Are you a victim of body shaming? Do you feel less confident about yourself because of derogatory remarks about your body? Do you wish certain parts of your body shouldn’t be as it is? Do you avoid people for no reasons?
If yes is the answer to the above questions, I want you to know that you are not first person or will be last to think less of themselves because of their body.
I’ll like to also let you know that you can overcome body shaming. Here’s my experience on how I overcome body shaming, and it might become helpful to anyone who constantly having low self esteem because of body shaming.
I Use my Journal Creatively
I use my journal to write out my thoughts and feelings on paper. For example, I wrote that I hated the way my hips jutted out and the way they looked in pictures. I also wrote that part of me was ashamed of even having such negative thoughts about myself. I then drew a picture of it all: My head spewed these negative messages toward the rest of my body, who listened with a look of disapproval and embarrassment.
Looking back at this entry now, I can reflect on where those feelings came from and why it’s okay to feel them sometimes; we are human after all! But, I didn’t want those feelings to define me or dictate how happy or healthy I could be. So, along with digging up old journal entries that had made me feel bad about myself (which helped me understand why), I used my creativity to tackle the issue at hand.
I Talk to Myself when I Look in the Mirror
- If your abuse body shaming habit involves complaining about yourself when you look in the mirror, try making a habit of saying something nice to yourself instead.
When I was in the worst stage with my body shaming, I would pick apart every inch of my body and point out all the things that were wrong with it. Now, I practice being kind to myself. When I look in the mirror, I force myself to focus on what I love about my body instead of what I hate. So far, this has proven to be successful 90% of time…the other 10% is a work in progress!
- Say it until you believe it: “I am beautiful!” “I am strong!” “I am worth it!”
- Remind yourself daily why your body is amazing! Remind yourself that you are amazing because every inch of your body is perfect and strong.
I Don’t Compare Myself to Others
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
This is a simple but important step that I feel is often overlooked. When it comes to body shaming, there can be a tendency to look at other people and think, “Wow I wish I looked like them”. But this kind of comparison is not useful. As humans, we are all different and should aim to be our best selves — not someone else’s. This doesn’t mean you can’t admire the qualities of others, but make sure you focus on being the best version of you that you can be.
I repeat positive mantras
- You are beautiful.
- You deserve love.
- You are enough.
- There is no such thing as a perfect body and that’s ok!
These are just some of the mantras I repeat to myself every day, and they’re so crucial to my self-care. When I feel down about my body, I tell myself I’m beautiful, because it’s true! Each of us is made up of so many different parts—bones, organs, muscles—and each of those parts has the ability to do incredible things.
Sometimes we forget that our skin is just another part like any other, and it’s easy to focus on one aspect (like size or shape) instead of everything in its entirety. But truly: your body is an amazing machine. It deserves love!
Sometimes you have to be your Own Biggest Cheerleader
I was so sad to finally be in college and looking back on my life only moments before. I remember feeling as if there was a new person inside of me, someone who would go out into the world and make something of themselves. But I was a different person outside of my body, too. Sometimes it took a long time for me to realize that I was still the same person—and sometimes it just plain didn’t matter how much weight I gained or lost, how much skinnier or fatter than the previous girl in line at the grocery store.
The body doesn’t actually create who we are; we do that ourselves. In our mind, we’re all different people with different morals and values and ethics from one another—but within us is always the same spirit that drives us to grow and change for the better at any given moment. So don’t worry about what other people think about your appearance because in truth you really don’t care about that stuff anyway.
All we can do is be kind to others, appreciate where we come from, and promise ourselves right then and there not to give up on ourselves until we’ve made it out of those dark places that reject us each time they reveal themselves again.
And if we find ourselves down in those dark places again? If you have nowhere else to turn but yourself? No one can hurt you but yourself when you allow your own thoughts to lead you astray again.