This morning I discovered a new post and blog by Lady Gaga which showed un-retouched photographs of her in minimal clothing, looking thin. The post was in response to reports that Gaga had gained weight.
Gaga herself admitted on the post to having an eating disorder since she was a young teen. She also said she struggled with feelings of insecurity about her body.
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Despite her insecurity, she posted the pictures as an expression of bravery and triumph. She then encouraged her "little monster"s to expose their vulnerabilities as she did on the post.
Many people posted real authentic body image pictures exposing their insecurities, and claiming bravery. The compassion and vulnerability of the so-called little monsters was palpable.
Viral TED video speaker and researcher Brene Brown states, "vulnerability is the cure for shame." She claims in her new book, Daring Greatly, that "vulnerability takes courage," and Brown actually has the research data to back up her claims .. and apparently Gaga agrees. Single? 10 Ways To Boost Your Self-Confidence
Through extensive research, Brown has come up with a three-step approach to counteract shame:
1. Practice courage and reach out. Tell your shame story to a trusted friend or confidant. Keeping the shame secret will only keep the shame alive and powerful. By telling your story the shame is diminished and resiliency wins.
2. Talk to yourself in a loving caring way. Talk like you would talk to your most cherished friend. Most people in a shame cycle tell themselves horrible criticisms and would never talk to a friend as poorly as they talk to themselves.
3. Own your story. If you try to push your shame story away, it stays alive in you. Brown states, "If you own the story, you get to write the ending."
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Empathy from a trusted friend helps reduce the shame and helps healing. Stay away from those who judge, they just add more shame to that which is already there.
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