Senior woman jumping in airBody Shaming.  We all do it whether to our self or to those around us.  To make matters worse, magazines, TV and social media bombard us with body shaming messages every day.

So, you may be scratching your head and thinking, what the heck is body shaming and how can I avoid doing it? Simply put, body shaming is criticizing yourself or others because of some aspect of physical appearance.

I know, it’s a broad definition.  Check out this article Body Shaming: What It Is & Why We Do It? It provides a great overview of body shaming and how to challenge it in your everyday life.

Also watch this video by retailer Ann Taylor Loft for an example of body shaming in action.  It’s sad to watch, but even more infuriating when you realize that because it’s out there in cyber space, it has the potential to make thousands of people feel insecure about their appearance. Not cool.

Ok, now that you have an understanding of what body shaming is, how to try to avoid it in your own life and what it looks like; let’s talk about how society can empower others to turn the conversation from body shaming to body positivity.

One Australian woman, Taryn Brumfitt, is doing just that. Taryn has a website called Body Image Movement and she is on a quest to, “reach as many women as possible around the world and speak to them about how to learn to embrace and love our (their) bodies.” She is raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign to fund a feature length documentary called embrace to unite women across the globe to love the skin there in.

Even Harvard’s women’s rugby team is spreading body positive vibes through the message that strong is beautiful.  The team recently wrote messages like “fearless” and “powerful” on each other’s bodies and posed for a series of photos wearing sports bras and shorts that was featured in the Harvard Political Review.

Mary Sue, a popular blogger, even made a video parody on the song Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” because she felt Trainor was body shaming thin women in her song.

Don’t worry.  You don’t have to make a film, strike a pose or sing to spread body positivity.  Sometimes simple positive body actions are best.  Check out this article and get inspired to embrace your body and teach others to love theirs too.

About the Author

katieKatie FitzGerald is the Director of Communications at Walden Behavioral Care. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Framingham State University in Framingham, MA and her Master’s Degree in Journalism from Emerson College in Boston, MA. She is the editor of the Walden Blog and maintains the company’s social media pages. Ms. FitzGerald enjoys exercising and wellness writing, and is passionate about using technology to help people with mental illness get the help they need.