Fat shame can have a negative impact on a woman’s self-esteem; there is no denying that. But, did you know that fat shame can even go so far as to impact a woman’s overall health? Continue reading to learn about how women suffer when they are put down because of their weight.
Fat Shame and the Impact on Mental Health
Fat shaming can have a big impact on someone’s mental health. When a woman is fat shamed, her risk of the following ailments increases, proving that negative words can definitely have an effect on someone.
- An eating disorder might arise as a result of being fat shamed. A classic example is binge eating.
- The risk of becoming depressed increases with fat shaming, too. A woman might not seem like she is deeply affected by the things that are said to her about her weight, but the truth is that those words cut deep psychological wounds. Over time, mental health issues like depression might arise, and that might, in turn, increase the risk of the woman also becoming suicidal.
- A reduction is self-esteem is common among women who are fat shamed. They will grow increasingly unhappy with the way that they look, simply because they are influenced to feel that way about themselves because of what other people have said to them about their size.
Fat Shame and the Increased Risk of Disease
A study has discovered that women who are overweight, and who end up believing all of the fat shaming messages and negative talk about their bodies, become increasingly susceptible to other serious conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
According to Health, the study was published in Obesity, and it proves that women who are fat shamed apply negative stereotypes to their own bodies. This can, in turn, lead to health issues like metabolic syndrome, so their overall health suffers.
Also, when you fat shame someone, it might cause them to overeat even more because that is their way of coping with the stress that’s caused by being shamed for their weight. This, in turn, leads to more weight gain, further putting that individual’s overall health at risk.
What’s also worth noting is that fat shaming might also cause someone to eat so much that they end up becoming obese. In other words, shaming a woman for how much she weighs will not make her feel any more motivated to shed the excess weight. So, even though someone might think that fat shaming someone else will make them want to lose weight, the exact opposite can happen, further endangering that person’s health.
Beyond Mental Health
Being shamed for the way that you look can have an adverse effect upon your mental health, but this research is proving that, when you feel bad about yourself, it doesn’t only affect your emotions and your mood. Instead, the negative self-talk that results from others putting you down can actually end up harming your physical health.
Keep in mind, too, that the increase in cortisol (the stress hormone) that comes with being frazzled can lead to a variety of other health problems, both physical and mental. Even the risk of chronic disease might increase because of the effects of long-lasting stress that comes from fat shame.
What Can You Do About It?
If you have been the victim of fat shame, you certainly aren’t alone, and you don’t have to suffer with self-esteem issues or the physical problems that can follow. If you are struggling with your body image, it is important to think about any of the stereotypes that you have internalized because of what others have said to you in the past. Then, it is a matter of challenging those stereotypes in order to overcome them and retrain the way that you see yourself.
For example, experts recommend doing your best to prevent yourself from falling victim to negative thoughts caused by bullies. If you have found yourself thinking that you’re unmotivated or lazy because that’s what fat shamers say, but you know that you aren’t those things, remind yourself that you do work hard. Then, set achievable and specific goals for yourself, focusing on improving your health. Putting your energy into yourself and what you can do every day to change your behavior and your thoughts about yourself is a great way to feel more in control.
Don’t Let Fat Shame Get You Down!
Women who are overweight face a lot of hardship, but by remaining positive, they can stay focused on loving themselves and improving their body. If you’ve been on the receiving end of fat shame, know that you aren’t alone, and you can find support groups online filled with people who have experienced the same negativity that you have gone through. Reach out and talk to someone who will understand you, and then work on taking care of your body and mind by incorporating healthy habits into your daily life.