Imagine the damage that's done by someone you love and consider your life partner, and for some women, the person who's opinion they value more than anyone else's in the world.
Usually we look to our partners for support and encouragement.
Unfortunately for these women, they're in relationships with partners who taunt them about how much they weigh.
The article, first published on the Whisper website, shares a tearjerking tale of a fat-shaming thread shared in the app, which many use to post stories, secrets and pictures anonymously.
While Heartline reports that people who fat-shame "believe that making overweight people feel ashamed of their weight or eating habits will motivate them to get healthier", there is no excuse for most of the emotionally damaging things that have been said to these women.
One post read, "My husband fat-shames me. He makes me stand on a scale in front of him. He won't let me go to the GP alone just in case it has something to do with my weight".
While this post read " My boyfriend fat shames me when he's drunk. I'm barely a size 9. It makes me feel worse about myself than I already do"
Being a victim of fat shaming, I can personally attest to the amount of damage done when someone makes a nasty comment directed at your body or physical appearance.
While I have programmed myself to ignore comments from people (usually my family members or friends) who seem to make it their business about how much and what I eat, and how my clothes fit. To this day, I still dread eating in public spaces.
After many years of being told that I was getting fat or that I should join the gym before I got fat, I learned how to eat smaller portions when I was around what I used to call my personal "weight watchers", and then eat as much as I could when no one was watching.
As you can probably imagine, I gained a lot more weight, got told to lose weight a lot more often and as a result, ate more. A vicious cycle.
READ MORE: Body shaming, fat shaming and vicious gossip
While I have since dedicated a lot of time to trying to be more body positive, making healthier choices and to be happy with myself, I can never really erase all the negative things that were said to me from my head.
Reading things like, "My husband fat shamed me by telling me it was good I only ate one thing today because I was busy", really hits close to home.
While people who practice fat-shaming usually see it as playful or "helpful", the results of it are detrimental. In fact, Healthline reports that overweight people who experienced fat shaming were two times more likely to suffer from obesity after they were fat-shamed.
"In one study in 6,157 people, non-obese participants who experienced weight discrimination were 2.5 times more likely to become obese over the next few years. Additionally, obese people who experienced weight discrimination were 3.2 times more likely to remain obese" continued the article.
While a lot needs to be done for fat-shaming to stop completely, you don't always have the power or opportunity to stop people from saying terrible things about you whether they're knowingly or unknowingly hurting you. Here's what you can do:
1. Unfriend, divorce, create space between people who hurt you, even if you're close. Steer clear of the fat-shamers.
2. Realise that some of these fat-shamers lack confidence. It's not an excuse for bullying, but hopefully understanding the reasoning behind their behaviour will help you ignore it more easily.
3. Don't give public fat-shamer a reaction. Ignore their nasty comments and move on. Having an insult hurling contest is not at all worth it.
4. Join some online support groups. While there're groups dedicated to fat-shaming, there're also support groups with people who can give you some great advice on how to deal with fat shaming.
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