9 Tips for Coping When Someone’s Words Insult Your Body

You need not look far to see the ways that our culture has conditioned us to judge other people’s bodies.

Tabloids constantly run headlines shaming celebrities for apparent weight gain or speculating that stars are pregnant based on how their bellies look in a certain outfit.

School-age kids at higher weights are far more likely to be bullied than their thinner peers, according to a study published in July 2020 in the Journal of School Health. And survey research (PDF) suggests that more than a majority of kids age 8 to 18 struggle with body image.

Entertainment is rife with fat-shaming. A study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders looked at episodes from 10 popular TV shows geared toward children and found that more than half of them contained comments or storylines that were anti-fat and that those comments were often followed by audience laughter.

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