7 Reasons for Body Shame

Hello Friends

I would love not to have a body at all. It would be wonderful to float around and talk to people without being seen!

This post is triggered by a couple of recent incidents: the first is “Fat Shaming” on the BBC website; the second is a post about sexualisation by a fellow blogger.

So in this audio I thought it would be interesting to share my 7 reasons for body shame. The audio is quick and breezy so do have a listen:

  1. Sexualisation: my body was for sale as a child
  2. Child pornography distorts body image
  3. Parents telling you that your body is wrong: they told me I was big but actually pictures show I was skinny
  4. I was taller than everyone else at school: so I had to be the male if we were dancing and played the man or villain in school plays
  5. I had big feet!
  6. My parents made me have physio to reduce the hollow in my back
  7. Now here’s the dilemma. I want to be thin: so thin that I could disappear. Thin = vulnerable so people look after you! Fat = big so you have to take care of yourself!

Thus began a really distorted sense of not just who I was, but “what” I was as well.

Please tell me how you feel about your body

Are you comfortable with your body?
Have there been times when you’ve not been at ease with the way you look?
How did you change your view?

Here’s a link as well to Lottie’s Post about sex and sexual abuse

 

19 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m sorry to hear about everything you’ve been through, and I hope you are happy in the years to come 🙂
    To be honest, I’m quite comfortable with my body. I am quite an optimistic person when it comes to body image, and while I know I’m not perfect I also know that there’s nothing wrong with my body. I have a few insecurities – like how wide my shoulders look in certain types of shirts and my face isn’t that great either. But other than that, I’m fine with the way I look.
    I just get worried over things I do — I hate to fail, and when I do I beat myself up over it. I’m always performing, singing and playing guitar, but right now I don’t even know whether I can even sing at all, and it’s freaking me out. I’m on the verge of tears while writing this, because, what if people have been lying to me my whole life and saying I can sing when I actually can’t??
    Anyway.
    I really really hope this get better for you, because you seem like a lovely person. Listened to your audio and loved the way you talk. 🙂 Stay well, stay happy 😉

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    1. Hello and thanks for dropping by my blog. I’m sorry about the late(ish) response: life happened. You know I was just reading today, again, how we just can’t afford to give ourselves this negative talk. And how advertsing / celebs etc condition us into telling ourselves that our “face isn’t great either”. Singing is interesting: I have a singing teacher and whenever he tells me that I’ve sung well I don’t beleive him! So now I really have to believe believe believe. Hope you do soon too. Take care now

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for all you do to raise awareness Serena. Body shame is an ongoing struggle. Your words resonate deeply.

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  3. mahjabeen says:

    hey just found out about your blog nice to meet you!!im mahjabeen by the way<3 yeah im 13, and although people tell me im skinny i kinda wanna be so skinny i get ill (without being ill of course) but then the other side of me hates me fr it, the side that wants to be confident and has been learning kung fu for 4 years, but i really do want to get smaller:) i think everyone i know does!

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  4. spudbudette says:

    I don’t think about my body unless I am anxious about where I am meeting new people or when I see myself in the mirror or a picture. I think: “oh how gross” but I find this odd because I don’t think that way when seeing others with similar body shape as I. I usually become upset if I see them being put down. I along never remember anyone putting me down. I am very sad to hear of the mistreatment you received as a child.

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    1. Thanks for your input. Time and time again I hear that women and men are harsher towards themselves than towards others. I’m really not sure why this should be the case.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have so many issues with my body that have resulted from childhood and continued into my marriage that I struggle with every single day. My mother used to tell me that I should wear more figure flattering clothing. And I was sexually abused as a child, so that makes me think that maybe that was a reason I wore baggy clothing to begin with to not draw attention to myself. My husband has been unfaithful to me, the women he chose were younger, slimmer, much more beautiful than I am. I compare myself to them. I wrestle with weight loss and wanting to be healthy for me, but then I think, what if I end up looking like them…how will he treat me sexually? It’s like I would be rewarding him for his behavior. It’s so exhausting and so emotionally painful.

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    1. Hello. I’m sorry to hear of your struggle–yes it does sound exhausting. I relate to the abuse issue and (at 57 years of age) I’ve decided to try to focus on my inner child. So everything I eat is to nourish her and give her what she’s been deserving over all these years. I’m trying in a blinkered way to keep that as an exclusive focus–I mean really truly absolutely. Like no one else in the world matters except for her.It’s hard but it seems to be working.
      Thank you for sharing your story with me and contributing to this community.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been feeling the need to go that as well. The concept is hard for me to grasp though.

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        1. Yes I have found it difficult and in many ways painful. Perhaps it’s something to work through with a therapist or counsellor. Meanwhile I do find the HAVOCA forum very useful for this type of thing. Here’s a link to the main site http://www.havoca.org/survivors/inner-child/inner-child-healing/ From there you should also be able to find a way to join the forum. Good luck and take care x

          Liked by 1 person

  6. amommasview says:

    I have my moments. Moments I’m not comfortable. But it’s usually less about the number but more about cloths that are getting too tight. I know that my body will never be the same as my 20 year old body was. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I like myself. Some days a lot, some days not as much as on the good days but I always like myself and my body.

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    1. That is a good way of looking at it–knowing that not returning to the 20 year old body isn’t necesarily a bad thing. Thanks for visiting the page!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Paper Doll says:

    I am comfortable with my body-ish. At least, I think I am. I wish I was just healthy, but have a hard time defining what that is. I also have disordered eating patterns I’m trying to figure out. I can’t accept body compliments either. But I’m not sure if that’s because I don’t like my body or not.

    What you experienced was so unfair – and I applaud you for doing the work to take care of yourself. I also thank you for the thought provoking questions

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment. Yes, disordered eating patterns are hard to fathom. I do sometimes wonder if it’s because what’s put in front of us (the vast array of food types to be consumed in different ways.. snacks, meals, ready meals, sauces, dressings, sweets, deserts….) all these have hijacked natural evolution. In other words we’re like children going free-range in a candy store and our brains just haven’t evolved to work out how to cope with this freedom and temptation. Add into the mix advertising and social pressures; and being unable to open a magazine without some beauty ideal that we cannot possibly attain… it is no wonder we can’t get to grips with an “ordered” eating pattern…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Liz says:

    I have been mostly lacking confidence with my body, until the last few years. As a kid, I was plump, but luckily I never was called fat by anyone. I was bullied for my surname and because of my hair colour. Also, because I was like quiet, doing my work and not disturbing the lesson and sat on my own. So bullied for that. This, in turn with the other I experienced as a child, as you know from my blog affects you as an adult. I had to learn to love myself, because losing weight alone was not going to change that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. Thank you for reminding me of that. This time I’d like to be my last battle with weight….except this time I’m trying to do it for my banished inner child…okay, so she’s out and about now…even have a picture of her and I’m trying to remember to love her.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Liz says:

        Yes, love that inner child and love yourself now as well. You will do it. 😊 X

        Like

  9. Thank you Lottie, that’s kind and supportive x

    Like

  10. Lottie@RrR says:

    The audio and your post was really interesting Serena. Thanks for linking to my blog 🙂 It was painful to hear that your body photographs were burned. What a psychologically difficult thing to make sense of as a young child 😞 and I can easily see why the other factors you describe contribute to your feelings of body shame. It is so unfair that you have been made to feel this way by people who are cruel and heartless. I am more at ease now with the way I look than I ever have, however it has taken many years of positive corrective experiences to allow me to feel any sense of comfort within my body. This is one of the lasting curses of child sexual abuse. I really feel for you Serena and empathise. Whatever your weight on the scale you are a beautiful person. I really mean that 💖💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

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