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The Harmful Effects Of Body Shaming

This has got to stop.

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Body shaming, a term that has become all too popular recently because humans are obsessed with appearances. We create these standards that we have to live up to and then ridicule those same standards when we realize that they are unattainable. We criticize the way that others look but then shame them when they do the same to us. We have separated ourselves into categories based on the way we look. It’s fat against fit and it is wrong.

What people don’t understand is what body shaming really does to an individual. It destroys their confidence. Instead of holding your head high -- you scan the floor because you don’t want people to notice you. Instead of feeling beautiful, you feel disgusting -- like an alien in your own skin.

It turns into unhealthy habits such as extreme dieting or excessive exercise. It turns into forced fingers down your throat or not eating at all. But it’s not just one sided either. People who are thin also feel the effects of body shaming. Telling girls that “guys love a woman with curves” so that they feel inferior to thicker women is just as bad as telling a woman that she is fat. Just like telling someone that they need to eat a cheeseburger because they are too skinny is not a compliment. Both fat and skinny people are becoming too critical of themselves because of comments made by others. People of all sizes spend too much time examining their bodies in their mirrors, picking at their flaws and hating the way they look. Making someone feel badly about the way that their appearance, when it is already hard to be comfortable in your own skin, is the worst thing that you can do to an individual, period. It has the power to make someone feel unlovable. It causes so many insecurities that they can’t even love themselves let alone expect someone else to love them. That is something we shouldn't wish, or inflict, upon anyone.

Body shaming has to stop. We have to stop tearing people down because they don’t fit the standard that we created in the first place. We also have to stop judging people based on their appearances. There is no lower place than hating yourself because of the way you look and it is not fair that we are pushing people to that point. We need to be accepting of all body types. We need to encourage each other rather than bring each other down and we have to understand that our bodies are different, both inside and out. Our bodies are beautiful, whether we are thick, thin, curvy, or not we are flawless. We were created to be different, and we need to learn to love those differences.

Just an adventure seeking psychology major with high hopes of positively impacting the many people I encounter daily.

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