How to deal with negative comments about your body

There’s a question I’m consistently asked…

What can I do when my partner or family makes negative comments about my body?

I admit I get angry when I hear the kinds of comments some people are putting up with.

I hate it when a person’s confidence is knocked.  Especially by people who believe they can say whatever they want about someone else’s body.

So in this post, I’m sharing TWO things to bear in mind when dealing with negative comments about your body.

Watch or read below:

Recently I’ve received a worrying increase in emails and blog comments from women and men affected by negative comments about their body.

These comments are predominantly from family including partners and spouses. When I read the comments made, I feel a mixture of sadness and anger.

Sadness because I can tell how deeply affected these individuals are by the negative comments about their body.

Anger because bodies aren’t objects up for scrutiny, especially from people that are supposed to love you!

This is a topic that I’ve covered before on my blog, but I think it’s worth revisiting again.

So today I’m sharing what I think are the two most important things to bear in mind when dealing with negative comments about your body:

Negative comments AREN’T acceptable

The first thing to remember is that no matter who is making the negative comments about your body, it isn’t acceptable.

I don’t care if it’s your husband or wife. They have no more right to make unkind or hurtful comments about your appearance than anyone else.

The same goes for other family members.  It isn’t your responsibility to meet their ‘standards’ of what a body should look like.

I get especially annoyed about this. I’m staggered by the comments some people put up with.

For example, individuals are criticised by family and partners for having:

Hips that are supposedly ‘too small’ or ‘too big’
A thin face
Too much grey hair
A ‘flat’ bottom

I can’t say this enough – you don’t have to put up with comments that upset you. It’s okay to call a family member out on this kind of behaviour.

Discussing the comments 

Start by having an open yet non-confrontational conversation.

Ask why they feel the need to comment on your appearance. You might say something like, “I’m curious as to why you feel the need to comment on my appearance. What’s that about?”

This puts the onus and focus squarely on them (which is where it needs to be) rather than you.

But be sure to tell them how their comments affect you.  Request that they stop them if they’re upsetting you.  I did a video that that explains step by step how you can have this conversation.

Negative comments AREN’T about your body

The second thing to bear in mind is that negative comments about your body aren’t really about your body!

They’re about the person making those comments – their opinions, views, beliefs and insecurities.

There can be any number of reasons why someone might criticise your body, but here are some of the most common.  They might…

  • Be jealous of you or your appearance and want to put you down;
  • Have their own insecurities about their body and are projecting these onto you;
  • Be experiencing low self-esteem and criticism of others makes them feel better about themselves;
  • Have very fixed views on what bodies should look like which are highly influenced by popular culture.

But whatever the reason – it’s their problem or issue, not yours.

It’s not your job to change yourself to please them or make them happy – that’s their job.

Dealing with negative comments

The way to deal with negative comments about your body is NOT to change your body.

Instead, focus on what you can control. You can’t control how someone else thinks or behaves, but you can control the way you think and behave.

View negative comments about your body as being about the other person NOT you. Challenge the person making the comments and ask them to stop – the rest is up to them.

Note: if you are on the receiving end of constant criticisms and put downs in a relationship, that’s emotional abuse. Please seek help immediately, particularly if you fear for your safety.

I’d love to hear how negative comments about your body affect you and if this post has been helpful.  Please leave a comment below.

< Next post View all posts Prev post >