Body image is so prevalent in our culture, and by default, so is body shame.
Even if you are the type of person that tries to steer clear of body image-related drama, it’s very easy to get caught up in other people’s body image issues. If you’ve ever had a family member tell you about their failed attempts at dieting, then you know what we’re talking about. Likewise, if a co-worker within earshot ever bemoaned the weight they’ve recently gained during the holiday season, you’ll know how difficult it is to completely stay away from the body shame noise out there.
Here’s the hidden danger that you need to be aware of: body negativity tends to be contagious.
Someone else’s body shame can all too easily trigger dissatisfaction in your own body. Before that happens, change the script. If someone you’re talking to begins to give in to their body negativity, try to change the subject. If you’re not comfortable redirecting the conversation, or the speaker is particularly stubborn, you always have the option of politely excusing yourself from the conversation, and seek out more positive conversation elsewhere. Better that, then to get sucked into the negative spiral.
Just as body negativity is contagious, the inverse is true. Hanging out with body positive people with help you re-calibrate into a better mindset. Remember, above all, be kind to yourself. Put yourself first when it comes to maintaining your body positivity and stay away from people that run counter to it.