Body shaming should not be tolerated in any form. Other people do not have the right to criticize how you look, and neither do advertisements. But oftentimes these messages get internalized, causing people to shame their own bodies and think they are never fit or perfect looking enough.
You might not think you're body shaming yourself, but you could be doing it without even realizing that's what's going on. Blogger Constance Hall made this surprising discovery on a recent shopping trip.
Hall thought the sales associate was body shaming her, when in actuality, she was doing it to herself.
It came as a bit of a shock to Hall, considering she is known for body positive, proud mom bod posts. Hall wrote a Facebook post about the incident, and her realization after speaking to the shop assistant.
"Went shopping for a new dress, [I] was happily browsing the racks when the shop assistant says, "Sorry darling those racks are size 6's and 8's only, the other racks will be better for you." Hiding my offence, I replied, "That's cool. I AM a size 6." And that's when we shared one of those awkward moments, the ones where she knows I'm lying, I know that she knows that I'm lying, she knows that I know that she knows that I'm lying... And I grabbed a size 6 dress to try on. Feeling under enthused with the unsurprising results, I returned from the change room and told her that the colour did nothing for me. She responded with, "Wow, you are one of those beautiful women that I would think suits every colour" Hmmmmm. It would appear that she is not the arsehole...I am. She wasn't body shaming my delicious #mummob [sic] she was being practical, it was ME who body shamed myself by taking offence!!!!!! Today was a reminder that NO dress sizes are BETTER then any OTHER. It's YOUR BODY. You only have ONE. Love it"
Hall's post shows us that we need to consider how we're thinking about our bodies as much as the way society is talking about them.
The post has made others reflect about their own body-shaming, too. Since it was uploaded on August 21, it has received over 75,000 likes and 2,600 comments. Users are writing about their experiences in store dressing rooms and how sizing can vary widely between stores.
One Facebook user wrote about how a sales associate helped her with negative thoughts about her body, "I tried on some lingerie at a well-known store, I was feeling a little self-conscious getting fitted for the bra and apologized to the shop assistant for my flabby bits ... "
She continued, "The assistant picked up a riding crop and smacked me on the bum with it and told me that we don't speak of ourselves that way, we are all different and that's one of the many things that makes us beautiful. Needless to say, I shop there all the time."
Hall's post brings up many thoughts about trying clothes on. The message she gets across is that it doesn't matter what size you are, you should love your body and you shouldn't be ashamed of it. You shouldn't put up with body shaming from anyone, and that starts with not allowing yourself to do it.