“ Last weekend I was visiting my parents. My mom looked at my feet and said, "Wow! Why are your feet so wide?" I immediately felt self conscious. What kind of question is that? The answer is...because they are? It almost seemed like she actually thought I had chosen to have very wide feet. I know she didn't mean it to be hurtful. She just doesn't think before she makes comments sometimes.
“ If I stand with my feet together, my kneecaps point inwards towards each other. I was on a school residential trip in year 7 and another girl said "no offence, but if your feet are pointing that way how come your knees are going that way?" Avoided shorts and skirts for years after that.
“ I'm a woman who suffers from hormone imbalances which cause me to grow facial hair. I've been teased about it since school days. The most hurtful instance occurred when my father said to me -in front of my then- boyfriend -"You need to get rid of that hair. No man wants a woman who grows more moustache and beard than he does." He laughed it off, but I was devastated and spent the entire night on the phone crying to my mother. It's been 2 years and I still think about it frequently and ache a bit. I wax often. But I shouldn't have to. My body is disgusting to society. And it saddens me.
“ Society makes me feel like my body hair is abnormal and freakish. I feel I spend an inordinate about of time waxing, shaving, epilating, dying and plucking, particularly in the summer. I always have to think twice about going bare legged and I wouldn't dream of wearing swimsuit or bikini, just in case there are rogue hairs. It's become a real fear for me despite the fact it's totally natural and that makes me so sad.
“ I've been told I'm too fat, too big, too muscular, I was born with hormone issues my body shape isn't normal for a 'normal' woman, I have large shoulders, broad back and good strong arms. Think rugby player, then I have a large thick neck, not swan graceful or thin, always been on the heavy side, solid at first before pecos began, then the hair started and the weight gain. My husband told me I was too big, I was taller, too fat, too 'much', even my laughter was 'too much like a mans'. He belittled me over thirty years, ripped my self confidence to shreds every time we went out. There was no point 'dressing up' because 'we'd never find anything decent to fit those shoulders'. At work being compared to male workers and shamed for not shaving body hair, which if you have pecos comes back even darker and thicker than before. Told to get rid of your entire body hair because its the only way your husband will touch you and when you refuse finds someone else who will.
“ When in my early twenties, I felt pressurised to go for a drink with a bloke. Once he had got me to go out with him, he told me 'people look at your sister before they look at you because you limp'. When I asked him if that had been true for him, he said that it had been. I never spoke to him again. I've had at least one sleepless night about that and can't rule out having others in the future, even though the comment was said years ago and I am now happily married.
“ When I was in my early teens I was very tall and bony compared to the other kids. My legs been called straws and drum sticks. My knobbly knees have been made fun of in many ways. A neighbour of my grandparents even told my granny I am too tall and I got too ugly legs to ever find a husband. Later my legs were too fat to wear mini skirts or tight jeans. But. That was ever only women saying that. Took me till now - 55 - to get kind of over it. I am a British size 10.
“ I’ve been picked on since I was a child for the size of my nose, the shape of my face, my round tummy. I’ve had a weight problem all my life. I’ve looked into facial surgery many times. When I look in the mirror I hate what I see, I’ve even covered up the big long wardrobe mirrors in my room. Words can wound deeply!
“ I've been asked so many times if I've straightened my naturally curly hair before. People are always surprised when I say no and ask me if I would want to. As much as I do want straight hair sometimes, straightening my hair feels wrong and like I'm caving to other people's expectations of me.
“ I was getting ready for a gig once and I was really excited to wear my new band tee. I’d done my makeup, was feeling great, but when I came downstairs my parents wouldn’t stop talking about how fat I looked and asking “do you want to go out looking like that?”. I was wearing shorts and tights as it can get hot in arenas. I ended up having a horrible time at the gig because all I could think about was how I looked.
“ I am hugely anti-Trump, but I often get upset when people make remarks about things like his small hands, short fingers, and skin colour. I have a skin condition and also have small hands (especially the final digits) as do a number of members of my family due to a genetic condition related to dwarfism. Promoting lookism is not an appropriate way to engage with politics.
“ My makeup artistry can never be re shared on brand pages without people in the comments talking about my “moustache” (the measly peach fuzz on my top lip caused by hormone imbalances because of PCOS) - I go from feeling proud of having my work shared on huge platforms, to feeling like I’m back at school with kids who bullied me about it back then. I keep the peach fuzz because I have a platform to display what is normal. I never retouch my photos. I do it for my past self who didn’t feel normal, and all the other girls who are in the same boat. I want people to know that what is normal, isn’t a flaw.
“ I have never been and never will be petite. I was chubby as a child and reaching adulthood it was clear that I was a typical pear shaped body with a slightly heavier frame: 5'6" with my weight usually ranging from 71-73kg. The most hurtful comments have always been from boyfriends. Comments like: "Have you ever considered getting liposuction? You could use the fat from your butt to make your breasts bigger" "Your body is perfect... Except for your thick thighs and the cellulite. Why don't you do something about it?" "You have the potential to have a thigh gap. Stop making excuses and start working out harder." "I don't believe what your dietician told you about 70kg being your ideal weight. I think you can drop to 65 for a start... Perhaps even 63" And here I am in my early 30s,still trying to love myself and feel confident in my own skin...
“ Where to even begin? Should I start with when my uncle would act like I suddenly went invisible if I turned sideways because I was 2-dimensional from being so skinny? Or maybe I should start with when my cousins said I "had let myself go". Or was looking "fat", even "haggard". Regardless where I start, it seems that throughout my life,whether I gained a little or lost a little, everyone seemed to have an opinion on whether I needed to change that or not. The 1st time I was body shamed was when I was 8 or so. I've always had skinny legs and was unlovingly nicknamed Mowgli by some boys in school. Just recently a family member called them "chicken legs". It is therefore no surprise that I never show my legs and I'm always in long pants. But what happens when it's your own mother that says to you that your bathing suit bottoms look like they belong to a child and that your butt looks so small and you should "work on it" even though you exercise 5/6 times a wk? It hurts.
“ Hello, I just wanted to share with you a story that happened yesterday. Im 5"9,99kg with medium frame. I was on the road trip with my husband. Until we reached to the bumpy road, and the car touched and hit the bump right on my seat side and he just simply said "oh, it's always on your side that touch the bumps!" that's really sting me sharply and does make me teary in instantly until i can't even look at him in the eye😭😭😭😭
“ I found an email in which my husband told his brother how he and my former friend kissed and how flattered he was to have someone so beautiful and out of his league be attracted to him. I have struggled with really poor self-esteem and body image issues for most of my life. 12 years later and it still hurts.
“ Growing up I endlessly heard “wow your wrist is so thin I can wrap my thumb and finger around it”, “you’re so thin I could snap you” and even people asking if I had an eating disorder. Then you’d see a magazine cover saying a celebrity ONLY weighed ‘x’ and saying she looked ill etc and I’d think “but I weigh even less”. I hated my body and spent my teen years on all sorts of high calorie diets to try and put on weight and avoided exercise. All that did was encourage unhealthy habits. I now treat my body well and focus on health and not what the scales say but it was a long, long journey to get here!
“ ive always been told I have no curves, that my body is just straight up and down or like a ruler or that I'm not as curvy as they are. i dont think people realise that comments like this can hurt even if they don't mean them as a criticism, it makes me feel like less of a woman
“ Insecurity is introduced to us out of nowhere. It may be us on our own noticing a difference in our body compared to our friends or a model in a campaign. It maybe somebody else noticing the difference in us and pointing it out, maybe to humiliate us. Anyway, it sticks. Something so natural to us, is unnatural to someone else. I will always remember the first time I became aware of the size of my body, it was in 3rd grade when a boy in my class pointed out that I'd look taller if I was "less fat". To me, at that point I thought I was just bigger than my classmates because I was growing. The way I looked at my body changed that day. From when we were toddlers we were never told to accept and embrace the differences. We devoloped an instinct to notice variations and question them. And that's where we should be told that every distiction is beautiful. Variance prevents monotony, and every variation usually compliaments each other, keeping a balance in our systems and our bodies.
“ In an office of about 6 women one woman out of nowhere said very loudly ‘do you even wear a bra - you probably don’t need to because you’ve got no tits’ of course causing everyone in the room to immediately scrutinise my chest. In nursing it’s a very female workforce and I have faced so much body shaming - in every place I’ve worked. I’ve had to show the size label in my clothes after ordering a size 12 uniform and being told I was too thin to be a 12.
“ As someone who is “too thin” I’m sick of hearing about it. Yesterday at work we had the weight chair out to monitor residents (care home for people with dementia) and the staff were weighing themselves too so I hopped on to join in and my colleague read my weight and joked “aaah we can’t be friends now!” And she’s a lovely woman and I like her a lot but it stung ! (especially after last week when I was taking my jumper off and my top lifted a bit and she shouted ‘do you want to get any skinnier?!?’ across the floor) I would never pass a comment on anyone else’s body - we were all joining in with weighing ourselves to make the residents feel more comfortable with it and it seemed fun until I was singled out - wish we could just chill with the commentary and projection.
“ I am skinny since childhood, skeleton,boys like thick thighs ,you got bones,u look like hanger,start wearing padded bra,u are flat chest,u wont be able to conceive a child are some of the worst things i have heard since childhood.When i entered cllg,my college mates circulated my photo in whole cllg from my instagram saying worlds world's only boobless girl.skiiny shaming has broken down to me to depths. I suffered border line personality disorder for two years.though now i am recovered i realised that whenever people body shame you they are reflecting their personal insecurities and trying to make themselves better by saying words to you .. so dont feel bad for yourself ,feel pity for such people and pray to god to bless them.
“ Not one but several guys who told me things (as if they were "nice" and "caring") like: "ohh, you would be so cute if only you did xxx or xxx to your body" or "you're not as sexy as those girls, but at least you've got a cute face!" - or "I actually prefer smaller girls. But if you lose xx pounds by the summer, I can consider to date you"...Now I would definitely dump those guys immediately. But back then, in my early 20s, I both believed them and tried to follow their "advice". And yup, it still stings.
“ I have an ex who used to say "you have such a pretty face, don't worry you can fix the rest"...at the time I was like "oh he said I'm pretty!". Needless to say I grew up and got outta there cause I realised that there is nothing wrong with me and I don't need to fix a damn thing to be beautiful, desirable or worthy of love
“ I was 17 and suffering from an Eating Disorder. My girlfriend at the time said “You look like a Hollister model”. Sounds like a compliment, but I always think about how, after recovery and the weight gain, my underweight body was valued in a way that my recovered body isn’t ....
“ I had a role model, my mother who never wore makeup to be inspired from. She is the most beautiful and confident person I have known. To be honest, I never thought I needed to wear make up. yeah sure, my co workers have suggested time to time but its too uncomfortable for me to be something else I am not naturally. We are three sisters all share the same thought. PS: I regret wearing makeup on my wedding day, I cried and think it could have been much better without
“ I recently heard my husband of 16years describe me to his friend as 'dried up and fucking useless'. He had answered the phone without realising. I was absolutely devastated (I have ME and have had to make a lot of changes to my life to survive). Heartbroken, I told my Mum. She told me to dress up, put on make up and look good, because 'you still can, if you try'.
“ I was always praised for my body and the way I looked, so eventually I started to think that it defined me. Girls were always jealous and boys were always looking at me like I only mattered physically. Once I was even asked: "Can you please get fatter? Thanks." And now that I have gained weight, I realise how wrong that was and how much it affected me. I never got the chance to be happy with my body myself, I only kept myself busy with how people reacted to it. I'm not here to be pretty or attractive for anyone else but me.
“ I was 14 and I thought I was completely in love with this guy until he told me that dreadlocks could be made out of my arm hair and laughed.. I will never forget it. I'm still learning to embrace my hair, even when everything around me is telling me that it's not considered feminine.