Body Shaming: What It Is And How To Deal With It, According To A Psychologist

The conversation around the Body Shaming It is not so new anymore, but the conversation usually leaves men out and it is time to change that, and to change the mentality that has led us to give more value to the image than to what is really inside a person .

Jonah Hill, for example, he is one of the most interesting actors and directors of the moment, but even he could not get rid of the critics, and an article in a British medium in which he was criticized for having taken off his shirt to surf. At the time, Hill wrote a response on Instagram, saying that for a long time he was afraid to take his shirt off to swim, but that he had learned that the image is not the most important thing, and asked that we start having a healthier conversation. about.

And Hill is not the only one, the Body Shaming and gordofobia They have been around for centuries, and this comes from the belief, imposed on us by society, that being slim is synonymous with being successful, valuable and happy. “They have taught us to privilege appearance over talent,” says psychologist Adriana Ortiz, a psychologist from the National Polytechnic Institute and member of the International Psychoanalytic Association.

Ortiz explains that the problem of Body Shaming comes from the same “values” that society has instilled in us and its standards of beauty that have become increasingly impossible, and it is time to understand the problem and have a healthier conversation about it (especially about the way we which also affects men).

Why isn’t there so much talk about Body Shaming in men?

There are two factors that can influence and gender issues they play a fundamental factor. “The Body Shaming It also affects men, there is a marked intensity towards women, since throughout history there has been a discourse in which everyone has an opinion about how they look and what are the stereotypes of beauty that have been socially assigned to us. But, there is one important thing in men, to them they are judged in relation to their masculinity in relation to the body”, Says the expert.

What exactly is Body Shaming?

Basically, what refers to the Body Shaming is what can be called as body ashamed. The psychologist explains that “it is about making people feel sorry or that they do not feel comfortable with certain parts of their body, for not corresponding to the canons of beauty, which have changed throughout history and have caused certain things are mocked. They are messages that make someone feel uncomfortable with the way they look, or even feel that they don’t deserve to be loved or happy. “

In addition, we also have the problem of “virtual body“, Which, according to the expert, has to do with the image that is presented on social networks (all those photos with thousands of filters, editing and adjustments), where editing tools are used to” adjust “the appearance of people. “This generates a distorted image of how a person should look, increasing the feeling of shame and dissatisfaction for those who don’t see themselves that way, ”he says. (And Will Smith already taught us a valuable lesson in this regard.)

The Body Shaming is directly related to low self-esteem, “It makes people believe that they are worthless or that they fall into isolation, that they stop going out little by little thinking that this is a form of protection and to avoid being the object of ridicule by others. This can also generate anxiety attacks, stress and even eating problems ”.

The edited image and the psychological effects

Ortiz says that, “this has given rise to several mental disorders, mainly related to eating problems, such as anorexia and bulimiaIn addition to this, this can also promote the narcissistic personality, where appearances have much more weight and we see more people who do the impossible to see how the photos (and, by not getting that, increases frustration) ”.

It has even reached the extreme where seeing oneself in a certain way is associated with a symbol of success, happiness and love, and that generates an identity conflict, when it really is not such an important factor. The recommendation? You have to stop seeing social networks as if they were true.

Weight is not what gives you value

© GETTY

And the gordofobia

His name is very clear, but, if you want a definition, Ortiz says that “It is a total rejection of a certain image, it makes us believe that” fat “is wrong, unhappy and undesirable, and that is completely related to the Body Shaming and the pressure to conform to certain stereotypes or beauty parameters ”.

The gordophobia it comes into play when there is a kind of “repulsion and rejection of the concept of overweight.” It is not the same to talk about health problems related to being overweight and the need to lose a few kilos to be healthy, than to criticize to make others feel bad or worthless for having a certain weight.

How Can You Deal With Body Shaming And Fat Phobia?

“The main thing is to understand that We are all different“Says the expert,” and we have different body types. Perfection is an illusion and we are not going to achieve it. This does not mean that you do not take care of your body, we must try to get the best version of ourselves, but from our own genetics and accepting that we have different characteristics ”.

The psychologist says that “not being your own executioner, there are cases in which we ourselves do Body Shaming. We must change the internal conversation, stop criticizing ourselves, and with that we can stop judging others as well ”. The golden rule is: If you don’t have something nice to say about others, it’s best to say nothing.

Good practices to deal with Body Shaming:

  • We must not tell ourselves negative or hurtful things to ourselves
  • Focus on talents, not in appearance
  • Analyze what is causing you to be unhealthy, work your self esteem
  • Start to see the good in others, so you can see it in yourself
  • Understand that Instagram is not reality, and that you don’t have to become what you’re seeing
  • Find a therapy (for mental health) it does not make you weak or less of a man, it makes you intelligent and helps you to better deal with any problem

How can you have a healthy conversation about it?

“Talk about obesity it has been highly stigmatized. The word “fat” has become a stigma, but we must understand that we must see obesity as a health problem, with situations that go beyond appearance. We should not reduce it to the image, but to the factors that come into play for a person to suffer from it, it is not worth going to the other extreme and stop taking care of ourselves under the pretext that this is loving our bodies ”, he says.

The most important thing is to change your mindset, stop thinking about getting a “perfect” body (we will never achieve that) and focus on having a healthy body, which is not the same as being slim. “We are more than an image and being overweight does not affect your worth as a human being,” says Ortiz.

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Body Shaming: What It Is And How To Deal With It, According To A Psychologist