Dear Cassey: My friend keeps body shaming herself
I have this friend who is constantly degrading herself and her body. Saying things like “I’m fat” and “my thighs are so big”. When she starts complaining and fishing for compliments I usually handle the situation by telling her that she’s being crazy and that I think she’s beautiful.
I know that everyone can be insecure (I myself struggle with it) but it’s getting to the point where she’s making me and all of our friends feel bad. I just don’t know how to tell her that it’s starting to make us all feel really uncomfortable without the situation escalating. Would really appreciate some advice.
Ahhh, this is actually a verrryyyyyy common thing that happens so I’m glad you asked!
I want to start by taking a look at both sides of this situation. Once we understand that, then we can dive a little deeper into some possible solutions.
Your friend isn’t happy with the way she looks. This is something that constantly bothers her and it’s always at the top of her mind. She wants someone to confide in and she wants to normalize talking about it. To her, saying these things don’t feel “degrading” to her because she might believe that the things she is saying are true.
When people share information like this, typically they are looking to either create connection through shared experiences (i.e. you would respond and say, “Ugh I despise my thighs, too!”) or through validation (i.e. you respond “No, you look amazing – I would do anything to have your body!). And, of course, sometimes people do want to genuinely dive into a deeper conversation. More on that in a sec.
Now let’s talk about you! You’re a dedicated and loving friend who wants to support your friend. When you hear her use negative language, you feel worried. You don’t see her thighs as “thick”, you see them as strong. When something you see in a positive way suddenly gets a ton of negative light shed on it, it can feel really shocking. When you continue to hear it over and over again, it starts to affect you. It may affect how you feel about your own body and ultimately your relationship with your friend.
So, how do the two of you come together to find a happy medium?
You need to talk to each other from a genuine place. I’m not saying that it won’t “blow up”, but approaching it with good intentions can help her see what you see. The truth is, you don’t need her to be happy about her body all the time. That’s not realistic. But you have to let her know that when she brings it up every single time you see each other, it starts affecting you, too. You want to work with her on helping her find happiness instead of ruminating on the negative.
And most importantly, listen to what she is saying. Ask her where this all comes from and think of solutions of how you can support her. Be there for her, because chances are, this is rooted in something a little deeper.
Oh and one more thing – make sure it’s just the two of you. I know you said some other friends might be bothered, but having a group of you talk to her will feel like she’s being cornered and well, that’s definitely not going to feel good.
Lastly, remember that friendships aren’t perfect but they should feel like safe spaces to talk, share feelings, and be supported. You got this!
PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.
9 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: My friend keeps body shaming herself”
There are 9 comments posted by our users.
the funny and ironic thing is that no one in instagram or anywhere looks that good as they show off, this is why social media sucks and why i quit it (youtube is an exception), look up “instagram vs reality” and take kvito or demi rose or kim K for example | no one looks that good irl yet alone all the time or naturally, i dont get why people fake their bodies and lives on the internet and create fake persona thats very bad to other people’s and their own mental health | it’s almost always photoshop, perfect angles, lighting and more or even surgery. and when you take into account that the images arent taken in one shot and it takes 100 then youll know what i mean. heck, the celebrities are most likely insecure themselves. and then filter the naturally occurring normal things like celluite then youll be relieved, so comparing yourself to these fake models is pointless
Definitely share how her comments are.making you feel down, and offer to talk about more uplifting things for the both of you!
Hey cassey! I hope you are doing okay and are healthy!
I am starting college soon (hopefully) and thanks to the application stress, I had 3 days without exercising, just stressing out but eating normally as I do. During those 3 days I gained a lot of cm in my waist and lower abs area. Whatever I do the lower fat isnt going away. I dont wanna go back to the days I felt myself as a pig!!! What do I do? Help.
Hi. I’m 13. I ALWAYS see myself as the bigger girl in school. But everyone is always like you are so skinny! And when I say she is so skinny i wish i was her. My friends say omg she Is fatter than you! I guess what I’m trying to say is that I need to lose weight.
Almost. I mean, the friend might have thick thighs, and you might very well see them that way, and that’s OK too.
Hi Cassey, there’s lots of info on TikTok these days about fitness and everyone has something to say so it’s hard to filter through the BS. Is it possible to decrease the appearance of “hip dips” through targeting exercises? And to what extant can you really round out your hips? Thanks!
so i’m the type of friend who always says that i’m fat and gross, i sometimes do it while fishing for compliments, and i sometimes do it by accident, do you have any idea on how i could stop?
Hii, i used to have the same problem. For me the root of it is insecurity abt my look & my body. While i wish i can say “just love yourself more” ,however true that statement is, i know it is easier to be said than done. Speaking from my experience, what i did was starting to change what i didnt like about myself (only to the extent of my capabilities) while learning to accept what i cant change. Because i had many baseless negative thoughts, I tried to reason more objectively abt myself : for example; “i think i am gross bc im fat” “why do you think your weight define yourself? you dont even think abt other people in that way so why would you think about yourself in such way?” After all, we only got this one body for the rest of our lives so we all should try to be comfortable in our own body and be the kindest person to ourselves 🙂
I want to tell you that I am really lost these days.
I started exercising in January of 2020 and my goal was to loose about 8-10 kg at the end of the year but now its 2021 and I still didn’t loose any weight.
And you can really believe me when I say that I worked really hard on my Body,Health,Meals,Happiness,Sleep, etc…..
I really am fustrated and I want to change my weight from 85 to 60 kg.
I knew from the beginning that it would not be easy to loose that much weight but I myself set little goals that are easy to achieve.
I even started my YTube channel CandyGo K recently to distract myself from bad thoughts but I just can’t stop thinking about my body all day.
My familiy also helps me with everything.
And I even started the 21 day Challenge.
If you have some advice or anything that you could say to me please share it.