It is no secret that looking good helps boost a person’s self-esteem if they escape body shaming. Women are more often free of sexual inhibitions when they have a positive image of what they look like. They become more open to the idea of casual sex, feel more compelled to explore their own bodies, and talk about their sexual preferences with ease.

But on the other side of the “feeling sexy” coin there’s body shaming, a problem that has deep psychological impact and that many women are not even aware of. So, the next time you guilt yourself by thinking you are not skinny enough or are compelled to criticize the extra pounds of another woman, think about the following implications.

Shame Does NOT Equal Motivation

There is this misconception that by body shaming someone, you’re motivating them to turn to a healthier lifestyle. This could not be farther away from the truth. There is a very thin line between body shaming and bullying, and most people aren’t aware that they’re crossing that line. 

Studies have shown that plenty of overweight people, especially women, eat more when they’re feeling stress. And that is exactly what body shaming is to them: a cause for stress. These different studies have exposed women to body shaming information or videos. As a result, these women started consuming more calories compared to individuals that were exposed to other types of content.

The Risk of Suicide

Another scientifically-proven fact is that body shaming causes depression. People who suffer from obesity have higher chances of becoming depressed, which in turn can lead to suicide. According to a study conducted on 2.436 people, people with extra points are 21 times more likely to attempt suicide compared to those of normal weight.

Even if there isn’t too much evidence that links body shaming to suicide, the psychological implications are pretty obvious. After all, body shaming is a form of bullying, and the effects that bullying has on the mental health of any individual are easy to deduce. 

Dealing with Self-Bullying

I’m sure that you have come across at least one skinny-looking damsel that claimed she is too fat. Or have a big nose. Or wishes her breasts were larger. That’s because almost every person on this planet wishes they could change something about their bodies. 

One of the largest enemies of body shaming is your own inner bully, someone who surfaces ever so often to tell you that you look disgusting.  Here are some of the things you can do to put that inner bully in their rightful place:

  • Social media is one of the greatest enemies of self-acceptance. Sure, there’s no problem in following some of the most beautiful women in the world on Instagram, but consider following some other accounts that promote self-love as well.
  • Baby steps are a great way to approach the situation. Go to the beach alone next week. The week after that, bring a friend. If you’re comfortable enough, bring one more friend. Lose that jacket today, it’s cold outside. Slowly, but surely. 
  • If you don’t accept body shaming from other people, why would you accept it when it coming from inside? You’re not motivating yourself by fat shaming your own body. What you could focus on instead, are the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. Focus on the positives, as they say!
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