15 Moms Who Epically Shut Down Body-Shamers

15 Moms Who Epically Shut Down Body-Shamers
Image: Staras/iStock


I still remember the feeling of hot shame when my high school boyfriend's best friend came up to me in the hall and said "I don't know why Marco dates you because you're kind of ugly and fat." Ouch. In that moment, I totally froze. Whenever I think about that moment, I always wished I had just stood up for myself. I wish I had said ANYTHING at all. Instead, I just ran to the bathroom cried, and wondered why I was so ugly.

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If only 15-year-old me knew she was (and still is) gorgeous

The sad fact is, practically all women have been body-shamed at least once -- and it sucks! It doesn't matter how fit, skinny, fat, curvy, etc., people always seem to find something to say. But hopefully sometimes luck strikes and they have the exact perfect response that puts the shamer in his or her place. 

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For inspiration, I asked 15 moms to share their body-shaming moments and how they stood up to their haters. Read on, and hopefully these ladies can encourage other moms to know that they are beautiful no matter what their body shape or size is!

  • Just Be Happy

    young woman hugging old woman

    "I used to be remarkably skinny. After I moved out, my mom would comment every time she saw (and hugged) me about how skinny I was. It gets old to be honest, even if it's the 'right' body type. So I told her to stop mentioning my weight. Didn't even tell her why; just firmly said, 'Mom, stop talking about my body fat. You mention it every time you see me. Just be happy to see me.' And because she's smart, she stopped." -- Bethany W., Eugene, Oregon

  • Not My Girls

    girls eating watermelon

    "All my life [my mom has] harassed me about keeping weight off and being chunky and not wearing makeup and not keeping my eyebrows in check and on and on. 

    "And then I gained weight as an adult and even more weight after my son was born and she started relating to me conspiratorially about being overweight. We could 'cheat' (on our diets) together, etc. When it was clear one of my daughters took after my husband and was going to be petite and lean, she leaned in [and] fake whispered, 'Well, we can hate her.'

    "Um, no, no we can't, Mom. Basically what I do to combat her is to go to therapy, never ask her opinion, and do the opposite of what she wants me to do.

    "In the last few years I've really been embracing my own bonkers style and Mom has slowly begun to accept my lack of makeup and rainbow clothes. But every time she says something body-shaming about my kids especially, I cut her off and tell her that's not okay with me." -- Sarah R., Seattle, Washington

  • Not Like You

    fierce woman

    "I'm queer, fat, and body positive. I get a lot of people who try to body shame me and I have a list of standard responses. My favorite one is simple: 'I'm fat but at least I'm not an asshole like you.'

    "Sometimes it hurts but I never give anyone the satisfaction of seeing me flinch." -- Alice R., San Diego, California

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  • Girls Have Pipes

    woman weight lifting

    "Man at gym: 'Wowww you got some pipes!'

    Me: 'Thanks!'

    Man: 'Girls aren't supposed to have pipes.'

    Me: 'Are you kidding me right now?'

    I gave him a major stink eye and he got nervous and backed away. Idiot." -- Sasha T., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Not Inappropriate

    roller derby

    "I had just finished a roller derby scrimmage. I was famished. I was wearing a sports bra (not a cute sports bra, mind you, a hefty one) and tank top and shorts (not super booty shorts, but like hot yoga shorts) and stopped into a store for a to-go falafel wrap thing.

    "And this dumb guy in line is all, 'It's totally inappropriate for you to be dressed like that in here' and I was all, 'Uh, this is an informal restaurant in the city, the only person who is being inappropriate here is YOU.'

    "Dude. Stop policing women's bodies already." -- Sarah R., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Dumb as Possible

    mom holding newborn in hospital

    "My mother-in-law asked me how much weight I gained while pregnant. The day I gave birth. While I was still in the hospital gown.

    "My goal with my response was to try to make her feel as dumb as possible for asking that question. I said, 'I don't know how much weight I gained because I never looked at the scale. I ate healthy foods and exercised when it felt good, so I didn't worry about the numbers on the scale.'" -- Anna K., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Kiss This

    woman on smartphone

    "A guy I was talking to told me that I was hot but that he wished I had a bit more junk in the trunk. He had a bit of a Kardashian crush, I think. 

    "I told him that my ass was just fine and that he was welcome to kiss it as I walked away." -- Julie D., Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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  • Back Off

    mom breastfeeding coffee shop

    "I was fat-shamed by my mother-in-law as I was nursing her healthy grandson and putting her son through law school. Yep, still can't let that one go.

    "I made my husband fight that battle for me. Let's just say, it was in his best interest to tell his mom to back off and apologize." -- Rachel G., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Mean Girls

    girls standing by lockers

    "I work in the hotbed of body-shaming: middle school. I'm a middle school English teacher. 

    "One day I was wearing a very colorful dress and I heard some of the girls snickering at me. One of them finally said that I looked like a circus tent because my butt was so big.

    "I am really proud of myself for how I handled it. I stood up taller and said that I loved my dress and my butt and that I hoped they would all grow up to feel as awesome about themselves as I do about myself. That shocked them into silence." -- Daphne W., Cedar Rapids, Iowa 

  • Bad Teacher

    women exercising

    "I was taking a class at the gym and the teacher told me that I needed to 'bust a move to shrink those thighs' and that 'that ass is jiggling now' while I was dancing. 

    "I stopped dancing and walked to the front of the class and told him that he was a terrible teacher. Then I went to the manager and told him that he had a teacher who was body-shaming instead of encouraging. The next week there was a new teacher for that class." -- Holly W., Austin, Texas

    More from CafeMom: How 15 Women Give Themselves a Quick Body Image Boost

  • Fat and Fast

    jogger stretching
    iStock.com/Leonardo Patrizi

    "I'm a big girl and a runner, so I'm used to people heckling me or shouting stuff at me from cars. It sucks but I don't let it get me down. 

    "One day, I was getting ready to run and this guy jogged past me and gave me the up and down eyes and then laughed at me and said 'good luck.'

    "Damn, boy, I don't need luck! I didn't say anything but I was laughing to myself when my fat ass ran right past him. I'm fat but fast, buddy." -- Dinora D., Orlando, Florida

  • Eye Spy

    young woman older woman side by side

    "My mom is a body-shamer but about the weirdest stuff. She offered me a nose job when I turned 18 (my nose is a totally normal size), she said my eyelashes were too long (??), and even that it was 'sad' that I didn't get her green eyes.

    "The last time she said something I told her that if she didn't stop saying stuff like that about my eyes, she was going to be seeing a lot less of me. I think she got the point." -- Pamela S., Des Moines, Iowa

  • Zip It, Grandma

    smiling young woman against blue background

    "I'm biracial and my white grandma loves me but can be -- problematic. She always calls my hair frizzy or tells me not to get too tan in the summer. I finally told her that not only was she making me feel crappy but that she was kind of being racist, so zip it, lady! 

    "She was shocked that I called her out. But it had to be said!" -- Helene D., Brooklyn Center, Minnesota 

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  • Jealous?

    plus size young woman

    "I'm an overweight woman and I've had other women just say terrible things to me in public. After years of therapy and learning to take care of myself, emotionally, now I just arch an eyebrow and ask if they are more jealous of my amazing boobs or perfect hair. Usually shuts them right up." -- Amy E., Chicago, Illinois

  • Sandwich Time

    jogger woman

    "I've always been skinny and I know that people think that is lucky, [but] I also get lots of crap about 'you need to eat a sandwich' and stuff like that. 

    "One of my coworkers always comments on my daily lunch hour runs and I finally snapped at her and said 'Would it be okay with you if I was running to go get a sandwich?' 

    "Seriously, people, it isn't cool to fat-shame or skinny-shame." -- Eriana G., Gilbert, Arizona

body image body positivity self esteem

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