Hazel Jane

Self-confidence Series: Say no to body-shaming

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Recently there’s been an increase in body confidence posts from other bloggers.

I think this is incredible. Body/self-confidence is something that I have battled with for as long as I can remember. But I know that I’m not alone in this. Nearly everyone suffers with bad self-confidence at least once in their lives. This is something I hope to keep talking about on my blog because I feel it’s important to love yourself. And I want to help not only myself, but others too.

After months of training hard and sticking to a diet this year I was slimmer, but just as miserable. It was then that I decided that changing myself isn’t going to make me love myself – I need to love myself as Hazel, the girl standing in front of me when I look in the mirror right now.

My blog posts aim to help me do this, and hopefully help you out too if you’re also suffering from self-confidence. I’ll properly tell you about my self-confidence story at some point, sure, but I also want to discuss things that I don’t think I’ve properly seen being talked about before. For instance, I want to look at the bad connotation of ‘arrogance’ and see whether this needs to be changed (this will come next week).

But today I want to talk about body shaming.

I personally think that we can’t truly love ourselves unless we can see the human body being beautiful as a whole.

This means that maybe we should stop looking at other people’s bodies in a negative way, both in the media and in real life.
We see it everywhere, but I feel we don’t really understand just what we’re doing. On every magazine stand there’s a photo of a celebrity in a bikini and said magazine is slating them for putting on a little weight, or even losing some. This is old news, yes, but just think for a moment. Hasn’t there been a time when you thought ‘ohhh so-and-so has put on weight hasn’t she?’, therefore slinging that person into a negative light? You’re body shaming them. You’re shaming the fact that they have a little more/less of a body. And then you’re left wondering, if I think this badly of someone else…what are people saying about me?

What we seem to forget is that our bodies are irrespective of whether we’re a good person or not. Just because so-and-so has lost a few pounds doesn’t mean they’ve lost some of their personality, and just because they’ve gained a few pounds doesn’t mean that they’ve gained worse manners. We didn’t become friends with these people because of how they looked, and yet when that changes suddenly our opinion of them does.

Even people we don’t know we might accidentally body shame. Have you ever seen someone in the street and automatically judged them because they have a bit more tummy? Or judged them because they have a gap between their legs/thighs? I have both of these and I’m sure I get judged on both. But I honestly feel that if we can stop this and celebrate that everyone’s bodies are different then perhaps we can accept ourselves for how we are.

I’ve had my fair share of body shaming. As I said before, I lost a fair bit of weight this year. Since then I’ve been told I have chicken legs, I’ve been told that I shouldn’t lose any more because I’ll look even worse… I’ve even been told to ‘eat more’. But the sad thing is that these people said these things to me just on the off-hand. And didn’t think anything of it. It was as if they thought it wouldn’t affect me and that they were doing me a favour, when really they were making my confidence even worse. Imagine doing that to someone by negatively commenting on their weight? Would that make you feel like a good person?

I know that we won’t be able rewire our brains and never ever think negatively of other people. But I think we should be mindful of the fact that we are prone to body shaming people when they don’t fit into our ideal. And how are we meant to love ourselves when we can’t love everyone around us? We need to accept that there truly is no real ideal and everyone is beautiful no matter what shape they are. Putting on weight or losing some shouldn’t be a massive, negative deal (unless you’re worried about someone’s health). Instead, I like to compliment people on something specific, because our shape doesn’t really determine whether we’re attractive or not, or whether we’re a good person or not.

I’ve started accepting that everyone’s body is different and that’s what makes them individually beautiful. This in turn has allowed me to accept my body more too, because I am me, and because no matter if I put on a little weight or lose a little more I’m still me. And it’s the same with everyone else. This acceptance has honestly helped me a lot with my own confidence, because I can finally see that the human body is beautiful no matter what shape it is. There’s no point in body shaming because there really is no shame in having your body a certain way. As long as the person you’re looking at is healthy then it’s got nothing to do with you.

To me, body shaming is not needed.

What do you think? Do you think we tend to accidentally body shame without even thinking about it? Do you agree that we need to love the human form as a whole in order to accept ourselves? Let me know!




Disclaimer: There is a difference between body-shaming and being worried about someone’s weight, I hope you can see that I know this difference. I am referring to negatively thinking or talking about another person’s body with no real worry to health. If there is someone who you suspect has health problems, talk to them politely and don’t just point a finger. Try to help them. 

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