My Body is a Temple for my Soul
What does a person, who has been body shamed in their childhood feel about their body image as an adult? The experience of body shaming as a child - does it shape one's personality in any way?
As a teacher and dance director working with both children and adults, and some of my own experiences, I can say that Yes, it does, and the consequences could be serious. It can lead to a child's lack of self-confidence, feeling inadequate, need for constant approval, not feeling worthy, being fueled into competitiveness, not cultivating healthy social relationships, sabotaging themselves, developing depression, anger, ultimately not realizing their fullest potential ....... And the list goes on.
What is Body Shaming? Also know as Body judging at times, is the act of passing judgement on the characteristics of a person’s body, specially those characteristics that are beyond that person’s control and many times are a result of genetic makeup. Body shaming doesn’t have to be about the persons size - i.e. being fat or skinny, it could be about the color of your skin, height, the shape of your eyebrows, the structure of your teeth, or any other body part.
An innocent joke or an off hand funny remark can quickly turn into a hurtful nick name or set a trend. What we don’t realize is that when this happens to a child at an impressionable age, who doesn't necessarily have the skills to handle it or not to take things too personally, the harm done can be fatal. When such children grow up to be adults, they could be harboring a lifelong hate either towards themselves or others, often causing a cascading effect into other parts of their lives and relationships. What is worse is that 9 times out of 10, body shaming is done by family members, close friends and relatives, which makes it even more hurtful. Imagine growing up surrounded by a perception of negativity. A child cannot control his/her surroundings, but as adults one can.
With the right mindset and practice, it is possible to overcome the scars of body shaming. "Mental Strength" is something we must all take care of first, no matter our age.
Mental well being strengthens the soul, which lets us look past any kind of criticism on attributes beyond our control and accept feedback that is constructive. A strong soul vice versa creates a strong mind that can make the right choices to not only eliminate the negativity, but also to seek out right influences and motivation.
If you are an adult trying to get past the scars of body shaming or any other negative and unpleasant experiences that may have held you hostage, please do start with some things to attain overall mental well being.
First step is to STOP - Distance yourself from those who complain all the time, gossip excessively, need constant attention for no reason, are competitive in every aspect of their life - big or small, those who do not know how to let go and bring up past set backs time and again, those who are all about the drama. Stop comparing yourself or your life with others.
Second step is to ACT - Prioritize your child and yourself instead. Seek out those who inspire you. Cultivate healthy friendships. Cultivate healthy habits. Spend time in doing things that make you happy or feel fulfilled.
And lastly, PRACTICE - Practice moving on when there is nothing you can do about a situation. Respect your body and care for your health through fitness. Be aware of judging yourself or judging others, think twice before you are about to blurt out an opinion of someone else.
The more you do this, the better you will nourish your soul.Your soul is the only key to set you free from the trap of any pain & suffering.
Thank you for reading.
© Anu Bhattacharya [a.k.a Simply Untangled]
© 2017 Rachana Anu Bhattacharya