Body shaming can cause serious damages to the victim and effects them psychologically, emotionally as well as physically. Over a period of time, it can lead to self-body shaming, comparison, self-criticism and several other issues such as low confidence, low self-esteem, and even depression. Individuals might prefer to avoid social occasions altogether and retreat into a shell. Also, they might start developing a serious eating disorder. For instance, in 1996 when Donald Trump named Miss Universe contestant Alicia Machado ‘Miss Piggy’ as she had gained weight after the pageant, the remarks lead her to have a severe eating disorder.
Due to the pressure of remaining thin, pregnant women can land up neglecting their health as well as that of the baby. This could lead to several complications such as miscarriage, pre-eclampsia and delayed fetal growth, thus putting both at risk. It is very important that we let nature take its course and not stress ourselves over a cookie cutter image.
Comments like ‘I think you’ve packed on pounds’ or ‘You shouldn’t eat that chocolate’ can trigger feelings of sadness and guilt. And how do most people deal with these feelings? If you guessed eating, you’re right.
Most overweight people struggle with emotional eating. So negative comments have the potential to fuel overindulging.
In this study, researchers found that overweight women overate and had less control over their eating habits when they were fat-shamed.
In another study, people who watched videos that criticized overweight people ate three times more compared to those who didn’t watch the videos.
Fat shaming is ridiculing people who are overweight. As obesity rates climb worldwide, the issue has become more problematic, especially through internet venues.
While those who engage in this harsh behavior may believe it can act as a motivational tool to inspire weight loss, the exact opposite is true. Fat shaming leads to emotional harm, as well as sparking the intake of more calories, resulting in additional weight gain.
Overweight people are likely to become obese after being fat-shamed. According to a research, non-obese people will probably become obese after a few years if they experience weight discrimination. Additionally, those who are fat-shamed are less likely to lose weight.
Researchers say that effects can go beyond weight gain. Weight bias can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
According to a study, fat shaming leads to poor body image and low self-esteem. And people aren’t motivated to take great care of their bodies if they hate them.
In fact, the effects of bad body image go beyond that. Stigmatized people don’t feel comfortable in the gym or running in public. As a result, fat-shamed people could end up avoiding healthy habits.
Weight bias has a lot of negative psychological effects. Reports show that discrimination can increase depression and even trigger suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Depression will make the number on the scale go up. Research shows that depressed people gain weight faster than those who aren’t depressed.
Suicide becomes a greater risk when clinical depression is present; one study with nearly 2,500 participants indicated subjects considered extremely obese were 21 times more likely to display suicidal behavior. They attempted suicide 12 times more often.
Metabolic syndrome doesn’t necessarily slow your metabolism but it can cause high blood pressure, belly fat gain, and high blood sugar levels.
Research shows that people who experience weight bias have three times higher risk of metabolic syndrome compared to those who aren’t discriminated.
“The more self-blame and devalued that people said they felt when stigmatized as overweight, the more likely they were to have health problems that could lead to heart disease” revealed Rebecca Pearl-Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia. She went on to say that in “those with higher levels of devaluation by others and self-blame were 46% more likely to have metabolic syndrome and were 6 times as likely to have elevated triglycerides.
Dr. Scott Kahan, the director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness in Washington, D.C. added, “Numerous studies have shown that experiencing weight stigma increases stress hormones, blood pressure, inflammation and ultimately increases the risk of several diseases, including diabetes and heart disease and has been linked with premature death, binge eating and weight gain.”
You can’t always control what other people say and do, but you CAN release any guilt or shame you carry for being overweight. You can also commit to NEVER, EVER shaming yourself or anyone else about how they look or feel.
You want to feel free and light and easy – like the person you KNOW you are.
You can make a great start by releasing SHAME and GUILT and stepping into JOY!
We need to stop this at this very moment, and we can do that by making people who shame others realise how this affects life of those who go through this and how dangerous it is for their minds and bodies both to be body shamed just because they don’t land into the definition of beauty and perfection set by the society.
Join us in this movement and show your support #stopit