Dear Therapist: My family tends to body shame me
Dear Therapist is a weekly column responding to our readers' mental health concerns
My family tends to body shame me and that is taking a toll on my mental health. I pretend like it doesn’t bother me but deep down I get hurt and they just don’t understand. Let me know how I should deal with this and make myself feel better. — Name Withheld
Dear Writer, I am saddened to hear that your family engages in body shaming. They are probably not aware how devastating it is for you to hear such comments! You can try confronting them about it; or adopt strategies to adopt a better body image. It may even be possible that you are body-conscious and therefore, more sensitive to others’ opinion on it.
We tend to associate our body size or appearance with sexuality and attractiveness. The air-brushed glossy images and edited videos on social media aggravate unrealistic comparisons, making it very difficult to be at ease with what you are blessed with. The way we talk about our bodies is, ultimately, an extension of our self-love. An important strategy that I recommend is to attempt conceptualising your body as a vehicle and source of nurturance. How can you optimise your abilities-what could help it thrive and flourish? How can you build your stamina and reduce your fatigue? What food would enable you to feel content and nourished? These answers help one to see beyond our cellulite and focus on working towards a more loving empowered self.
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