It’s no secret that society has been a little behind on the times with the body positive movement, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are many subtle ways society shames your body, even when you’re not expecting it. Maybe it’s just the season, but it seems that right now, the body-shame shade is especially prevalent. Everywhere I turn, there seems to be a magazine cover featuring a bikini-clad model (usually thin and white), tips on sticking to your gym resolutions, and the best way to get your body in shape for spring break. Sometimes, it takes me a minute to remember that all bodies are bikini bodies, because society has this sneaky way of shaming my subconscious when I don’t even realize it.
Between the “helpful” magazine covers, the Red Carpet interviews surrounding stars’ stay-thin secrets, and the obsession with new year, new diets, how are you supposed to combat this unsuspecting body-shaming from society? The first step is opening your eyes and being aware. By paying attention to society’s subtle body-shaming, you can better prepare yourself to fight back against it. So let’s sally forth together, gals, and help each other through the subtle shaming, one step at a time.
1Forcing New Year's Resolutions
This time of year is especially fraught with public declarations about losing extra weight, joining the gym, and breaking a sweat every day. Although these things are all well and good, why not make a resolution or two that has a little more to do with your personal worth than your physical appearance? Volunteer. Drink more water. Call your mother more. All are perfectly wonderful resolutions that can have a significant effect on your well-being, without being focused on the way you look.
2Equating Weight Loss With Happiness
Society often confuses achieving a certain bodily-focused goal with achieving happiness. But the two are not necessarily correlated. Although exercise, wellness, and health are all important things to keep in mind while going through life, it's also important to keep in mind that losing weight doesn't necessarily mean losing all of your worries.
3Limiting Body Diversity In The Media
Where are all of the non-traditional bodies and ideals on sitcoms? Though the industry has come a long way thanks to shows like Orange Is The New Black, Jane The Virgin, and How To Get Away With Murder, it still has a long way to go. When television and movies are saturated with leading ladies with diverse bodies, that'll be a welcome day in my book.
Pizza, pasta, cookies, ice cream, chocolate, carbs, gluten, fat, french fries, burgers, what do you think about all of these things? Negative things? Gluttonous things? Our society has become so obsessed with assigning food a negative connotation, that even Amy Schumer has taken on food shame.
5Praising Weight Loss
Why is it that when someone says you look good, it's almost always followed up with a inquiry about whether you've lost weight? It's good to praise people for their accomplishments, but praising people for their accomplishments beyond their looks is even more important.
All bodies are lovely bodies, whether they're fat, skinny, or anywhere in between. It's important to remember that any body can be body-shamed, and that negativity toward any body type is still body shaming.
7Basing Personal Worth On Weight
Repeat after Khloe: My weight doesn't define who I am. Your weight does not define who you are. You are worth more than any physical flaw, any number on a scale, and anything that society has to say. Your body, your terms, your happiness. Don't forget it.