“ A female colleague commented on how nice I looked, and that she noticed I had lost weight since she had started work a few month before. I didn't know what to say, just awkwardly muttered something. I know she wanted to be positive and encouraging, but I felt terrible because when she started I was not fat but pregnant and had a miscarriage which she didn't know.
“ I'm 35. Whenever anyone finds out my age, they react with shock and incredulity: 'But you look like you're in your early twenties!' 'You look SO YOUNG!' 'What's your SECRET??' Then, if I express any sort of negativity, 'you should be GRATEFUL! You'll love it when you're in your 40s!'. I am positive I will not. I can't see a single positive to being seen to be much younger than one is.
“ I recently told someone I was seeing that I was struggling with attraction as she was curvier than people I usually date. I feel terrible for hurting her and am really ashamed that I have personally perpetuated lookism. How I acted was wrong. I vow to never body shame anyone again.
“ In my early 20s, I was walking through town on my way to college. A group of guys came the other way. One of them stood in my way, forcing me to go around him, and said loudly 'there are some really beautiful girls in Nottingham - and you're not one of them!'. They all laughed and headed off and I felt quite shaken up.
“ While at work I was eating at my desk. I eat light at work. I wont explain my diet. A supervisor walked past glanced at my meal and said “you eat like a bird.” I laughed it off. this was a few years ago before I understood body shaming and I was not offended. Today I think I should have called her out or reported as shame.
“ I have three older half-sisters all with blue eyes and fair hair, the youngest being white blonde. Growing up in the seventies I was fed by the media that men preferred blond, blue eyed women. In the northwest of England with my black hair and dark eyes I began my life being tormented for how I looked. The main thing I was bullied about were my hairy legs and arms. It then went on to being persecuted about my moustache and unibrow. I hated myself. I wanted to be hairless and blonde. I never got over this self loathing and, as a 50 year old woman, still hate my skin and body. I hope that times have progressed and people no longer have these ridiculous ideas for how people should look🤞🤞🤞
“ I had recently had a baby with serious health complications. I was about 1.5 stone heavier than before getting pregnant and had had other things on my mind than my weight. One day my husband and I took our baby to an Italian restaurant for lunch. The waitresses were all cooing over our baby. One of them called a waiter over and said to him (in italian - I happen to speak it) 'isn't she cute'? The waiter replied (also in italian) 'yes she really is. Which is a surprise because her mother is a fat dog.' To this day I wish I'd responded in italian but I was too embarrassed - I paid the bill and left.
“ My lil cousin confessed to me that her grandma said that I would be such a pretty girl if I didn't have such a big a$$ !! This was in my midteens and things changed since then,but still hurts, older adults shouldn't be allowed to body shame minors and should be charged as child neglect for doing so!!
“ Hi, I'm a Korean girl. 17 years old. Korea has a lot of Lookism. As I lived, I was so tired that I thought there was a way to get rid of Lookism. But it is human instinct to like beautiful things. So I thought I couldn't get rid of it, and I thought I should get away from Lookism instead of get rid of Lookism. I thought about what to do and thought I should increase my self-esteem. It's hard to increase self-esteem, but it's worth a try. Maybe it can quell the instinct to like beauty. These are the things I tried. 01 When judging first impressions, think [People's appearance isn't everything] 02 After washing your face, look in the mirror. [This is pretty] Tell me. 03 When you have negative thoughts about yourself, cut them off as quickly as possible. 04. Take your time and think about your strengths. 05. Keep thinking that other people are not as interested in me as much as you think. Maybe a funny way can quell Lookism. Let's all cheer up! Thank you for reading my poor English :)
“ “Love your content:) Inspired to share. "You all would be really pretty if only you were white." Said about me and other Girls of Color in boarding school. It was a conversation a group of white boys were having and my white friend, a girl, told me about it later. Those boys were straight up assholes, and beneficiaries to systems that made them feel so very entitled.
“ I was given an amazing writing job for a publication I loved. Only problem: I was hired by my boss's boss. Once I started, I quickly discovered that my direct line manager had a policy of only hiring size 8 beauties. He did his best to ignore me, send me away on long, obscure jobs, anything to keep me out of his line of sight. Eventually he called me into his office and told me, "You just don't excite me. The last girl I hired, I wanted to tie her to a chair and never let her leave my office. I just don't feel that way about you". There was this awkward pause in which I was meant to... Apologise? Resign? From school to the present day, I've been told that my appearance is a problem, and if a man feels like it he has the right to ignore, avoid or humiliate me for having to look at me. I wish I had been born in a different body, so my talents and personality had stood a chance of finding their place in the world.
“ I work as a model, but much of my work is based on lookism. Depending on my appearance and age, i will be judged how much i will get paid or not at all. I use lookism to earn wages. To be honest, that's not good for me. Whether I'm praised or disgraced, I feel bad. However, there is no choice but to earn living expenses. The work of the model was started because I wanted to express my body as it is. Most of the photos on SNS have been modified. I'm trying to "resist" against lookism by posting my own photos on social media. I am posting without hiding elements such as extravagant meat, stains, loose skin and poor alignment of teeth. Taking advantage of lookism and resisting it may be strange and contradictory, but it is the only way I can express it now.
“ I have naturally dark hair and fair skin, so my body hair is really obvious. I remember sitting in maths class, aged 14, a boy in my class commented on how hairy my arms looked for a woman. It made me want to hide my arms away from the world. Only now, 7 years later have I started to embrace my body hair. Women have body hair, it's completely natural!!
“ I had a relationship with a boyfriend for 6 months. Very intense, he told me I was the love of his life, just perfect. The day after presenting him to all friends and family, I received a text message asking me to "do him a favour" and to get rid of my nose hair, for if not it would affect my sensuality at the long run. I was shocked by the request, the form of the message and its timing (by the way, he also mentioned in the following message he had been bothered by my breath sometimes, out of the blue). I was shocked and reacted accordingly. He felt offended by my reaction, said it was a sign of respect to solve my "problems" and some days after I explained the reasons for having felt hurt by his messages (shame, affected self estim, sensitivity) and made myself available for meeting personally to talk it over, he broke up. I feel devastated.
“ Though my mother actively denied or sabotaged any attempt I made to get therapy during my teenage years, when I was around 15 she said to me, "I think you're depressed because you don't have a boyfriend and you don't have a boyfriend because you're fat." That was her only acknowledgement of my struggle with depression, but only the tip of the iceberg re: her commentary on my weight.
“ I had my prefect photo taken when I was 16 and started to get acne. The photographer came up to me while I was with my group of friends and said i looked a bit spotty in the photo and asked to take it again another day. I still have acne 6 years later and he airbrushed my photo to remove my acne. I'm still shocked this happened.
“ I met a guy at university... I was a bachelor student, and he was at PhD. We used to meet around the university, and we became good friends in time. This helped me a lot to cope with the fact that I was alone in a new city, right after I broke up from a toxic relationship. I started to have feelings for him, and he seemed to feel the same, even if we kept it low-key. When the university year was over, I was sure that we will keep in touch on social media during the summer holiday, as we both went to our hometowns. But he started to be very distant. I found out very late why... I have a friend who is a photographer and she likes to take pictures of me (I like retro, hippie and flower power styles). This guy believed that I was working as a model: 'A girl who pays so much attention and time to look pretty can't be smart enough to date someone like me'. It's unfair that when a woman is confident with the way she looks, she is considered to be stupid.
“ Since quarantine, I've managed to do intuitive eating, (only eating when I'm actually hungry), and my family seem to think that I've completely stopped eating. No, I eat 2-3 times a day. For the last few months, though, my brother has been calling me (TW) anorexic because I'm not binge eating like I used to. He actually thinks using a serious ED as a joke to make fun of his sisters body is funny.
“ I was on the phone with a 'friend' a few years ago when she suddenly said quite aggressively "Sometimes you look like shit!" She knows I am very insecure about my appearance so she attacked me where I am most vulnerable. When it comes to lookism women can be the worst at policing each other's appearance. I was so stunned I did not know what to say and quickly ended the conversation. I do not see her any more. Because of insecurity around my appearance I rarely leave the house and never socialise. Lockdown has been a blessing for me! I am now a complete recluse because of shame around my appearance and fear of comments and judgements. I have stopped seeing my sister because she is always commenting on my appearance.
“ I have been ashamed of my nose ever since I was 13 when kids in my class called me 'Concorde'. Later when I was expecting my daughter, my mother-in-law said it won't matter if she's born with a nose like yours as you can do something about it these days (meaning plastic surgery). Thank you for giving me opportunity to share this, it is something I have always kept to myself. Its taken me years to realise that I am actually an attractive person and to understand that these comments were the other persons' problems not mine.
“ When I was on college my father told me I would look so much prettier if I just lost a few pounds. I've never got over the idea that I'm not pretty if I'm fat and I'm a 56 year old formerly morbidly obese female. I guess my appearance was only acceptable when I was a senior in highschool and had an eating disorder. He never noticed I had lost a lot of weight, only commented when it started to come back on.
“ "I always knew you would slim out" - that's what a friend's mum said to me when I was 13 years old and in the depths of an eating disorder. A few years later, when I was recovering and starting to feel a bit better about myself (size 8-10), my doctor told me I had to be "careful" because I might soon become "obese". I went home to my mum and cried, and felt so embarrassed by his comments that I changed GP and never saw him again.
“ As a child I was seriously ill for about a year. Because of my illness I was quite small & underweight. I remember being at primary school & we all had to be weighed & measured. It was remarked about how small & unhealthy I must be. Then maybe a year later, we were all weighed measured again. This time I was now fully recovered & healthy. I remember it being announced in front of the whole class that I was the girl who had put on the most weight and it wasn’t a good way to be heading. Bear in mind that I had been very ill, lost a lot of weight due to illness & was now back to a healthy weight. I wasn’t overweight. But I was told I would be fat if I carried on that way. I can remember feeling so embarrassed & not really knowing why. I was 9 That was the beginning of my body hatred. I’m 44 now. I despise me.
“ ‘Here comes the Lump’ Said by my father in law to me as I entered the room at 6 months pregnant. ‘You’ve done so well to lose your baby weight, you were big weren’t you!’ Said by my father in law to me a year after having my baby. During my second pregnancy I lost weight during my second trimester and went on a diet 2 weeks after having my baby. ‘I can’t believe how much weight you’ve lost, you look SO good’ Said by my Father in law a year after my second baby when I was in the depths of an eating disorder. Can we all just STOP commenting on each other’s body size? Pregnancy does not mean you have free reign to comment on someone’s size. If someone loses weight you don’t know what methods they used to do it and praising it is reinforcing fatphobia. I’m looking forward to one day having a conversation with my father in law about the way he talks to me and others about their body, it’s time to change and I don’t care how awkward it is.
“ I remember as a teenager being obsessed with my bum and the size of it. To me it was big and fat and horrible and I just wanted to be skinny like the other straight up and down girls in my school. One day I tried to express this unhappiness to my mum and her response was ‘little boys like little bums, real men like real bums’. Though not a direct comment about my appearance she may as well have said ‘yes your bum is big and fat but don’t worry one day you’ll find a man who won’t care that it isn’t small’. I’m now 33 and have only just started to accept my body. That comment stayed in my head for decades and though I realise my mum has her own body image/food relationship issues and didn’t realise what her ‘advice’ would do to me as an adult, it’s stings even more now I have my own children. It’s not just the obvious pointing out of our appearance, but the subtle confirmations that our bodies are wrong that can do so much damage. I WILL make things different for my children.