Proud2Bme | How to Avoid Body-Bashing Comments When Out with Friends

  • Body Image
  • Body Positivity

How to Avoid Body-Bashing Comments When Out with Friends

By Lauren Myers--Many of us have been there: your friend is making uncomfortable comments about how fat they feel, how much weight someone gained over summer break, or going on about how much you both need to get to the gym.

There’s a name for this kind of talk, and it’s called body shaming. Body shaming (criticizing yourself or others because of some aspect of physical appearance) can lead to a vicious cycle of judgment and criticism.

Hopefully, someday, body shaming will be a thing of the past. In the meantime, what can we do to avoid body shaming when we’re with our friends? Below are some ways we can support each other to find and keep our self-love and self-acceptance in how we look and feel:

  • Don’t use "skinny" as a compliment or "fat" as an insult. Instead, try to compliment each other on your brains, personality, and heart rather than what you look like.
  • Don’t say “no, but…” whenever any of you receive a compliment. Just take it, marinate in it, and believe it.
  • Always respect and support one another’s idea of beauty. We all have our own preferences, and it’s not our place to decide what they are for others.
  • Don't correct anyone’s fluidity in gender. How one identifies can change every day or even every few hours.
  • Not into skinny jeans or crop tops? Let each other know that you don’t have to wear anything you don’t want to. Just because you don’t feel confident in a trend doesn’t mean you lose personality points. The way we dress displays how we express and describe ourselves. So go ahead and wear what you want, when you want to.
  • Never make each other feel bad about food choices. Remember that it’s okay to treat yoself. 
  • Don't talk about getting bikini ready. You all already are.
  • Rather than help hide each other’s flaws, help one another see that they’re not flaws at all.
  • Remind each other that you don’t necessarily have to love your flaws, you just shouldn’t let them stop you from doing what you want to do or liking what you like.
  • You don't have to subtract, add, divide, or change anything. Remind each other that your size literally means nothing when it comes to your self-worth.

Keep these ideas in mind and spread some body positive love in your squad — you'll all be happier for it!

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

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