story, and even some companies start wonderful and impactful campaigns for people who deal with body shaming. These campaigns and people are redefining beauty, helping everyone accept who they really are and helping them forget the rest of world. So next time you look at yourself in the mirror or want to judge someone, just be sure to stop and think on what that comment could do to not only them, but you as well.

If body shaming is something you think might be affecting you, there are many great campaigns to go online and join. They have  already helped so many men and women truly feel like they are perfect and are somebody because they are! If you ever feel like you need to talk to somebody, there are many resources on campus to use such as counseling services and any of the professors on campus that are apart of the Buff Allies program. They would be more than happy to sit down and help you with anything you might be facing.