Every day, we tackle life and go through many highs and lows. So many things contribute to our emotions and it’s the little things that can affect us the most. Most people don’t realise the repercussions of their actions.
You could unknowingly be making things worse…
A lot of controversy has revolved around body image. Sadly, no matter what you weigh it seems like people can’t help themselves. I’ve kept quiet for a while because I felt it was unfair for me to say anything, but after reading articles and other blog posts about ‘skinny bashing’ it made me realise I’m not alone! This is another form of body shaming. Throughout this article I’ll use my experiences to give reasoning why, but hopefully these can be used/relatable for all body types one way or another. These behaviours may seem insignificant but can be eminent to one’s disposition.
“You’re so thin”
“You’re quite skinny”
“There’s like nothing of you”
“You need to eat more”
Verbal comments like these are one of the worst ways to harm an individual’s mental health. Whether people mean it in a bad way or not, just saying it can cause an effect. I feel like even to this day most people still aren’t aware of that. These are comments I’m used to getting and have been receiving since primary school.
During primary school I was at an age where I did not understand what these meant and wasn’t sure if it was a good thing or not. I was completely oblivious. Fortunately, my unawareness of the word ‘anorexic’ and unfamiliarity of the whole body-image saga meant it did not make an impact on me. As I reflect, I think thank god it didn’t otherwise who would have known what would have happened. Never call a person anorexic in any circumstance is my rule, this word is not to be taken lightly.
In general, words can be damaging to a person’s mind. You may be saying it out of concern, trying to keep it light-hearted with a joke, or trying to help somebody but could unknowingly be making it worse.
It’s hard to open up – easier said than done, believe me. It takes trust to confide. There’s nothing worse than finally having the strength to talk to someone and their reaction is to either not acknowledge it or react dismissively before moving onto a different topic. It leaves you feeling upset and even betrayed as you believed they were someone you could talk to. Maybe they need a bit of time, but you still feel the initial sting.
PHYSICAL ACTIONS & GESTURES
Just like words, little actions can brighten your day but they can also haunt you.
I’ll share a couple of personal anecdotes with you guys. Firstly, people think they’re complimenting me when they wrap their hand around my wrist and say;
“Wow, I could probably get my fingers around your wrist twice!”
This just makes me feel uncomfortable. Secondly, one action that makes me want to curl up and get defensive is when somebody looks and my unfinished meal, nods towards me and says;
“Aren’t you gonna finish that?”
Due to a personal incident it makes me do the complete opposite, (which I understand isn’t the best response, something else I’m working on) but it’s my way of taking back control of the situation instead of letting someone telling me to eat. Patience is key.
People think they can be subtle but they’re not. Their smiles may say one thing, but the wandering eyes can reflect a thousand unspoken words. Eyes tell the real story. When I’m gazed upon, I feel as though I’m so small (smaller than I am already!) but I try to look past that and keep my head held high. Although, it’s still a challenge I’m facing.
I’d imagine there would be a plethora of things depending on different circumstances. Let us know your thoughts and experiences. Please be kind to one another, show each other respect and love. But most of all show kindness, respect and love towards yourself.