Field Guide to Jerks Who Body Shame


It’s a jungle out there. If you have a body, you are likely to be a target at some point, for jerks who body shame. It’s perfectly normal to stand in awe of such a ridiculous display of judgement, all the while wondering, “Just who the hell are you to say those things?” Any qualified pest control technician will tell you that in order to deal with an invasive species, you must first identify it.

This is a handy field guide to help you pick them out of a line up and skewer them like lab specimens:

The Misdirected Voter

With any democratic process, voter verification is of “primary” importance. You have to show identification to prove you are qualified to cast your vote. The only person who is qualified to vote on a resolution about your body and if it is a good body is you. No absentee voters to consider. Just you. Ask for identification. If the photo on the driver’s license isn’t you, tell them where to go – their own polling station. They aren’t qualified to vote in this jurisdiction.

The Cult Leader

These folks have lots of flash and a legion of hungry people following them around. It’s a bit like a zombie apocalypse; you can spot a follower by the vacant facial expression. The difficulty with spotting extreme diet and exercise cult leaders for what they are is that they can’t actually serve Kool-Aid because “sugar addiction”. If they do serve you something, don’t drink it! It’s self-haterade so that you will look up to them. Let them know you are happy with your deity of choice, and that your body is a temple that’s not looking for new management.

The Concern Troll

These aren’t those cute toys from the nineties with the technicolor hair and adorable protruding plastic bellies. They spew venom and backhanded compliments “for your own good”. Whatever it is you are doing, you are doing it wrong and they are deeply worried for you. Tell them you’ll get your retro toys off of eBay if you need one, but truthfully, you just aren’t that into trolls, concern or otherwise. You’re also not a billy goat trip trapping over their bridge—you’re just doing your thing, minding your own business. They should go do their thing and mind their own business—someplace else.

The Green Eyed Monster

Their scaly green skin is concealed under layers of expensive foundation. Their own insecurities turn them into hideous, jealous creatures that lash out at unsuspecting, innocent victims. Believing in monsters is what gives them their power, and you are well past bedtime stories. Tell the monsters you have a futon, there is no room for them under your bed. You aren’t going to dim your light just because it’s shining in their lime colored eyes.

The Door to Door Salesman

The “miracle” product being flogged runs on self-hatred. “But wait there’s more!” The weasel-like salesman wants you to be uncomfortable enough in your own skin that you will purchase the merchandise on offer. Before you go making your credit card melt acquiring a fancy gadget to give you thigh gap, let the salesman know you have made the switch to the sustainable fuel of self-love and acceptance. Hang a sign on your door that says: No Soliciting!

Every body is a good body and yours is no exception. You don’t have to accept the uninformed opinion of others when evaluating it. Now, you are armed with the information you need to recognize the jerks who body shame, and have some solid tactics to stop them dead in their tracks. You’re more than ready to navigate the jungle and defend your body image against these nefarious creatures.