Body Shaming is Criticizing or Mocking Someone’s Appearance

How to Respond to Body Shaming and Reclaim Your Body Confidence

How to Respond to Body Shaming and Reclaim Your Body Confidence

Body shaming can be a painful and challenging experience to navigate. It can leave us feeling insecure, hurt, and ashamed of our bodies. If you're struggling with body shaming, you're not alone. Millions of people worldwide are facing similar experiences, and it's essential to take steps to address them positively. This article will explore body shaming, its impact on mental health, and how you can respond to it while building your body confidence.

Understanding Body Shaming

Body shaming is a pervasive issue in today's society, and it can have severe consequences on one's mental health. It is essential to understand what body shaming is, how it affects mental health, and how to recognize different forms of it.

What Is Body Shaming?

Body shaming refers to the act of criticizing or mocking someone's physical appearance, often in a negative or hurtful way. It can take many forms, including making rude comments, using hurtful language, or spreading hurtful messages about someone's body. Body shaming can be directed toward people of any age, gender, body shape, or size, and it can have a significant impact on one's self-esteem, body image, and overall mental health.

Body shaming can occur in various settings, including social media, workplaces, schools, and even within families. It perpetuates unrealistic beauty standards and reinforces harmful stereotypes and prejudices.

The Impact of Body Shaming on Mental Health

The effects of body shaming can be significant and long-lasting. It can lead to feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and anxiety about one's body, making it challenging to develop a healthy body image. Over time, body shaming can also lead to more severe mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.

Body shaming can affect people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. However, it is particularly harmful to young people who are still developing their self-esteem and body image. Adolescents who experience body shaming are more likely to develop eating disorders, engage in unhealthy weight control behaviors, and struggle with their mental health.

Recognizing Different Forms of Body Shaming

Body shaming can take on many different forms, some of which are subtle and hard to recognize. For example, you might hear a friend say, "You look great, have you lost weight?" - this can be body shaming, as it implies that weight loss is the most important attribute of physical attractiveness. Other forms of body shaming can take the form of negative comments about certain clothing choices, stereotyping, or fat shaming.

It is essential to recognize these forms of body shaming to address them positively. By educating ourselves and others about body positivity and acceptance, we can promote a healthier and more inclusive society.

Overall, body shaming is a harmful practice that can have severe consequences on one's mental health. It is essential to promote body positivity, acceptance, and inclusivity to combat body shaming effectively.

Strategies for Responding to Body Shaming

Body shaming is a pervasive issue that can have a significant impact on an individual's mental and emotional well-being. It can happen to anyone, regardless of their age, gender, or body type. Body shaming can take many forms, from negative comments about weight to judgments about physical appearance. In this article, we will explore some strategies for responding to body shaming.

Addressing Body Shaming in the Moment

When we are confronted with body shaming, it can be challenging not to feel hurt, angry, or frustrated. However, addressing it at the moment can be a powerful way of communicating your feelings and challenging the behavior. One approach is by using "I" statements to express how the comments or actions have made you feel. For example, "I feel hurt when you comment on my body negatively." This approach can help the person responsible to understand the impact of their words or actions while empowering you to assert your feelings.

It's essential to remember that you have the right to set boundaries and communicate your needs. If someone is body-shaming you, it's okay to speak up and let them know that their behavior is not acceptable. By doing so, you are not only standing up for yourself but also sending a message that body shaming is not okay.

Using Assertive Communication Techniques

Assertive communication can be an effective way of dealing with body shaming in the long term. By learning to express your needs, feelings, and beliefs confidently, you can challenge negative behaviors without being aggressive or confrontational. Some effective assertive communication techniques include using "I" statements, avoiding blaming or shaming language, and being specific about the behavior you want to change. For example, "I would appreciate it if you would refrain from commenting on my weight in the future."

It's important to remember that assertive communication is not about being aggressive or confrontational. Instead, it's about communicating your needs and boundaries clearly and respectfully. By doing so, you can challenge negative behaviors while maintaining positive relationships with those around you.

Seek Support from Family and Friends When it Comes to Body Shaming

Seeking Support from Friends and Family

Battling body shaming is often more manageable when you have a supportive network around you. Reach out to friends and family members who you trust, and share your experiences. Being honest about your feelings can help you build a support system that will encourage and empower you to challenge negative behavior positively. Having someone to talk to or express your feelings can be invaluable in helping you deal with the emotional impact of body shaming positively.

It's essential to surround yourself with people who will support and uplift you, rather than tear you down. By doing so, you can build a strong foundation of love and acceptance that will help you navigate the challenges of body shaming.

Reporting Body-Shaming Incidents

If body shaming behavior is happening at work or school, it's important to seek support from an authority figure who can help deal with the situation. Reporting the incident to a supervisor, teacher, or counselor can help protect you from further harassment and ensure that the behavior is stopped. Remember that there are laws and regulations in place to protect individuals from harassment and discrimination, so seek help if you need it.

Reporting body shaming incidents can be challenging, but it's essential to remember that you are not alone. Seeking support from an authority figure can help you feel empowered and give you the tools you need to challenge negative behavior positively.

In conclusion, body shaming is a pervasive issue that can have a significant impact on an individual's mental and emotional well-being. By using the strategies outlined in this article, you can challenge negative behavior positively and build a strong foundation of love and acceptance. Remember that you have the right to set boundaries and communicate your needs and that you are not alone in your struggle against body shaming.

Building Body Confidence

Identifying and Challenging Negative Self-Talk

In addition to dealing with external body shamers, it's also essential to address the negative self-talk that can contribute to low self-esteem and body dissatisfaction. Take time to identify the critical voice within, and challenge it by replacing negative self-talk with kinder and more encouraging statements. Practice positive affirmations such as "I am worthy and lovable, no matter my size or shape," and focus on the things you love and appreciate about yourself.

Practicing Self-Compassion and Self-Care

Self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same kindness, understanding, and support you would offer a friend. Practice acts of self-care such as taking care of your physical health, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Remember, building body confidence is a journey, not a destination, and it's okay to take things one step at a time.

Celebrating Your Body's Strengths and Abilities

Start focusing on what your body can do, rather than what it looks like. Perhaps you can complete a challenging workout or run further than before. Recognize and celebrate these achievements and the strength and resilience of your body.

Surrounding Yourself with Body-Positive Influences

Surround yourself with people, media, and brands that promote body diversity and acceptance. Discover body-positive influencers, follow them on social media, and seek positive representations of different body types and shapes. Recognize and celebrate diversity and reject the narrow, unrealistic beauty standards that contribute to body shaming.

Creating a Body-Positive Environment

Encouraging Body Positivity in Others

As you start feeling more confident and accepting of your body, it's essential to spread those positive vibes and encourage other people to do the same. Celebrate other people's achievements, encourage them to embrace their body's diversity, and challenge body-shaming behavior constructively.

Supporting Body Positive Media and Brands

As consumers, we have significant power to influence the media and brands we support actively. Seek out and support brands and media that promote body positivity and reject the narrow beauty standards that fuel body shaming. Support companies that create inclusive sizes, share diverse representations of beauty and celebrate body diversity.

Advocating for Change in Your Community

Finally, being an advocate for change in your community can help create a more inclusive and accepting environment for all body types and shapes. Join local body positivity groups, participate in events and discussions, and raise awareness of body shaming in your community. Challenging negative behavior and promoting acceptance can help create a safer and happier environment for everyone.


Body shaming can be hurtful and challenging to navigate but responding positively can help you build your body confidence and create a more inclusive and accepting environment. Remember, building body confidence is a journey, not a destination, and it's okay to take things one step at a time. By understanding body shaming, recognizing its impact on mental health, and using constructive ways to respond, you can build a more positive and empowering relationship with your body.


Meet our founder: CarrieRae

Undersummers Shortlettes were created CarrieRae's personal need for comfortable thigh protection when she was working as a teacher. In 2011, her thick thighs rubbed and she needed a comfortable solution.  Pants are blazing hot in the Houston spring/summer months, shorts are not acceptable to wear to work, so she was left with capris and dresses.  Her thighs did not support wearing dresses, thigh chafing was too uncomfortable.  The idea of wearing a breezy dress sounded so comfortable to her, that she created the solution to her problem:  The Original Lace Shortlette®️. She wanted something to wear that was a single layer, the legs stayed put, comfy, and most importantly, pretty.

CarrieRae Munson