• Rachel Loechelt

Understanding why people shame others and how to be confident in a world that shames.



     1. a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.


1. (of a person, action, or situation) make (someone) feel ashamed

When a person shames another, it really boils down to how they are feel about themselves. What gives anyone the right to put someone down and make them feel bad about the way they are? I believe that shame is a form of manipulative and controlling behavior that stems from self doubt and uncertainty. To shame someone is a cowardly way of saying, “I don’t like myself and I don’t think you should like yourself, either.” 

As you have probably noticed on social media, people love to duel out insults. Usually they partake in this cruel behavior in hopes of sparking a reaction from the public or the person they’re shaming. In these cases, we refer to these people as “trolls”. These are individuals that enjoy starting uproars when giving unpopular opinions. In other circumstances, people who shame tend to be jealous. These naysayers intend their comments to take you down a notch or make you feel as bad as they do about themselves. Many people don’t like a confident women, especially if they are not as confident as you are.

As for feeling ashamed, that’s a whole other story. I truly believe the shame we feel has a lot to do with the weight of societal beauty standards. Social media consumers are often fed a plethora of beautiful women’s photos. We tend to think, “Huh, I wish I looked like that.” That’s how we fall down the rabbit hole of trying to "fix” things about ourselves as if we are broken. Ladies, I know grasping this concept is easier said than done, and trust me, I have been there myself. We are not broken. We are not ugly. When you become consumed with these negative feelings, ask yourself, “Is this because of other people?” Possibly, we create our own shame by comparing our bodies to others (even if nobody is telling us we should look that way except ourselves.) 

These breathtaking women you see online receive attention because we have been programmed to think that they are what’s right with the world. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying these women are not beautiful, but we should really redefine what beauty actually means. True beauty can not be shown in a photo on Instagram. Beauty is skin deep, ladies. I really need you to understand that no matter what you look like, you can be beautiful with a kind soul and gentle heart. Beautiful people are generous. Beautiful people say kind things to one another. Beautiful people encourage the people around them. Beautiful people put others before themselves. Beautiful people do heartwarming things. There are people in this world that deserve the recognition of being beautiful regardless of their physical appearance. So, let this be a reminder to you, that anyone has the capability of being beautiful regardless of what you look like. 

Let me tell you, if we were confident in ourselves the way we were, the beauty industry wouldn’t be making billions of dollars each year by telling us we’re broken. Don’t allow yourself to succumb to the madness of the beauty industry as if it were some perfectly scripted life manual. You don’t have to look a certain way to feel good about yourself. It’s perfectly okay to want to get in shape, buy new makeup, clothes, etc… Understand that the point I am making is, you don’t need it. As long as you know that you are beautiful no matter what, that’s all that counts. 

If anyone is telling you to change something about yourself, understand that they are not worth it. On of my favorite quotes is, “People who mind don’t matter and people who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss. If someone doesn’t like you for the way you are, then they DO NOT LIKE YOU, PERIOD. You are you. You don’t have to be “conventionally attractive” and “palatable” because that’s not why you were put on this earth. It makes me so sad to see women try endlessly to “fix” their face and body just to look a certain way when I can tell they are doing it for the wrong reasons. Ladies, having a good heart, a kind soul, and a warm personality are all things that actually matter. Shame has absolutely no place in your life. The people who shame you are jealous, controlling, or just plain assholes

When you become effected by someone’s shaming tactics, you give them the power to make you feel how they want you to feel. By giving in to the shame, you are basically saying, “Someone else’s opinions about me are more valid than my own.” When you let someone’s comments about you effect you to the point where you begin trying to “fix” yourself, you have basically handed someone your entire self esteem to do as they’d like with it. 

I think a few years ago, if someone were to say I was fat, I’d try to lose weight out of fear and insecurity. Nobody likes their flaws being drawn to attention. Now, if somebody told me I should lose weight, I’d reply, “My objective in life isn’t to please anybody but myself.” Nobody is going to tell me what I should do about myself. Nobody is going to make me feel negatively about myself ever again. This all stems down to knowing your own self worth and being confident enough to be whoever the hell you want to be.

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