Redefining Beauty: 10 Ways To Help Put A Stop To Body Shaming

No matter what you look like, you’ve probably had insecurities about your body at some point in your life. The problem with body shaming is that everyone has a unique body type that can’t always be manipulated into what the media portrays as the “perfect body”. While the modelling industry has been embracing more “average” sized women lately, there is still a long way to go and it all starts with you. Once we all embrace our own unique body types, the body shaming trolls out there will have no power left.

  1. Don’t use hashtags like #thinspiration. Staying healthy shouldn’t be about how thin you are. By all means, share your workout tips, delicious healthy snack recipes, and even progress photos you’re proud of, but do it because you want to inspire other people to feel as good as you do about yourself, not to make people jealous of how thin you are.
  2. Don’t strive for things like thigh gap. Having a thigh gap is not a realistic goal for a lot of girls, and the girls that do happen to have one are just naturally built that way. Neither body type is right or wrong, and it’s a lot better to focus on what your own body is capable of rather than setting a superficial goal like “having thigh gap”.
  3. Accept that everyone has a unique body type. Not everyone can look like a Victoria’s Secret model, and that’s totally fine. Curvy women, athletic women, thin women, and everything in between, you’re all perfect in your own way.
  4. Don’t ever tolerate a guy who makes you feel bad about yourself. Worries about body imperfections have a lot to do what people think when they see you naked. Of course, guys have the right to be attracted to what they are attracted to, but they don’t have the right to make you feel bad if you don’t fit their ideal flawlessly. He’s free to move along, because you deserve better.
  5. Wear every trend with pride. There are always certain trends that look best on certain body types, but there’s no reason you can’t find a variation of the trend that works for you. Crop tops aren’t just for skinny girls, and anyone can wear horizontal stripes— you just have to own it.
  6. Encourage the media’s use of “plus-size” and “average-size” models. Buy the magazine that puts a plus-sized girl on the cover. Praise brands that use minimal re-touching. Get in on conversations and share your support of the body acceptance movement.
  7. Tell other women how great they look. Don’t be afraid to tell another woman, whether you know her or not, that she looks amazing. Or that you love her skirt. Or just ask where she got her cool statement necklace. Everyone likes a genuine compliment, and it could really make someone else’s day.
  8. Don’t encourage the trolls. The internet has the unique ability to give people way more courage to say something rude than they’d ever have in person. The best course of action is to completely ignore them. They’re just doing it to get a reaction anyway, so don’t let them win.
  9. Don’t avoid the beach. Going to the beach is one of the best parts of summer, so don’t deprive yourself of the swimming, beach volleyball, and sun because you don’t want to wear a bathing suit. Pick a suit that makes you feel confident, and guaranteed no one will even notice what you think are your “problem areas”.
  10. Stay healthy. No matter what your body type is, a balanced diet and regular exercise is absolutely essential. Not everyone is a gym rat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get outside and sweat a little. Life isn’t about having the perfect body, but you’ll feel a lot happier all around if you know you’re taking care of yourself.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to, contributes regularly to, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.