Body shaming doesn’t just affect your self-esteem, it can lead to negative effects that linger for a lifetime. This was the message conveyed as celebrated journalist and TV host, Jenna Bush Hager, opened up on the negative impact body shaming had on her while on the “Today” show.
During a discussion on Ariana Grande’s emotional response to her recent social media critics, who had been comparing her current weight to her past body shape, Hager talked about the lasting negative impacts of criticism. According to Hager, a boyfriend in seventh grade, once broke up with her after seeing her in a bathing suit.
It’s discouraging to know that body shaming usually comes without any good intention, even when intended as advice on weight loss or compliments on weight loss, as Toni Wilson, a social worker and fat acceptance activist, points out. Criticism about body size can carry deep personal meaning, and may bring up insecurities or experiences in such an impactful way that people could struggle for life.
Jenna Bush Hager commented that even though she felt good about herself, she can still struggle in the face of scrutiny or criticism. Referring to herself as “really in my body and thinking of it as a beautiful thing,” Hager admitted that in some instances, she still feels uneasy.
Happily, society is slowly becoming more aware of the impact of criticizing people’s body shape, and more sensitive in their comments. As part of the efforts to promote body positivity, Shonda Rhimes shared her story to create awareness of the need to promote self-confidence in a world that typically judges based on body size. Similarly, Lena Dunham used her social media pages to discuss her struggle with weight loss and what she did to overcome it.
It’s imperative that v society understand how damaging it can be to comment on someone’s body. By avoiding this tendency, we can promote self-confidence, body positivity and good mental health.
The story of Jenna Bush Hager and her struggles serves as an educative example of the need to look beyond a person’s physical appearance and celebrate the person’s individuality.
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