My Aunts Are Body Shaming Me And I Am Losing My Self-Esteem

by Kavita Panyam

I am a 33-year-old lady. My concern is a bit weird. I have two maternal aunts. Their behaviour towards me is driving me crazy. They are my family members but they body shame me.

My aunts are body shaming me

They don’t respect me. I never felt that maternal aunt love from them. They always compare me with others and praise others to put me down. They say things like: “Your cousin Meena is very beautiful. She looks like Rekha (heroine). But look at you.” They are always body shaming me. I just can’t tolerate it when my family members make unwelcome comments on my body.

I am losing my self-esteem

I am educated and have all the required qualities still I don’t know why they give this nasty treatment to me all the time. I have ignored this till now but now I can’t tolerate this and feel this is not right. They are proving to be terrible for my self-esteem.

My mother is unable to deal with them

My mother can’t do anything about this. I have spoken to my mom about this. She’s very naive, mild and innocent. She can’t confront them. Please help.

My aunts are always trying to body shame me Image source

Dear lady,

It’s indeed unfortunate that you are caught in a situation that is not doing any good to your self-esteem. And your mother’s silence is only adding to your anguish and pain. But here’s what you could do.

Learn to draw boundaries

It is important to draw boundaries in all equations as that helps provide clarity to others as to what is acceptable and what isn’t. When you keep quiet and grow silent resentment makes the situation worse.

Spell your rules boldly

Please define your rules boldly and clearly to people without any fear of being judged or ridiculed.

People treat you the way you allow them to. So, start becoming assertive henceforth.

Stand up for yourself

While it’s sad that your mother has chosen to remain silent it doesn’t render you helpless. Of what use is your education when you can’t stand up for yourself? Speak up gently but be firm with the aunts. Tell them this behaviour isn’t acceptable. After that, it’s up to them to choose their response/reaction.

Learn to cope with issues life brings

If the aunts continue to harass you, please understand that you have the choice to either ignore or snap ties with them depending on your situation. When you learn to be rational such behaviour would not cause a disturbance. Simply go about your life without getting affected.

This comes with practice but is well worth it.

Good luck.
Best,
Kavita Panyam

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