When we think of being body positive, we often think about ourselves. However, being body positive towards others is just as important. With body image disorders and eating disorders being as common as they are, often times people say things without even realizing that it can be hurtful towards others. So, how can we be body positive to not only ourselves, but others, too?
The first thing you can is shut down other’s negative comments. Whether it’s on social media or in person, and whether or not they are aware that they are saying something negative, be the person to tell them that what they are saying is hurtful. Let them know how to be more positive. For a general rule of thumb, not commenting on physical aspects is the way to go. Instead of commenting on physical aspects, keep comments more general. For example, “That skirt looks great on you!”, or “I love your lipstick!” Another thing to keep in mind is to not comment on other people’s food. If they are eating, if they aren’t eating, what they are eating, etc. It’s usually better to not make any comment about it. You never know what little thing you say could affect somebody.
And then, there’s skinny shaming. Not cool. While you may think that commenting on somebody’s thinness can’t be an insult, it can be. Telling somebody “you need to eat a cheeseburger”, or “you need some more meat on your bones”, is still body shaming, even though it’s not fat shaming. Fat shaming and skinny shaming can both be hurtful towards others. Some people may struggle to gain weight, while others may struggle to lose weight. It doesn’t matter your size; how big, how small, it can still be hurtful. To be safe, don’t comment on somebody’s size. Again, back to the general terms when complimenting others.
Remember, everybody is beautiful. Be conscious of what you say about others, stop the negative comments, and always spread positivity.
Help us spread positivity on campus by participating in the Operation Beautiful Events!
Make shrink art and post sticky notes around campus with body positive sayings on them!
Crafty Feminist Afternoon at the Women’s Center: Tuesday, March 3, 12:00-2:00 pm. Haag Hall Room 105.
Operation Beautiful Information Table: Thursday March 5, 11:00-1:00 pm. Royall Hall 1st Floor Lobby.