Body Shame Is a Learned Behaviour

This isn't about feeling guilty, taking blame or placing blame on our ancestors or our parents. It's not their fault. This is about acknowledging the standards, narratives and systems of oppression that society has placed on humans to uphold for generations through classism, racism, capitalism, speciesism, patriarchal standards and fatphobic narratives. It's about recognizing these systems of oppression, where they come from and learning how to reject and heal them within our lives and the lives of others.

You aren't born resenting your body, neither was anyone in your family.

We LEARN to hate and resent our bodies, shame our bodies, restrict and manipulate our bodies, resent and shame other bodies by example.

We learn that we aren't good enough unless we look a certain way by things said to us, observing caretakers with their own bodies, we learn these behaviors by standards placed onto and passed onto us, because they were placed and passed onto them.

Something I do with my clients is called body lineage. We look at close family/friend narratives, standards and feelings towards their own bodies. We do this because it has a very big impact on how we in turn feel about our bodies. These thoughts, feelings and narratives are absorbed by us.

To break this down, we need to uncover the hurt, acknowledge the pain and understand that none of the pain and hate we hold towards our bodies today actually has to do with us or our bodies. It's learned behaviours. It's classist, racist, fatphobic, speciest, patriarchal behaviours.

It's not your fault. However it is your job to meet your needs, fill yourself up and do your best to break this cycle of hurt and shame. Want to know something badass? YOU can be the one to END this generational shame. YOU can be the one to pass on acceptance, self-love, body neutrality, break through these oppressive systems AND start to dismantle them.

Powerful isn't it?

Ready? Check out my Intuitive Eating Program, I became an Intuitive Eating Counselor, to help people end this cycle and not uphold these oppressive societal pressures and start dismantling the larger ones.

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Emily Manuel, B.A, RHN, CYT

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