Body-shaming is the practise of hurtling hurtful or downright nasty comments at someone about their body shape.
“Eh, you better lose some weight or no one will marry you.”
“You’re so skinny, you look like a stick insect in that dress.”
These barbs are worryingly common. In fact, they’re sometimes disguised as well-meaning concern. We are told to either take them to heart, or to ignore them completely. But, neither is good advice for something that eats away at the soul — eventually destroying what’s left of one’s self-confidence.
Sometimes, too, we’re the ones who body-shame — either consciously or unconsciously, because it’s been so normalised in everyday interactions.
It can happen to anyone
SHAPE deputy editor Jay Jayaraj, who’s usually calm and body-confident, recently discovered that even she isn’t immune to these nasty remarks. Jay hikes regularly and has completed a marathon, but that didn’t stop an ignorant neighbour from questioning her fitness level based on her body shape:
She’s taken to Facebook and SHAPE‘s website to highlight the fact that a fit, healthy body doesn’t come in just one shape.
“I try hard every day to teach people about what being in shape and fitness means, and I’m going to keep doing that. I love my shape because it’s mine, uniquely so. It speaks of my heritage, lifestyle, life experiences, and health conditions,” says Jay.
Read more about her body-shaming experience, plus how people have reacted to her story, here.