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8 Women On The Worst Time They Were Body-Shamed By Their Family

'My family thinks weighing less than me is the greatest achievement.'
PHOTO: Pixabay

Body-shaming is something that unfortunately starts at home. Under the guise of concern and good intentions, young women are made to be the butt of every fat joke and subjected to constant, and often brutal, ridicule. We asked Cosmo girls to share their experiences of when they were body-shamed by their loved ones.    

 “I was only 15 years old. I landed the role of one of the Big Swans in the ballet Swan Lake. While I was excitedly telling my entire family about it, my brother replied that I ‘wasn't a swan’; I was ‘the lake,’ since I was so big compared to all the other ballerinas. And he didn't stop calling me the lake until I ran away in tears. –Reese, 26

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“We were on a family vacation in India for a wedding and I was at my heaviest. We were sitting around just hanging out, and my parents both told me I needed to get my weight under control, implying I was really unattractive. I’m not sure if that counts as ‘shaming,’ but I felt very attacked for them both to come at me out of nowhere.” –Isla, 24

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“My family loves to compare weight. Of course, I'm always the heaviest at home, but they ALWAYS ask me for my weight. To them, weighing less than me is the greatest achievement.” –Denise, 26


“I have always struggled with my weight. I’ve tried coping with it in the most extreme and unhealthiest ways. Having my Filipino relatives constantly remind me that I'm already such a pretty girl and that I'd be 'even more beautiful if [I] just lost weight' doesn't help. Why can't I just be 'pretty' as is? Or better yet, compliment me for the good I do or how well I'm doing in life. Recently, my mom and I joined a local Weight Watchers program. Just a few days ago, when we got back home from our early morning Weight Watchers meeting, my dad greeted us with, 'How much weight have you lost this week?' By his tone, I could already tell he was about to make a joke out of it. So I answered, 'A little over a pound, maybe a pound and a half.' So my mom, in her usual naive and cheerful tone, responded, 'Me too!' And of course, he said, 'Seriously? You might as well just starve yourselves!' I wanted to cry. I was honestly proud of myself for losing that pound and a half. I’ve been really stressed lately so losing that weight took a lot of hard work for me. I blame it on ignorance. Having starved myself in the past, I just wish he were more sensitive, even just a little bit.” –Mia, 22

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“My immediate family members are pretty supportive, so I can’t really recall a time when they body-shamed me. But my distant family always tells me that I am too skinny or I need to eat. When we think about body-shaming, we always think of telling someone to lose weight, but constantly being told to gain weight can be equally destructive. I eat a lot and work out, and I have a hard time gaining weight. Over time, I have just learned to ignore them and love my body. Life is too short for other people to make you feel bad about yourself.” –Renee, 25

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“I was sitting on the couch in shorts while watching TV one day. My brother walked into the room, took one look at me, and made a disgusted face. I asked him what happened and he said, ‘That's disgusting. Your leg looks like a turkey leg. And it's not even Thanksgiving. Put that shit away.’ My other brother heard what he said and walked out to see what he was talking about. He looked at me and immediately started laughing in agreement with him.” –Serena, 24

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“My grandma is old-school. When I entered college, I was incredibly self-conscious because I gained about fifteen pounds (due to a combination of an unhealthy diet and new birth control), and whenever I went home, my grandma would ask me if I had gotten pregnant while I was away. I would say no—in obvious embarrassment. And she’d respond, ‘Oh, at least then, you’ll have an excuse.’” –Alana, 23

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“When I was 14, I was 5'3 and very chubby. None of the 'hip' teenage clothes would fit me so I would live in hoodies and baggy pants. After a very disappointing shopping trip, my mom just sighed and said, ‘If only you were skinny, I would buy you all the clothes you wanted.’” –Gabriella, 21

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