Being body shamed
I experienced something for the first time this week. I was body shamed. To be exact I was referred to as a “fat, ugly, black girl” this was then followed by other racial and body remarks. It's no secret that unrealistic body standards are deeply embedded into our society, and in recent years, the negative effects of body and fat shaming have become more prevalent topics in the cultural dialogue. Can you believe someone body shamed Rihanna?..Seriously!
The truth is I, much like many other women, at one point or another, have been subjected to backhanded insults and rude comments but for the first time it stung. I looked at the mirror and thought, “do I really look that bad?” I’ve had some time to compose myself and deliberate; and the answer is of course no! I’m in no way obese and I do (which my boyfriend is very pleased with) have curves. My boobs are unashamedly DD’s and my butt wobbles when I strut in my heels.
Everyday I’m learning to love myself a little bit more. I feel I have so much more than my looks to be proud of and that includes my educational and professional achievements, ambitions and knowledge. I dedicate my time to developing this blog in order to make other women feel better about themselves and practice self-love. And with all things considered, I can wholeheartedly say, our world is a much better place when we build each other up instead of tearing each other down.
We all have set backs and we can be our own worst critique, but when faced with a hater we should always consider the following:
It says more about them than it does about you
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
Your perceptions of others reveal so much more about your own personality. A study by Wake Forest University found that how positively you see others is directly linked to how happy, kind-hearted and emotionally stable you are.
The study found that how positively you see other people shows how satisfied you are with your own life, and how much you are liked by others. People are typically insecure about whatever they are judging, and insecurity is rooted in fear and narcissism.
It’s clear then, that a person unhappy with their own position in life is more likely to try and bring others down..which brings me to the next point:
Sometimes, judging other people makes us feel better about ourselves
There is a huge gap between the lives we live and the lives we see others living. Social media of course exacerbates the problem.
Having the chance to criticise someone, to knock a person down a notch and to focus on your imperfections has the potential to make them feel just a little bit better about themselves, their lives and their bodies. They're actively watching you because something about you stands out for them.
It’s important to remember they too have concerns and insecurities.
When it turns into harassment, don’t be afraid to report it
Although it’s important to take comments into perspective and empathise with the hater, there is a point when negative comments become harassment or worse a crime.
An example of this is in the case of racial or religious hate crime. In the UK, if an individual targeted you because of their prejudice or hostility based on race or religion they are committing a crime which is punishable by law. Racist or religious hate incidents can take many forms including verbal abuse, threatening behaviour and online abuse.
Further to this, social media platforms are now actively taking a stand against harassment. The best thing to do if you’re being repeatedly targeted is to report it.
I know it's easy to forget, but you ARE BEAUTIFUL and you matter. Keep people around you that remind you of your worth. Embrace your flaws, love ALL of your imperfections, and walk with your head held high knowing you have a purpose.