Beyond seeing awe-inspiring sceneries, tasting delicious cuisine, experiencing diverse cultures, and learning about a place’s history, one of the biggest perks of traveling is meeting new people. When you join tours, stay in hostels or lurk around the area, you get the opportunity to be with lots of individuals of different ages, races, and nationalities. Some of them can become your friends, with whom you establish great connections. Others, especially locales, will make your visit more worthwhile.
Of course, you’d want to establish good relationships with everyone you meet around. However, some travelers often make the crucial mistake of body shaming others accidentally. Thus, instantly blocking the possibility of forming friendships. With that, it’s vital to be cautious with your actions and words to ensure you won’t hurt anyone’s feelings wherever you may go.
To help you out, here are some ways you might be body-shaming new people without even realizing it. Its important to understand how to talk to strangers when visiting a foreign country.
Giving an unsolicited advice
It’s natural for people to share any specific exercise and diet routine working for them or has brought positive results like trimming their weight and getting their body toned. So, whether you intend to “help,” never give anyone advice to try it out. It will most likely only aggravate any doubt or grief that the person is experiencing. It might also make them think that they are receiving proactive recommendations from the people around them because they are not taking care of themselves well. So, don’t encourage anyone to eat certain foods to gain weight or suggest someone try a specific workout – it can do the otherwise.
Talking about your body weight
Have you ever seen any thin beachgoer covering her tummy and ranting about her hardly visible belly fat? Or else, heard any buff guy claiming he’s still too skinny? Such scenarios can trigger any person with a lesser or higher weight to worry about their body. Simply mentioning the weight that you gained or lost or your transition to a new dress size can have a different meaning to other people. So, be wary when talking about those things or simply don’t mention them at all when in front of others.
Commenting on food selection
Again, traveling to different places allows you to taste delectable food from various locations around the world. Yet, of course, you still have your food preferences or a particular diet you need to follow strictly. There are instances where you make statements like “I shouldn’t be overeating pork,” or “I should only eat a few sweets,” which may make other people conscious about the way they eat or how much they are eating. Don’t also comment on other individual’s food choices or the amount of food they’re consuming, even if it’s a joke. You’ll never know how the other person may take your remarks.
Associating being thin to being beautiful
It’s sad, but many people linked being thin to beautiful, while relating being fat to being unappealing. Remember that each person is unique and beautiful in his or her own way. For instance, complimenting your thin friend in her swimsuit while on the beach might make any heavy woman around feel insecure or bad for herself. The same way goes with asking any person, “Do I look fat?” or saying, “Did you lose weight? You look awesome!” Those statements give a sense that fat implies being undesirable when the truth is that all bodies are beautiful regardless of weight, size, or look.
Commenting on wardrobe choices
Same with making a statement on food choices, commenting on wardrobe selection should also be treated with caution. Complementing a heavy person as she wears a swimsuit or crop top or saying to a person that she’s brave for wearing a particular color aren’t praises at all. Keep in mind that anyone can wear whatever he or she wants or makes him or her feel confident. It’s a right, and everyone should have the freedom to do so.
Body-shaming often comes overtly. Even if you did not intend to, you could easily offend new people you meet and spend time around without even knowing it. Whenever it happens, it’s hard to tell how much it can hurt their confidence or happiness. So, be sure to devote utmost caution with whatever you say or do and help make the world a happier place to travel and enjoy for everyone.