How To Stop Body Shaming: Expert Tips

Are you tired of feeling ashamed of your body because of others’ hurtful comments?

In this article, we’ll cover ways to stop others from body shaming you and start loving yourself by practicing self-care, surrounding yourself with positive influences, challenging body shaming behaviors, promoting body positivity, and making friends with food.

So, get ready to feel empowered and inspired! 

Definition of Body Shaming 

left hand holding a white tape measure

Let’s start by defining exactly what we are talking about to ensure you are in the right place!

Body shaming is the act of criticizing, mocking, or humiliating someone based on their physical appearance, body size, shape, weight, or other physical attributes. It can be done intentionally or unintentionally and can take many forms, such as making derogatory comments, spreading rumors, or sharing images or videos that ridicule someone’s body.

Ways to Stop Body Shaming 

woman's hand on top of each other while she's in bed

My Top Strategies

Let’s start with some of the top ways I suggest to stop body shaming; these methods have worked for me.

Strategies to Stop Body Shaming from OthersDescription
Set boundariesCommunicate to the person that their comments are hurtful and unacceptable. Set boundaries for what kind of language and behavior you will tolerate.
Use “I” statementsUse “I” statements to communicate your feelings rather than attacking the person. For example, “I feel hurt when you comment negatively about my body” instead of “You’re being mean and hurtful.”
Educate themShare information and resources on the negative effects of body shaming and the benefits of body positivity. Encourage them to challenge their biases and assumptions about body size and shape.
Focus on positive aspects.Redirect the conversation to positive aspects, such as your strengths, talents, or accomplishments. Refuse to engage in negative conversations about body size or appearance.
Surround yourself with positivity.Surround yourself with positive influences, such as friends, family, or social media accounts that promote body positivity and self-love.
Seek supportSeek support from a trusted friend, family member, or therapist who can provide emotional support and guidance on how to cope with body shaming.

Here’s how you can use the strategies listed above to address the situation:

  1. Set boundaries: Next time your friend comments negatively about your body, calmly tell them that their comments are hurtful and that you won’t tolerate them. For example, you might say, “I don’t appreciate comments about my body size. I’d like you to stop making them.”
  2. Use “I”, and “Me” statements: Communicate your feelings using “I” statements to avoid appearing accusatory. For example, you might say, “I feel hurt and self-conscious when you comment negatively about my body.”
  3. Focus on positive aspects: Refocus the conversation on positive aspects, such as your strengths, talents, or accomplishments. Remind your friend that your appearance does not determine your worth.

I will go further in-depth on all of these methods below.

Challenging Body-Shaming Behaviors 

man and woman talking at the coffeeshop

Let’s dive deeper into challenging these body-shaming behaviors as a strategy.

A great way to stop body shaming is to challenge body shaming behaviors when you encounter them. This means speaking up when someone comments negatively about your or someone else’s body. Here are some ways to challenge body shaming behaviors: 

  • Remind the person that body shaming is harmful and perpetuates unrealistic expectations.
  • Focus on more important aspects of a person, such as personality, intelligence, and character. 
  • Encourage the person to practice self-love and body positivity instead of criticizing themselves or others. 
  • Be a positive role model by treating your body with kindness and respect.

Educating Others 

Educating others about body shaming can help to stop it from happening. This means raising awareness about the harmful effects of body shaming and promoting body positivity. Here  are some ways to educate others about body shaming: 

  • Share your own experiences with body shaming and how you overcame it.
  • Provide resources, such as articles, books, and podcasts, that promote body positivity and self-love.
  • Encourage others to challenge body shaming behaviors and promote body positivity in their own lives. 
  • Be a positive role model by treating your body with kindness and respect. 

By promoting body positivity, challenging body shaming behaviors, and educating others, we can all work together to stop body shaming and create a more positive and accepting world. 

Promoting Body Positivity 

plant seeds of positivity written on a wood gate

Promoting body positivity is one of the best ways to stop body shaming. This means accepting and loving your body, regardless of shape, size, or appearance. It also means encouraging others to do the same. Here are some ways to promote body positivity: 

  • Cultivate self-love by focusing on your positive qualities and treating your body with kindness and respect. 
  • Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations celebrating your unique beauty and strength. 
  • Manage time spent on social media to avoid comparing yourself to others and feeling inadequate. 
  • Make friends with food by enjoying various nutritious and delicious foods without guilt or shame. 
  • Reach out to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, or therapist, for support and encouragement. 

Practicing Self-Care 

relax printed outside the window of a resto-bar

One of the most important ways to cultivate a positive body image is by practicing self-care.

This means taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally.

It can be as simple as taking a bubble bath, walking, or getting enough sleep. When you prioritize self-care, you tell yourself you are worth taking care of. 

Surrounding Yourself with Positive Influences

friends doing jump shot and having fun

Surrounding yourself with positive influences is another great way to cultivate a positive body image.

This means spending time with people who uplift and support you and avoiding those who bring you down. It also means being mindful of the media you consume.

Unfollow social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself, and instead, follow accounts that promote body positivity and self-love. 

Look at the list below for some of the body influencers on social media. 

These influencers promote body positivity, self-love, and acceptance, sharing inspiring messages and content celebrating all body types and sizes.

Changing Negative Self-Talk 

woman looking at the mirror

Changing negative self-talk is crucial in cultivating a positive body image. When you say negative things about your body, reframe those thoughts into positive ones.

For example, instead of saying, “I hate my thighs,” try saying, “My thighs are strong and help me  do the things I love.” It may take time and practice, but changing your negative self-talk can greatly impact your self-esteem and body image.

Remember, cultivating a positive body image is a journey, not a destination. It takes time and effort, but it is worth it.

By practicing self-care, surrounding yourself with positive influences, and changing negative self-talk, you can start loving and appreciating your body for all it does for you. 

Effects of Body Shaming 

woman laying on the bed with withered flower on her side

Body shaming can have serious and long-lasting effects on a person’s mental and physical health.

Effects of Body ShamingDescription
Low self-esteemBody shaming can contribute to developing eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder.
Eating disordersBody shaming can increase the risk of depression and anxiety, which can significantly impact an individual’s mental health.
Depression and anxietyNegative comments about one’s body can lead to dissatisfaction with one’s appearance, contributing to poor body image and self-esteem.
Poor body imageBody shaming can lead to social isolation and exclusion, as individuals may avoid social situations due to shame and self-consciousness.
Social isolationBody shaming can contribute to disordered eating behaviors, such as restrictive eating, binge eating, or purging, which can negatively affect one’s physical and mental health.
Physical health problemsBody shaming can lead to physical health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity, which can have long-term consequences on one’s health.
Disordered eating behaviorsBody shaming can contribute to disordered eating behaviors, such as restrictive eating, binge eating, or purging, which can have negative effects on one’s physical and mental health.

Wrapping Up

Body shaming affects people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. It harms mental health and self-esteem and can lead to unhealthy behaviors. There are ways to stop body shaming and promote body positivity.

  • Cultivating self-love is crucial. Accept and appreciate your body without focusing on perceived flaws.
  • Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations.
  • Surround yourself with supportive people.

Managing social media is another key step. Comparing yourself to others online can be harmful. Remember, social media can be unrealistic.

Limit exposure to negative accounts and follow body-positive ones. Becoming friends with food is also essential. View food as nourishment, not something to fear or restrict. Enjoy various foods without guilt or shame.

Reaching out to someone you trust can help fight body shaming. Talk to a friend, family member, or mental health professional about your struggles. This support can make you feel less alone.

Stopping body shaming is a journey that takes time. You can build a healthier, happier relationship with your body by taking small steps toward self-love and body positivity.





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Erica Johnson
Erica Johnson

Education: Communications and Media Studies (BA)
Lives In: Memphis, TN, USA

As a Content Editor at Madison Plus, Erica ensures that every piece of content we produce meets our stringent standards of quality and authenticity.

With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the fashion industry, Erica brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table.

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