- a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour.
“she was hot with shame” ·
humiliation · mortification · chagrin · ignominy · loss of face
- a regrettable or unfortunate situation or action.
“what a shame Ellie won’t be here”
pity · misfortune · crying shame · cause for regret · source of regret · sad thing · unfortunate thing · bad luck · ill luck
- make (someone) feel ashamed.
“I tried to shame him into giving some away”
humiliate · mortify · make someone feel ashamed · chagrin
It ain’t easy…
As a race we are inherently deferent, hardwired to down play ourselves, do as we are told and apologise, a lot! In addition, as women, we are still largely judged on our looks; assumed unintelligent if we dress a certain way; labelled aggressive if we are confident; and unstable if we show our emotions.
It’s no wonder so many of us grow up not knowing exactly how we should act, being ashamed when we are not the ‘perfect’ mum/wife/daughter/employee or don’t ‘conform’. Hiding behind filters and even ignoring our dreams.
Stigma and judgement still rule so much of our lives!
We are raising awareness and the stigma is slowly lifting, but there is still so much work to do. Mental health (and therefore illness) is just as important as physical health, yet the actuality doesn’t actually match up. So many employers still have no policy in place for how to recognise and support employees with mental health problems. Whilst reasonable adjustments are quick to be made for physical differences, they are not always offered or understood for those with mental health problems. Whilst some of us are happy to talk about our mental health, we still find ourselves shying away from conversations in case we make others uncomfortable. There is nothing to be ashamed of and we should be able to talk openly and honestly. Harriet Shearsmith (@TobyandRoo) came up against this uncomfortable truth when asked by quite a few followers if she had lost weight. Wanting more of a quick fix solution, they were silent in response when met with her honest reply that it was ‘due to stress and a smattering of depression’.
Body Shape / Size
I remember being in my 20’s and having what I would now describe as an amazing figure. Of course at the time I felt my bum was too big and covered it with a jumper at all times. Whereas now in my late 40’s, at my heaviest ever after 3 section and holding all that extra menopausal weight gain, I find myself much more happy in myself. No-one should ever be ashamed of their body and/or their size. We are all beautiful, but the world is so quick to judge. Ignore the judgement, it only reflects the petty bias and self loathing of those handing out. Every body is beautiful!
Like with periods (shhhhh, did I dare say that out loud), the menopause is a ‘female’ issue (except it really isn’t) and so for a long time it has been spoken about in hushed tones, if at all. Despite 100% of women going through the menopause and 1 in 4 experiencing debilitating symptoms, less than half of women will go to their GP about the menopause. Thanks to the ‘Davina effect’ awareness has really seen a shift, and finally we are starting to talk openly and honestly about the menopause, our symptoms and what help there is out there! Although I hope it doesn’t mean I have to give up the roller-skates I suddenly was able to use when I started my periods all those years ago… 😉
Why are fierce women vilified. Why is confidence seen as a good character trait in a man, yet is met with shock, and even disdain, in women. It is fantastic to see how this is changing, how women are finding their voice, following their dreams.
Flexible working has been brought to the forefront of employment law because of Anna Whitehouse (@MotherPukka), the COVID vaccine was researched, developed and produced by three amazing women, Sarah Gilbert, Teresa Lambe and Catherine Green.
Yet women like Carrie Johnson and Meghan Markle are trolled and bullied for daring to speak their minds, for being seen as ‘controlling’ rather than confident and strong women. When will it end, who are we to judge!
With the ever developing age of social media, it is no wonder we find it hard not compare our lives to those we see on our feed. A simple scroll through your Insta feed finds perfect images of people’s homes, relationships, families and bodies. Deep down we all know that most of these accounts are highly curated, and images heavily styled. However, it doesn’t stop us comparing our lives and beginning to question our own lives. So ditch the perfect and follow the imperfect, the honest, the open and the real accounts. They’ll lift your mood and inspire you to be a better you, not someone else completely!
So let’s all try a little bit harder to work on these 5 things not to be ashamed of. To stop apologising for nothing and covering up our ‘imperfections’. To admit if we are struggling. Talk honestly and openly about our lives. Be fierce and strive to follow our dreams. Be role models for our children. Let’s be us, because we are all awesome!
Accounts to follow:
Here are some of my favourite Insta accounts to follow; who for me inspire with their honesty, confidence and humour. I’d love if you have any recommendations to follow.