It even happens to celebrities. Actress Carrie Fisher was just 21 when she first appeared as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” movies. She skyrocketed to fame, idolized by men and women alike, and—thanks to the iconic bikini scene—becoming the fantasy of every teenage boy. Fast-forward about 40 years, and Fisher appears in the latest “Star Wars” movie, only to be immediately criticized for her looks—because she dared to age over the four decades. “Please stop debating about whether I have aged well,” Fisher tweeted after reading some of the hurtful comments. “I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. This is so messed up.”
And it’s not just women who are treated this way—actor Vin Diesel recently responded to rude comments about how his once-muscular physique had turned into a “dad bod” after photos surfaced of him with a “soft belly.” “Body-shaming is always wrong,” Diesel said, explaining that working on his latest movie didn’t allow for enough time at the gym. (Not that he needed to explain.)
Body-shaming is wrong, and it doesn’t just happen to celebrities. Maybe people who participate in body-shaming are insecure and are simply doing it to feel better about themselves. Maybe they’re also emboldened by the anonymity of the Internet; most body-shamers probably wouldn’t say the same hurtful things if they were speaking to the person face-to-face.
Would body-shaming hurt your feelings?
If you said no, then good for you; you’re supremely confident in yourself and don’t care what others think. You can use your confidence to help others affected by body-shaming. Refuse to participate in any form of body-shaming of others—divert negative comments by responding with a positive one or by changing the subject.
But if you said yes, you’re not alone. It’s human nature to experience hurt feelings when someone says something negative about you.
But the good news is, there are few things you can do to build up your confidence, feel better about yourself, and learn to move on:
1. Do something that makes you feel happy.
Spend time with people who love you for who you are. Sing at the top of your lungs in the shower. Dance around the room. Take yourself out to lunch. Rent your favorite movie.
2. Do something that makes you feel beautiful.
Get a haircut, treat yourself to a manicure, wear your favorite outfit.
3. Do something that makes you feel accomplished.
Love to run, sew, play chess, tell jokes, bake, juggle? We all have special talents, so find what you do well, and do it often.
4. Do something nice for others.
Pay it forward in the drive-through. Shovel a neighbor’s walk. Mail someone a handwritten note. Small kindnesses can make you feel happy, beautiful, and accomplished at the same time!