Body shaming has adverse effects on those under constant scrutiny. Cambridge Dictionary defines body shaming as criticism of someone based on the shape, size, or appearance of their body.
Name-calling – to make someone feel worse about their body image or feel ashamed about their weight – is the worst thing anyone can do to another person.
Nobody is motivated to eat less, exercise more and lose weight when your words just cut through them and resonate as taunts rather than a piece of advice.
One’s self esteem is affected by such criticisms and Kris Gunnars, a Health writer speaks to it. He says, “Some believe that making overweight people feel ashamed of their weight or eating habits may motivate them to get healthier. However, scientific evidence confirms that nothing could be further from the truth.”
The situation is worse for Africans as it is not uncommon to be hurled at as fat by a random stranger when walking in your neighborhood or by a busy street. It is hard when these taunts are from relatives.
Those who are body shamed are most likely battling their own demons to better themselves. For celebrities who are constantly in the limelight, it is more difficult for them when there is a generally accepted Hollywood image.
When they loosely sway from the stereotypical Hollywood glam looks, the tabloids hit them hard.
Here are some kick-ass quotes from celebrities on body shamming that can get you inspired and boost your confidence:
In response to fat-shaming tweets from her 2014 Golden Globes look, Gabourey Sidibe tweeted, “To people making mean comments about my GG pics, I mos def cried about it on that private jet on my way to my dream job last night. #JK.”
“You must be comfortable in your own skin,” that was the message Zendaya gave to people who called her too thin in her outfit for the Motion Picture Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards. She replied their comments in her tweet, saying, “I’m naturally a skinny string bean and I love it #imcomfortableinmyskin”.
Octavia Spencer is all for being healthy no matter the body you find yourself in. “Be happy in your own skin. If you are unhealthy, start by making small changes to become healthier. You are unique, beautiful, and worthy.”
People are intimidated by her fit physique and Serena had a little message for those who stand out in the crowd. “Since I don’t look like every other girl, it takes a while to be okay with that. To be different. But different is good.”
Rihanna is comfortable in her own skin and you can’t help but love her. “You’ve just got to laugh at yourself, honestly. I mean, I know when I’m having a fat day and when I’ve lost weight. I accept all of the bodies.”
Sometimes we are hard on ourselves because of what we think people might say. She had self-doubt when she was cast as Annalise Keating, the lead role in the hit series, How to Get Away With Murder but came to terms with the role.
“I truly believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are, and I just recently embraced that at 51.
“I think my strongest power is that at ten o’clock every Thursday night, I want you to come into my world. I am not going to come into yours. You come into my world and you sit with me, my size, my hue, my age, and you sit, and you experience.”
It’s not unusual to see many celebrities in revealing clothing in Hollywood. When questioned about why she takes the conservative approach to dressing, she said, “When I look at myself in the mirror, I’m attractive. I really have a nice body. And I had to pick: Do I want them to focus on my body? Do I want them to focus on how curvy and really, really gorgeous my figure is?
“Or do I want them to look at my music? What has more value? And I made that decision. I want them to focus on the message and the music because I feel like I have a higher calling.”
Taraji P. Henson
Social media makes people live lives they otherwise wouldn’t. It is so easy to want to look like that person who has so many likes for their photo.
Addressing the issue of social media and how we perceive ourselves, Taraji said, “You know when you get into your head about how you look? I know you’re comparing yourself. You compare yourself, and we live in a society where it’s hard not to do.
“But I want to tell you something, my babies. They use filters, OK? Don’t believe what you see on Instagram.
“They’re filters. Don’t believe everything you see in magazines. They have Photoshop! [Laughs] You know? So, it’s all smoke and mirrors anyway, so stop comparing yourself to things that aren’t even real. Stop it.”