It’s no secret that women are raised wearing a heavy coat of shame when it comes to their physical appearance, specifically their bodies. Where does this shame come from? In today’s social media driven world, if you’re a woman, strangers feel the need to let you know if they think your body is hot or not. We’ve all seen Internet comments like, “Eww, she’s so skinny, it’s gross,” or “You’re too fat to wear that.”

Even the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastic Team, who won gold medals and are some of the best female athletes in the world, were body shamed on social media because people felt they were too muscular-looking in their bikinis.

"By creating the belief that a woman’s value is based upon how attractive her body is to society, she’s more easily controlled and manipulated by fear."

Negativity bubble

When you receive unsolicited verbal attacks on your body, you can’t help but feel that coat of shame get heavier and heavier. If we take a moment to pop that bubble of negativity and take off the heavy layers of shame that suffocate us, we just might be able to look around and realize that all women are body shamed. Thin women, curvy women, overweight women, fit women, and every body type in-between. This leads us to the shocking realization that it isn’t our bodies that are the targets of shame, it’s women as a whole.

Shame control

Each one of us can recall a time when we were shamed for the way we looked, what we were wearing, what we ate and how we ate it. When we feel shame, we feel like we’re worthless, isolated and ultimately unlovable. Those negative feelings dictate our decision-making. We all want to be accepted, so we try to change the things about ourselves that others made us believe are “wrong.”

By creating the belief that a woman’s value is based upon how attractive her body is to society, she’s more easily controlled and manipulated by fear. But if we believe our value comes from our mind, body, and soul connections versus sex appeal, we become much more difficult to control. Our value lies in so much more than our bodies and physical form, and the day we realize this for ourselves is the day our lives will change forever.

Are you body empowered? Take Mediaplanet's quiz to find out just how prevalent body shaming is and discover how serious its long-term impact on mental and physical health can be.