I Was Body-Shamed By A Guy I Was Dating, But I Kept My Self-Esteem

I Was Body-Shamed By A Guy I Was Dating, But I Kept My Self-Esteem ©iStock/jessicaphoto

It’s no secret that we live in a society obsessed with physical perfection. This is especially true for women, who are constantly pressured to achieve this perfection by any means necessary. Of course, some of us will never achieve that perfection and don’t really care, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get body-shamed, anyway. It sucks, particularly when the rude comments are coming from the another sex.

My own worst body-shaming experience happened about four months ago, and it messed me up because I’d already lost the amount of weight I wanted in order to feel healthy without losing all my curves. I felt great about myself, until I heard those words: “You’d be the perfect woman if you lost 50 lbs.”

Wait, what? My first thought was, “If I lost 50 lbs, I’d be a scary skeleton. No thanks.” My second thought was, “That 50 lbs didn’t seem to bother you when we were in bed.” Throughout the next few days, the words echoed in my head as I struggled to find that self-esteem I’d had before. There were several steps I took to recover from the emotional setback and ensure that it didn’t happen again.

  1. Call up your support system. When someone feels the need to tear you down, you’ll be able to rebuild much more quickly if you enlist some help. Call up your girls, your best friend, your mom, your sister, and anyone else who has your back. They’ll put everything back in perspective and make sure you know how beautiful you are and what a jerk that guy is.
  2. Cut off contact with him, at least temporarily. This guy plucked you up in your prime, when you had nothing but love for yourself, then he cut you down and made you feel crappy about yourself. Even if he claims it was just honesty, that’s not okay. You need to stop talking to him at least temporarily and build yourself back up before deciding if the friendship/relationship is worth saving.
  3. Treat yourself to something nice. Even if it’s just some take-out sushi and a bottle of champagne, go the extra mile and turn a normal day into a holiday to celebrate yourself. The person who’s most capable of making you happy is you. Never forget that.
  4. Have a private fashion show. It sounds nuts, but self-esteem ultimately comes from within. Set up your full-length mirror, put on a few of your favorite outfits, and strike a few poses. Not only will you have fun, you’ll remind yourself that you’re beautiful and sexy. Bonus points if the last outfit is your birthday suit (and maybe a pair of heels), because you should be able to love your body exactly as it is.
  5. Organize a girls’ night. When a guy has made you feel like an inadequate waste of space, you need to have some fun with just your girls. Plan a dinner party with lots of wine or a night out dancing, no boys allowed.
  6. Make your final decision about him and stick to it. If he’s been an important part of your life for a while and he’s given signs of knowing he did something wrong and wanting to apologize, such as texts or voicemails, it may be worth it to have a conversation with him and forgive him this time. If he hasn’t attempted to contact you at all or has but he doesn’t have a clue what he did wrong, he’s probably not worth it and will likely hurt you again. When you make your decision, stay strong and stick with it.
  7. Remember that you’re beautiful and you deserve to be treated right. No matter what society tells you, the truth is that you are valuable, six pack or not, and you deserve to be treated as such. If someone cuts you down and makes you feel bad about yourself, that’s a red flag that they’re not good for you. You need to value yourself enough to be picky about who you allow into your life, because the person who’s most capable of protecting you is you. Until next time, stay strong and be your own warrior.
Anna Martin Yonk is a freelance writer and blogger in sunny North Carolina. She loves hanging out with her goofy husband and two rescue dogs and can be found at the beach with a drink in hand whenever possible. You can find her on Instagram @mrsyonkdogmom or on her Facebook page.