How to deal with body shaming and how to not let it affect your mental health?

If you know anyone who is impacted by body shaming, encourage them to contact the nearest psychiatrist or psychotherapist or mental health centre.

Body shaming is everywhere. We may not be aware of it, but we unconsciously body shame ourselves and others. ‘I hate my body.’, Do I look fat?Are you going to eat that much?How did you get so fat? -- are some of the comments that we hear from others or even use for our own selves’ time and again. Body shaming is not only limited to body shape or size, it can be towards skin colour, hair colour, hairiness and general appearance as well. Be it men or women both can be victims to body shaming.

Body shaming arises when someone is unmatched to the social ideology of an ideal body type. It most often said as a joke, but yet it is body shaming. Be it print. movies, television or online, messages that disseminate the idea that people should be judged mainly for their physical features are everywhere. Each day we are flooded through the social media with images of what is considered to be acceptable when it comes to how a person should look. When people do not match these trends, they can be judged as unacceptable and shamed for it.

Several mental health issues arise from body shaming. Being body shamed is very humiliating. It can lead to increased feelings of low self –esteem, self- image and self-worth. It can have an individual socially isolate themselves, feel lonely, lead to depression and anxiety. An individual can adopt unhealthy eating habits leading to physical health concerns as well. The effects of being body shamed at teenage have critical short term and long term consequences on physical & mental health both.

Here are 3 effective things you can do about Body Shaming.

1) Educate those who body shame –
Talk it out, when you hear it. Let the opposite person know it’s unpleasant. Explain the harmful effects of body shaming and how their comments disturb someone’s mental health.

2) Love Yourself
Feel content with how you look. Accept you may not have the ideal body type, but that does not change who you are. If you think, this is what you have been struggling with since a long time, consider taking psychotherapy consultation for yourself. Quality mental health services are available around you, approach a therapist and get started.

Also read- Things to someone who is struggling with low self-esteem?

3) Build Healthy Relationships
Form relationships with people having the same mind set about body shaming as you. Appreciate support to safeguarding each other’s self – esteem and mental health. Form support groups and run campaigns to stop body shaming, hence forming a healthier relationship with the entire society at large.

If you know anyone who is impacted by body shaming, be it a teen, a kid or an adult, encourage them to contact the nearest psychiatrist or psychotherapist or mental health centre. MpowerCentre in Mumbai, Bangalore & Kolkata is one such place wherein you can receive help to improve your self-image and accept yourself and others the way they are.

Also read, How does self- insight help in improving mental health? Find the best psychiatrist or psychologist near you.-

Benefits of mental health counselling. Find the best mental health therapist near you.

Nazneen Chunawala
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