My ex was an amazing, sweet guy who always told me how gorgeous I was. Then one day he body-shamed me. It was so sudden. He came out and said that he was into women who were more curvaceous than I was. Afterwards, I noticed him checking out other women who had shapely bodies. Talk about a blow.
- It felt like crap to think he wasn’t attracted to me. After three months of dating my ex and hearing how much he liked me, now I was being told that I didn’t possess the body type he liked. What was I supposed to do? There were parts of my body I couldn’t naturally change, such as my breasts — not that I would ever change my body for a man, but it sucks to think that you are inadequate for someone.
- It hurt more because I was so attracted to him. The body-shaming incident hurt me enough, but what rubbed salt into my wound was that I was so attracted to him. I was always of the opinion that he had an amazing body, so it was heartbreaking to think that I saw perfection in him when he saw flaws in me.
- It was his self-esteem that was messed up. It didn’t immediately help me to think this, but it sure did help as time went by. I realized that the guy had major insecurities. If I look back on our relationship, I remember he often expressed thoughts and feelings that he wasn’t good enough, physically or otherwise. He was clearly projecting his issues onto me, but that doesn’t make it right. He was screwed up.
- My confidence was shredded. We had a fight after his body-shaming comments in which I told him he should be dating women with the bodies he liked instead of being with me. He then backtracked and tried to take back his words, but the damage was done. The body-shaming didn’t stop, though! I accidentally saw pictures of women with curvaceous figures and large breasts on his laptop and he wasn’t even ashamed to tell me that he liked those sex-like images. He also told me I should get breast implants. Yeah, really classy. We broke up soon after that.
- I worried I’d never find happiness. After the relationship ended and I had rid myself of the loser, I feared I would find other guys who felt the same as he did. I feared I’d never find happiness, that a guy would never like my body. I allowed the body-shaming to make me doubt my worth, which was total crap. It was also a waste of time because I did find someone who valued me, inside and out.
- There is not just one ideal body type. The thing I had to remember following the body-shaming experience was that there is not just one type of body that every man likes. For some, it’s the thin girls on the runway; for others, it’s girls who have a bit of meat on their bones. Every guy will like something different — but more importantly than that, it was up to me to like my own body because it might not be ideal for society but it’s right for me.
- The body-shaming exposed my own body hate. One of the most interesting things about my ex’s body-shaming comments was realizing that they hurt me so much because I was always doing it to my own body. I regularly engaged in negative talk about my appearance and I always felt my body wasn’t good enough, long before my ex entered my life. His words hurt me so much because they were similar to the self-criticism I had been punishing myself with my whole life. It was a wakeup call that it had to stop! My body didn’t deserve it.