Whether we see it or not, body shaming is all around us: stores that purposefully size down their clothing, that one annoying relative that makes a comment on how your weight has changed, nasty comments on Instagram...it's everywhere. 

We see all sorts of stories about "Celebrities Who Fought Back Against Body Shaming" and "Celebrities Who Have Been Body Shamed Just Like The Rest Of Us," but how easy is it really to bounce back from such harmful and sometimes aggressive comments?

I asked the people in my community how body shaming has affected them. Their stories are shared anonymously here:

"One time in high school my history teacher told me he was talking with another teacher about how skinny I was, and then asked me if I was eating enough, in front of the entire class."

"People always tell me that I'm too thin to eat like I do...whatever that means."

"Someone asked me when my baby was due. I'm not pregnant."

"I saw a physical therapist and he said I was having pain because I’m fat and my body is carrying too much weight for it’s frame. I was appalled and immediately went to see a new one who told me I’m actually very healthy and my knee pain is a result of built up scar tissue." 

"When I was 10 I tried a dress on in a store and the associate told me I shouldn't need that size at my age."

"Because of comments made about my body, I have a phobia of trying clothing on in stores. I start sweating and shaking when I have to try things on. If I'm with friends I'll take a smaller size into the dressing room and just sit there pretending to try it until we are ready to leave. I have bought clothing that is too small so people I'm shopping with don't know my size. This is all really problematic for someone who loves to shop."

"Hearing 'you're so skinny' was something I was very used to...if anything I wanted more curves. It made me feel like I looked ill, which was weird because it turned 'you're so skinny' turned into something I was really conscious and almost ashamed of."

"Its assumed that eating disorders look a certain way when they just simply do not. You honestly cannot tell a person's health just by looking at them."

"Comments like these make me feel like garbage. They mess with my perception of myself. Other's perceptions of you totally warp your self worth and how you see yourself...Nothing good comes out of unsolicited comments about people's appearance."

Body shaming is never welcome. Commenting on someone's body, even if you think it could be a compliment, is never welcome. Just don't make comments about people's bodies. I repeat–do not comment on people's bodies. No matter what shape, size, color, height, whatever, everyone deserves to feel comfortable in their own skin. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with body image or eating disorders, find resources to help here