My Therapy Stories (#4) – Body Shaming

What are the consequences of body shaming? What does coping with comments on our appearance lead to? Here’s my therapy story and how I healed my self-image.

My first encounter with body shaming was by some girls in class when I was a teenager.

I thought they were being my friends.

They would constantly tell me I have fat legs or I wasn’t curvy enough like a girl should be. That I couldn’t dance as femininely as the other girls. Furthermore, I’d hear remarks about not being fair-complexioned, and that my hair was ugly because it wasn’t silky smooth.

I also remember a few occasions when my dressing sense was commented upon in a not-so-positive way.

Thus, I remained conscious of my body and appearance throughout my teen years and early twenties. This resulted in many subconscious decisions to cope with the fear of body-shaming.
  • Pulling up my socks all the way to my knees, and wearing extra long skirts as a part of the school uniform.
  • Rarely ever casually wearing dresses, because I didn’t want to reveal my legs.
  • Avoiding dancing in public because I didn’t want to ‘not look lady-like’.
  • Wearing loose-fitted clothes to hide my body shape.
  • Wearing stripes and formals to appear ‘professional’.
  • Almost always keeping my hair tied-up in a ponytail.
  • Trying unnecessary face packs and hair masks to conceal the flaws.

My method of coping meant associating being ‘girly’ with being mean and arrogant, the way those girls were, who made fun of me in my teen years. This thus, meant that I was also avoiding makeup, ignoring high-heels and gravitating towards the label of a ‘tomboy’.

tomboy, girl on bike, body positive, body shaming

But this finally began to change, once I started feeling more confident in my skin and hanging out around people that saw the good in me.

They saw me for more than my appearance.

I finally experimented with my hairstyle once I was 23 years old, in office! Not because somebody was watching me, but because I wanted to embrace my feminine energy.

haircut, girls, friends, smile, pose, happy, poker, office colleagues, vasundhra, therapy, body positive
The real breakthrough came when I started shopping for my wedding.

My mom, sister-in-law and husband played a huge role in encouraging me to expand my wardrobe outside the realm of ‘jeans’.

One outfit at a time, one dangling earring at a time, one pair of high heels at a time, my hesitations began to dissolve.

It was the effect of inner work, support from loved ones and building self-confidence, that finally cornered this silly notion that fat girls don’t wear dresses.

So here I was. Finally, ready to move beyond my inner critic.

twirl, happy couple, pre-wedding shoot, couple shoot, honeymoon, romance, body positive, indian dress, makeup,
My first girly-twirly at our pre-wedding shot. And when it happened, I couldn’t have felt more on top of the world!

Concluding Thoughts

Body positive is not just a fad, it’s a necessity.

Every child and teenager needs to know that they look perfect, just the way they are. And it is the responsibility of every adult to acknowledge everything that makes a child beautiful – not just their outer appearance.

Read More : My Therapy Stories – Inner Child Wounds

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Overcoming Body Shaming & Stepping Into Body Positive With Therapy

27 thoughts on “My Therapy Stories (#4) – Body Shaming”

  1. This is really a beautiful story. We don’t need to be ashamed on what flaws we have. We must proud and brave to face it.

  2. Society tends to “tell” us what is the right body image for girls and woman with media and etc. But, I am glad that real-life stories and also the fight against what the industry tells us what is the right body size is getting more and more motion these days. Thanks for sharing your story! Every girl and woman has experience body shaming before. For me, it was about my boobs. I am a big girl and I would try to hid them because I thought I was either fat or I would attract the wrong guys. I got over it but it took a while.

  3. This post is so relatable. I think every girl or woman at some point experiences this, and I look forward to a day where it no longer exists. ❤ Thank you for sharing your story!

  4. What a great journey. I’am bullied for body shamming and it sucks! I believe that beauty is always on inside no matter what 🙂

  5. I really felt this whole post. I’ve always been a bigger girl. It’s just my body structure. Even when I was dancing and skateboarding and surfing constantly, I was still a bigger girl than everyone in my dance classes. I’ve got wide shoulders, wide hips, and a big chest… it is what it is. But I was made fun of a lot because of it. Add in snotty comments from my mom about my arms being too big or my thighs to big and it made for a pretty miserable adolescent experience. I didn’t start to feel comfortable and confident in my own body until I was almost 30 years old. Those childhood comments stuck with me and effected me that long. I’m a huge supporter of body positivity now because of it though. It’s so important to let people know that they can love their body even if there are things they want to work on or change

    1. Wow…thank you so much for sharing, girl. It really takes a toll on our mental health doesn’t it? I’m glad you feel more confident now! And together we’re going to carry that positivity into future generations 🙂

  6. I was bodyshamed for being curvy. I had (still have) the insecurity about my complexion. I am successful but being an Indian I see people judging me with their eyes. You got out of it but I couldn’t.

    1. I’m sorry you feel that way Monidipa. I conduct an inner child healing workshop specifically for such things, you’re welcome to join. I sincerely believe it makes a difference and you may overcome this now. 🙂

  7. Great post! I also would add that even as an adult, positive body image is important. As we get older, negative body feels happen – so it is even more important to embrace your image throughout your life.

  8. It’s amazing what people do to each other. I can’t imagine what you went through, but you seem to have the right approach to things. I remember myself growing up during high school being body shamed, and it wasn’t until my 10 year high school reunion where I finally was able to forgive and forget. Thanks for the great post.

  9. What an inspiring story. However, I do want to say as an educator, I am absolutely against bullying and I’m sorry there wasn’t an educator at your school to stop those nasty girls!!

  10. Isn’t it funny… those girls spoke words that lasted so many years in your mind. This for me this is a story about the importance of our words as much as about your dealing with them.

    As much harm as was done by critics, can be done to the positive by kindness.

    Your articles inspire me.

  11. “Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.” – Confucius

    It is heartwarming to see a person embracing their true beauty. It is truly the eyes of the beholder wherein beauty lies. 🙂

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