Body shaming is the act of humiliating people about their shape or size, and is one issue in society that affects women of all ages. Men tend to hide their insecurities, but we women talk about ours.

On social media or among other women, most aren’t afraid to discuss the bodies they wish to have, implying that the one they do have is not ideal.

Body shaming takes place among adults and youth. From my own experience, it is emotionally draining, and an esteem-breaker, for young girls to hear words like “fat” and “ugly.”

Some are not fully aware of the internal damage words can cause to growing women; pointing out flaws in people for laughs doesn’t make you “cool” or “funny.”

As a Black woman, I’ve had the worst experiences dealing with people on social media. I’ve been called “too dark,” “big-breasted,” “fat” and “ugly.” It’s hurtful and depressing. I tend to watch what I wear and what I post to avoid negativity.

The first time I was bullied, I was in the third grade. It started with the color of my skin, and then it went to my body. People would say that I was too skinny, but once I gained weight, they said I was too fat.

When it comes to bullying, victims may feel like there is no way out, but soon you learn that you are the way out. Body shaming can make you feel uncomfortable, ashamed, and disgusting, but it is up to you to not let criticism negatively impact your life.

For me, the bullying got worse when I turned 11. I was around the same group of kids, and I did things to try and make them like me, but that obviously wasn’t going to happen.

Our parents tend to brush these situations saying, “you’re too young to be stressing” or they would say, “well, just ignore them.”

Sometimes, those who bully people have been bullied, and they take that anger out on another person.

Other victims of bullying can turn their anger inward, resulting in self-harm and other risky behavior.

When parents find out you’ve been reacting to the bullying by cutting or other self-harm, they say things like, “Is this for attention? Because you’re trying to get the wrong kind of attention.”

No matter the motivation for self-harm, parents still need to look into whether their child is crying for help. Don’t brush off even seemingly minor incidents, because you may lose your child if they do not feel as though people are taking their pain seriously.

Everyone is beautiful in their own way. We were all created differently for a reason. No one should be made to feel ashamed by the body that they happen to be born in.

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