Why commenting on people’s bodies is harmful

Experts, including psychologists who specialize in body image, agree — commenting on someone’s appearance can be hurtful, even if you think your intentions are good.

Since you don’t know what a person is going through, making comments about a person’s body, whether it be about size, shape, or anything else, is not only inappropriate but can be triggering, Rachel Goldman, a licensed psychologist based in NYC and clinical assistant professor at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, told BuzzFeed News.

“Unfortunately we don’t always see what people are struggling with. Like Ariana Grande, she didn’t share that she was on antidepressants and was eating unhealthy, and neither should she have, but People just assumed she was healthy solely on her appearance,” Goldman said. “Further, Grande is a public figure, and although it may seem like her whole life is on display, it isn’t. He also has feelings, emotions, conflicts, and it’s important that people remember that.

Other celebrities, including actor and singer Selena Gomez, have also discussed body-shaming comments that have been made about their appearance. Gomez, who has spoken out about having bipolar disorder and the autoimmune condition lupus, and had a kidney transplant, discusses her experience at length a tiktok live,

“When I’m off [medication(s)]Gomez said, I want to lose weight. “I just wanted to say and encourage anyone who feels any kind of shame about what they’re going through and no one knows the real story.” (Immune system-suppressing drugs are known to cause weight gain as a side effect.)

People who have questions and concerns about Grande and Gomez can comment on their bodies, assuming they have the best of intentions. However, it’s best to keep any comments on people’s bodies to yourself, experts told BuzzFeed News. In some cases, it can have negative mental health effects or even trigger disordered eating.

We asked body image experts about the potential harm caused by the comments, and what you can say instead.

Comments and issues of body image

refers to body image how you feel and think about your bodysaid Keri Gans, a registered dietitian and nutritionist based in New York City.

Even positive comments can emphasize the importance of how one looks, which is called appearance orientation.

research suggests that social comparisonEven one’s own body can be linked to body dissatisfaction.

“Negative comments can lead them to feel even more negative about themselves, possibly causing them to engage in unhealthy behaviors,” Gans said. “Positive comments can also be hurtful because they may feel they weren’t good enough before.”

People on social platforms were quick to add that the comments were coming from a place of concern. However, through the years comments of concern were being made through comparisons to Grande’s body. bodies change over time including fluctuations in weight and body compositionEspecially as we get older.

“Even if a comment comes from a good place, one should remain silent. You never know what a person is going through,” Gans said. “The most important thing is to listen to a person, and only offer support if asked.”

Goldman tells BuzzFeed News that weight-related comments can actually encourage and trigger disordered eating behaviors.

Goldman said, “If someone is struggling and/or participating in unhealthy behaviors for being at that weight, and they get comments like ‘You look great,’ then it’s actually a negative or unhealthy behavior.” can strengthen.” “In addition, one may internalize this and now question ‘what was wrong with me before,’ which also affects one’s body image, self-worth, self-esteem, which can lead to additional unhealthy thoughts and can also reinforce and enhance behaviors.”

Here’s What You Can Comment Instead

“It’s a way to show support and concern without commenting on someone’s body, weight or size,” Goldman said. “I always encourage people to stop and think before the words they are going to use. Words matter and words can affect someone’s mental health.

Model Bella Hadid, who previously spoke about comments about her appearance and appearance Body image issues in Vogue interview, posted an Instagram post highlighting some compliments that aren’t appearance oriented. In its caption, he wrote, “There is more to you than what the eyes can see…”