Body shaming has been a part of our society for a long time, and has just about peaked with the rise of social media influencer and access. We’re told to hide our imperfections with filters, and to only share our positive weight loss transformations as opposed to the realities of the yo-yo effect most of us face (for example, the minute you go back to carbs, the scale goes back up too) and health conditions in which weight gain is a side effect.
Body shaming is a newly popular term, back in the day we called it “Fat Jokes”, but thankfully, more people are getting away from the idea of joking about someone else’s body. Body shaming is bullying; it is the act of negatively judging another person based upon their physical appearance. We get it from our families, so-called friends, and strangers, and most of us have since we were kids. So after all of these years, why is it still so difficult to respond with a witty, quick response? It’s because we are usually caught off guard, and understandably so.
POV: The hardest part is to not allow someone’s comments to affect your self esteem. It is hard to see yourself as anything more than a “fat girl” when that’s all you’ve heard over the years. Well, it stops today. You are more than your body, and you deserve to be your best self.
You are the selfless kindergarten teacher, the savvy business woman, the best painter in town, the kindest person that anyone who knows you, knows. Girl, you grab your pair of plus size leggings from Tribe 35, commit to your health on your own terms, and keep yourself moving for you because you deserve it.
Create non-scale goals so that you have non-scale victories, like more restful sleep at night because you’ve increased your activity level during the day. Don’t make decisions for yourself because someone else wants you to.
Let your workout motivation come from feeling good about yourself regardless of what others think of you. What other people think of you is actually none of your business! What matters is that you are in good health, and good health is not a size, it is a lifestyle.
I began my search as a teenager, for the audacity that people have to give unsolicited advice about one's body, regardless of their size. Unfortunately I still haven't found it, but what I did find over the years is that hurt people either hurt people or heal people: we all have the choice. Their own insecurities are expressed as bullying to the next person, and that has nothing to do with you. While this was revolutionary to my understanding, I still had the desire to find the audacity.
As I was looking for my daughter’s misplaced sneakers so we could leave for school, I decided to continue my search for the audacity. The first thing I could find was the Top 10 Clapbacks to Use When Someone Body Shames You.
1. Them: You’ve lost so much weight, you look good now.
You: I look good NOW? I looked good before. My weight doesn’t determine how I look, it determines how I feel.
2. Them: You’re really pretty for a big girl.
You: Oh honey, I’m pretty anyway. Being big doesn’t change my beauty. I hope you learned something today.
3. Them: You could get a man if you weren’t so heavy.
You: Not everyone wants to be skinny…some people just want to be happy. Some of the unhealthiest people in the world are skinny.
4. Them: It’s so inspiring to see you working out.
You: Thank you, I’d be inspired to see you workout too.
5. Them: You would be so pretty if you lost a little weight.
You: You don’t get to make comments about my body. Nobody does.
6. Them: If you’re funny, no one will notice that you’re fat.
You: I’m perfect just the way I am.
7. Them: You’re fat.
You: Thank you.
8. Them: You’d look more put together if you hit the gym and lost some weight.
You: If you think commenting on someone’s body makes you superior, I think you should be focusing on getting yourself together instead.
9. Them: Why would you wear that bathing suit with that body?
You: Body shaming isn’t cute, and neither are you.
10. Them: You’ve gained some weight.
You: Oh wow! You can see I gained some weight. What other talents do you have?
I know it’s not the same as finding the audacity, but try these clapbacks the next time you need to, and let us know how it goes in the comments below!