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5 Ways To Overcome Bodyshaming (Yourself & Others)

It doesn’t matter your age, generation, or gender—chances are, if you’re alive you’ve felt shame about your body in one way or another. In this day and age with a constant influx of information and social media and the prevalence of airbrushing apps, it can be hard to accept ourselves for who we are.

We are constantly exposed to retouched images of celebrities with seemingly perfect bodies and faces. But it’s important to remember the great supermodel Cindy Crawford who said: “Even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford.” And think about it—she was famous long before Instagram.

It can be hard to gauge ourselves amidst a flurry of photoshopped images, but the point is that it shouldn’t matter. Sometimes, these judgments can even seep into our perceptions of other people. Understanding body-shaming is important to resist judging ourselves or others based on the image.

Your worth and your confidence can never depend on whether you “fit in” with surrounding societal ideals. And that is why we’ve created this guide to give you 5 simple ways to overcome body shaming and start accepting yourself for who you are.

What Is Bodyshaming?

Before we get into the ways to overcome body shame, maybe we should explore the concept more. Body-shaming is defined as “the action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size.”

While most of us wouldn’t make judgments about other people based on their body, it is an unfortunate reality in our world. We judge ourselves and others based on ideals that have been created for us. It may even creep up as something innocent. You might see someone who is overweight and simply think to yourself, “that seems unhealthy.” But the reality is that you not only have no idea about that person’s health or their circumstances, but you would also not appreciate someone making that kind of judgment towards you—especially when they don’t know you at all.

Body-shaming exists in a cycle—we are body shamed by society and in turn, we shame ourselves and others. This creates insecurities and disconnections within ourselves and between our relationships with those we love.

Related Article: Male Body Positivity: Let’s Talk About It

How Do We Participate In Body-Shaming?

Anytime you make a judgment about someone else regarding their body, weight, or image, you are body-shaming whether you know it or not. Our actions are not based on our intentions, but on how they are received by those around us.

Making a negative comment on someone’s social media page regarding their weight is body-shaming. Gossiping about that five pounds your friend has recently put on is body-shaming. Looking in the mirror and calling yourself names is body-shaming.

It’s not helpful, it spreads negativity, and we should do anything we can to eradicate this behavior in both ourselves and others.

5 Ways to Overcome Body-shaming

If all this talk of body-shaming gets you a little heated, don’t worry—you’re not the only one. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you commit to overcoming bodyshaming once and for all.

1. Don’t Comment on Weight

It doesn’t matter whose weight it is—yours, your neighbor’s, a stranger’s, a loved one’s—just don’t do it! It is never appropriate to talk to someone else about their weight unless they’ve specifically asked for your advice or opinion. Comments about weight are often veiled in concern for health—if you’re concerned about a friend or family member’s health, it may, in some circumstances, be appropriate to start a dialogue about health.

Never weight. Just don’t do it.

Body Positivity - four women stand in a row with different body types.

2. If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…

Don’t say anything at all. Seriously, it’s that easy. Only allow positive words about the bodies of others flow from your mouth, and even then, be appropriate. We’re living in a new world where commenting on other people’s bodies is rarely appropriate, especially if you’re saying something snotty.

Just be nice. We all need a little encouragement now and again, and you want to spread love and light as a member of this cosmic family.

3. Surround Yourself With Body-Positive People

No one has ever felt uplifted by Negative Nancy. You can’t bring yourself to an evolved state if you’re surrounding yourself by low-vibration or negative people. Likewise, it’s going to be really hard to overcome body-shaming if you’re spending time with people who say nasty things about other people’s bodies.

It may seem simple or like common sense, but this can be harder than it looks. You might have to evaluate the words and sentiments of the people you spend your time with. Do they make snarky remarks about strangers they pass in the mall? Then pass on that connection, because you don’t need that negative energy in your life.

Two friends laugh together on a bench in a park, they are body positive and supportive of each other.

4. Read Body-Positive Books

Surrounding yourself with uplifting, body-positive words is just as important as surrounding yourself with optimistic, loving people. Fill your home with books about loving yourself, loving your body, and accepting bodies of all shapes and sizes.

Check out Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe, which is absolutely packed with self-love wisdom. Beautiful You by Rosie Molinary and Body Shame by Paul Gilbert, are also recommended.

5. Find a Body Positive Mentor

You need a friend right now to help you stay accountable. It’s easy to slip back into old, judgmental patterns, especially living in a society that places so much importance on looks.

Enlist a trusted friend as a mentor to help keep you on track and avoid judging yourself and others based on body shapes.

Loving Yourself

Self-love is the easiest way to promote love your those around you. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to spread love and light if you don’t sprinkle those things on yourself. Practicing self-love is crucial for helping you evolve into the person you’re meant to be - so start today!

Related Article: Redefining Beauty: How To Feel Good At Any Age

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman is a student and freelance writer who, from the time she began penning letters to the moon, knew she wanted to spend her life writing. She has written for such publications as Self-Love Soup and Astrology Answers. She is a late bloomer who decided to return to college... Read More

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