Part One: What is body shaming? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Part One: What is body shaming?

Estelle Robinson, a Gulfport therapist, has counseled teens and adults who deal with negative body image and eating disorders. (Image Source: WLOX News) Estelle Robinson, a Gulfport therapist, has counseled teens and adults who deal with negative body image and eating disorders. (Image Source: WLOX News)
Although it isn't a new practice, body shaming is more visible than ever before. (Photo source: WLOX) Although it isn't a new practice, body shaming is more visible than ever before. (Photo source: WLOX)
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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Most people have dealt with negative comments about our appearance at some point or another. It didn't always have a name, but now it does: Body shaming.

Although it isn't a new practice, it's more visible than ever before. No one is immune to the criticism, but why are some so quick to point out the flaws of others? It's made headlines for years, but why do people find it so easy to judge others?

Estelle Robinson, a Gulfport therapist, has counseled teens and adults who deal with negative body image and eating disorders.

“It normally starts in childhood, for sure it picks up in adolescence,” said Estelle Robinson

Robinson says not only do we pick up on judgmental behavior at an early age, but we start to critique and compare ourselves to others at an early age, too.

“In psychology, we talk about self-talk - what do I tell myself on a daily basis - and we've realized in psychology whatever your self-talk is you begin to believe it,” said Robinson.

Parents play an important role as well. 

“I say it's the old, maybe it's the original parenting style of self-criticism, criticism of your child. I know how to make you perfect, so I'm going to motivate you to do better by criticizing you,” said Robinson.

Robinson says too much criticism can lead to self-sabotage, which can stifle social and intellectual development.

Harrison Central High School counselor Ashley Britten talks with students on a daily basis who are dealing with body shaming.

“There's so many new struggles students have. Now, it's no longer just you're not skinny enough. We have students that are transgender and they struggle with not being feminine enough or masculine enough,” said Britten.

Britten says many students face challenges they don't feel comfortable talking about with their parents, or feel they shouldn't care about. Britten tries to reassure students of their self-worth.

“I just encourage them. You can't place a lot of importance in people's opinions. You have to be happy with yourself. If you're happy and you're healthy then you just learn to accept and love yourself,” said Britten.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #loveyourself and #wlox.

Tuesday night, we’ll take a look at social media and body shaming in part two.

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