BODY SHAMING – A Major Concern

  1. What is body shaming?

Body shaming is perceived as expressing dissatisfaction or passing harsh and humiliating comments on size, shape, or other aspects of an individual’s body type. It is especially prevalent in youth but sadly, nowadays, under the influence of social media and other social norms, children are also becoming the active victims of this emotionally traumatic experience.

Calling a child “ugly”, “dark” or “fatty”, saying “Don’t you get to eat anything at home” if he is extra lean. Basically every other body shape or size other than the body standards that are said to be “perfect” in our society is criticized.

2. How does body shaming psychologically affect a child?

  • Depression – A recent study has found that children with obesity had a higher risk of depressionmajorly associated with social stigma, mistreatment, discrimination, teasing, etc.
  • Anxiety – Going through a lot of criticism makes children insecure and gets them into over thinking which ultimately makes them anxious about their body image.
  • Low self-esteem – Body shaming makes children doubt their self-worth, shatter their confidence that usually makes them panic in handling the simplest situations.
  • Eating disorders – Anxiety leads to over eating or eating nothing at all for skinny and obese children respectively, which is bad for both their physical and mental health. This can further lead to constipation, dehydration, bloating, hormonal imbalance and other systemic diseases.
  • Social anxiety disorder – Children feel conscious and nervous while going to social gatherings because they are constantly programmed to believe that they do not fit in their age group, triggering anxiety, worry, and self doubt.



3. Why do people body shame other (even kids)? What is the reason behind it?

In the modern era of social media, people are running a race of “perfection”. They are getting influenced with the “ideal appearance” of star kids or children with genetically good body shape showing their good features and talent that has created a huge impact on the parents of the alpha-generation.

But here the major concern is that everyone has a certain body type. Instead of accepting and appreciating the natural body type of children, modern society and even parents are pushing their children over the edge to fulfill these new norms of society.

Not considering the physical and mental health factors of children, people are always criticizing and forcing adults and children to get into that “ideal shape or size”, if they are skinny or obese.

Dark skin tone has always been a discriminative and harassment factor since years that is still continuing in our seemingly modern society and sadly it is now negatively affecting the children too.

The worst part is that people are growing this toxic mindset in their children’s mind, who further tend to bully and judge the peers of their age on these false parameters set by the society.


4. If a child is feeling insecure about their body, how can the therapist or counselor make them feel more confident about themselves?

There are certain points that a counselor or a therapist can make while addressing this issue.

  • Positive examples

By giving them the examples of great people who had achieved abundant success having major flaws and disabilities in them.

People like Mother Teresa, Stephen hawking, Helen Keller, etc.

  • Concentrating on health

By telling them the importance of a healthy mind and body over an “ideal appearance”.  Advising them to build a routine to keep in check and do better with their health.

  • Body Positivity – Learn the mantra “Nobody is perfect”. Everybody has a certain body type. Learn to embrace and appreciate every body type and its flaws because flaws are what make you different for the world.
  • Confidence boost – The best way to boost your children’s confidence is to make them believe in themselves. Talk them out of their insecurities and teach them some valuable life lessons that will help build and boost their confidence.
  • Ignoring negative comments

Teach them to address the negative comments while not letting them affect their mindset, to make peace with their flaws and imperfections.

5. Is it necessary to take professional help if someone body shaming you is impacting negatively?

Professional help can do a great shift in your child’s mindset and it is nothing to be ashamed of if this is affecting your child’s mental health. Remember, nothing is more important than one’s health. It helps your children to be vocal about their insecurities and make them comfortable in addressing the issue with other people.

6. How do parents identify that their child is having body image issues?

Parents should always be attentive about the behavior of their children since people develop their behavioral habits in their childhood and hence this period is known to be a significant mind setting phase in one’s whole life.

Take note if:

  • Your children have a sudden shift in their attitude
  • If their eating habits have suddenly changed
  • If they refuse to go to school or public gatherings, or play grounds
  • If they shy away or deny being photographed
  • If they are constantly asking and bothered about losing or gaining weight, using fairness creams, or any other remedy for treating the insecurities related to their bodies.
  • If they are unable to control their emotions
  • Being secretive

7. Why is body shaming a serious issue?

Body shaming is messing with the emotional, mental and physical health of people (including adults and children). Nowadays, this generation is hell bent on looking perfect and judges others for not running in this rat race.

If this continues, we will see a generation with severe mental and physical health issues. Humans will turn into clones or robots programmed with mob mentality infected with false illusions and perceptions of a “perfect body”.

8. Is it normal as a teenager to feel insecure about their own body?

Feeling insecure is only normal for a teenager if he/she hasn’t developed an obsession about that insecurity. Feeling insecure and doing something good to get rid of their insecurity while making a positive change is a very positive step towards growth and can be considered to be a personality developing step.

But if the insecurity becomes an obsession and starts affecting his/her mental health then it is a warning sign.

9. What do you have to say to the parents, relatives and teachers who unknowingly body shame children?

  • Having an “imperfect body” cannot take away the inner beauty and talent of children.
  • Body is just a shell, while the source of miracles and achievements is their beautiful and innovative mind.
  • Being ugly doesn’t make their intelligence less attractive.
  • Kindness comes from the inner compassion of their soul.
  • You cannot fight nature; all you can do is embrace the nature’s gift and shape it into the most beautiful entity.

10. How to teach children to be comfortable in their own bodies?

Just as we teach children to stay positive in every situation, teach them to find the good qualities in their bodies.

  • Tell them that being fat, skinny, or dusky doesn’t make their eyes, vocals or hair less beautiful.
  • Teach them to count every blessing and being grateful for whatever good they have.
  • Teach them to focus on how they can do better for themselves to be both physically and mentally healthy.
  • Teach them to embrace every flaw in their body because you shine better when you are peace with every inch of your body.
  • Tell them that what matters the most is their growing mindset and kindness towards the society.

11. When is the right age to talk about body image?

Body image issue begins much earlier than we thought it could be. It can begin as early as at the age of 3 or 5. Yes! It depends on the perception power of children. It can begin as soon as the child starts interacting with its surroundings. So don’t wait until long and slowly start teaching them positive affirmations and guiding them about it at early age.

12. What is the best way to talk about body image?

Impregnate the idea of a healthy body in your children’s mind from the very beginning. Tell them to feel normal about their body if they have put on some healthy fat or have genetically skinny body. As long as they are mentally and physically healthy, there is nothing else that matters.

Tell them that everyone is beautiful and unique in their own way. Give them inspirational examples and build their character to become kind yet unapologetic about their natural body appearance. Teach them to embrace their body as it is the most valuable asset that they have.

13. Why is it important to feel positive and confident about one’s own body?

Feeling positive and confident about one’s own body helps in building a strong character and gives you the power to conquer the world. Nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself and that comes with self-acceptance at the first place. If you have won over your insecurities, you can win any battle in the world with that positive mindset of yours.


Everyone is a unique being created by the universe. The one who respects and accepts the nature’s creations lives a life of bliss.

Body shaming is equal to disgracing the beautiful art of nature.

It doesn’t matter if you are body shaming someone for the sake of improving their lifestyle or for their own good. As long as the comments are impacting negatively on someone’s health, it is no less than a crime.

Try doing this good deed in a positive alternative way and you shall receive the heavenly rewards for making a positive change in someone’s life.


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