Body Shaming: An Image Professionals Perspective
Updated: Sep 26
Hello Ladies, In today's post, I will be addressing the prevalent issue of body shaming. This article will be one of a three-part series on body shaming. Last week I came across two thought-provoking body-shaming articles exploring and discussing the much-debated topic – which I am sure most of you are more than familiar with, including myself (raises hand). The one article featured in Women’s Health Magazine entitled These 5 Women Refuse to Let Their Physical ‘Flaws’ Define Them looks at the issue of body-shaming from the lived experiences of women who have contributed to their own self-objectification and devaluation of their bodies and the other article featured on Bustle.com, 8 Things Body Positive People Are Sick of Hearing Because It’s Not About “Forcing People to Be Attracted to You attempts to dismantle the notion that women who choose to identify as being body-positive are somehow forcing society into accepting shapely, curvier women as the new ‘standard’ of beauty. Both articles, in my opinion, have done an excellent job confronting and illuminating the intersecting issues of how society, on one hand, tends to judge a woman’s appearance based upon an antiquated, traditional, European standard which has eroded and contributed to the continued devaluation of women in society who do not neatly fit into the wider societal standard of beauty which encompasses, for the most part, a woman’s weight and physical traits; whereas n the other hand, women are now collectively challenging and amplifying their voices against the issue of body-shaming; thus, creating new narratives of what beauty ought to look like from a holistic point of view that encourages all women to embrace their – authentic beauty, physical or otherwise. As such, the views of the women featured in the two articles and I assume of most women who do not neatly fit into the traditional standard of beauty, including myself and who have participated in or have experienced some form of body shaming are now fearlessly embracing and speaking truth to their lived experience from an empowered lens, rather than a disempowered one.
“Most women—82 percent, per our survey—already admit that the way they view themselves may not match how others see them… In the end, recognizing that your body—or any of its parts—doesn’t define who you are is key to body positivity.” Women’s Health Magazine – January 2016 “Helping people to not hate their bodies isn’t “glamorizing” being unhealthy… body positivity isn’t just for medically healthy or “pretty” bodies: It’s for all bodies.” Bustle.com – July 2015 As an image professional and style empowerment coach I’ve questioned whether or not weight and body shape takes precedence over other body shaming issues, such as Vitiligo, Psoriasis, Alopecia, thinning hair, and Multiple Sclerosis as discussed in the Women’s Health article. More importantly, how do I help my clients to confidently accept their authentic selves regardless of one’s weight, body shape, or other body traits in which they deem as being imperfect or unattractive?
Disclaimer: I am not nor do I purport to be a medical psychologist, therapist, or psychoanalysis, but I do believe as an image consultant that I do play an important role in helping my clients to unabashedly and authentically accept their whole-body with confidence, boldness, and reverence for their well-being.
A good image professional should be able to help their clients identify specific areas of their body in which they may be feeling less than confident about and also be able to coach and support their clients in understanding how to strategically dress and style their body shape to positively enhance their unique features. As a result, enabling them to create their own signature style; one that empowers the client to accept and feel comfortable in their own skin. One such service that I offer as an image professional is Body Shape Analysis.
Until next time! Personal Stylist Tonya J. xoxo
In part II of this article, I will explain what Body Shape analysis is and how you can identify your unique body shape, as well as specific styling tips you can implement immediately. If you are interested in booking a holistic image and style 2-day coaching session with me, please check out my 2-Day VIP Personal Brand Re-Alignment Program.