So today I wanted to get a bit vulnerable with you guys, and talk about something that has been bothering me a lot lately. Around this time of year (summertime) I always start to feel some type of way about how the mainstream media addresses the issue of body image. Ever since I was younger- I learned that being skinny was ideal, that big boobs and a perky butt were attractive, and stretch marks were something to be hidden. I constantly heard my elders say things like “I can’t wear that because it will show my flabby stomach.” or “maybe if I lost ten pounds I could wear that” or “I used to be skinny like you.” Honestly, the list goes on- and I am sure that we have all heard these things before- In fact, I am utterly shocked if you haven’t heard anyone downgrade their body before.
But here’s the issue with these phrases being thrown around. Your body isn’t more or less worthy of love just because you may or may not have a bit of fat on you. Because news flash! Fat is NORMAL. And some people naturally have more fat on their body than others- even at optimum health. A lot of people who work hard for a slim physic like to call larger people disgusting or automatically assume that an overweight person’s diet consists of pizza, soda, and fast food. They assume that these people never exercise and don’t care about their health. And while that may be true for some people (I’m not saying it’s not)- the same goes for skinnier people. I know girls and guys who can eat and eat and eat and STILL get called grossly thin. And I know overweight people who eat extremely healthy and STILL can’t lose weight. So next time you are about to comment on someone’s body, ask yourself: what’s the point? Simply put, you cannot tell how healthy a person is just by looking at them. You just can’t. And even if you could, calling someone fat and ugly, or even calling yourself fat and ugly is only going to make things worse. We are all different and that is what makes us all beautiful.
I know it sounds cliche, but I feel like somewhere along the way we forget this. We forget that we are all worthy of love and we forget that people naturally come in all different shapes and sizes. We forget that beauty isn’t skin deep, and we forget that beauty is subjective. Honestly, I’m just so sick and tired of hearing people pick apart their bodies. It saddens me to say that I’ve even heard fourteen year old girls say things like “I’m getting fat” or “look at my rolls (which don’t even exist).” I’ve heard friends who lost weight look at their old pictures and say “Eww, I’m so fat in that picture.” And I’ve heard the opposite too. People who are naturally thin get called anorexic, get told to go eat a cheeseburger, and are told they have no curves.
And as sad as it is to say, the reason we think this way is because of the way we are brought up. Like I mentioned before, we hear our parents talk about this all of the time- about how they need to lose weight and how they hate their bodies. But let me ask you- what kind of impact is that supposed to make on others? When someone is constantly degrading their body- what happens when this person’s daughter suddenly has stretch marks on her thighs? Is her daughter supposed to hate her body as well? OF COURSE NOT! Because we are so much more than our bodies, and stretch marks can be beautiful. They can show that you brought life into the world, or they can show you hit puberty, maybe they show you gained weight after being ill, or maybe they are just naturally part of you. And what is wrong with that? The only thing that is ugly is society. There is no weight limit to wearing a certain outfit, and there is no weight limit to when a person can or cannot feel beautiful.
And while I write this, I know I am talking a lot of crap on beauty standards, but I do want to mention that I have definitely seem more of a push for body positivity lately; but with that- I’ve also seen a lot of hate. People saying that body-positivity is anti-health. But what these people fail to realize that this movement is the exact opposite. It shows people that being healthy or attractive isn’t a one size fits all mold, nor should it be. And of course you can strive to be a more healthy version of yourself, but with that- you shouldn’t hate your body in the process. And on another note, we shouldn’t idolize people we consider to be beautiful either, because- what message is that actually sending? If someone is constantly being told they are “goals” or are being told “I wish I was as pretty as you.” Then what happens if they lose their “beauty”? What happens if that person gains weight? If they lose their butt? If they start getting acne? Is that person suddenly not worth as much? Because it’s these types of ideas that cause eating disorders and bad body image among girl of all ages.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like we all deserve to feel beautiful, or handsome or whatever you like to be called. And in order to feel confident we shouldn’t have to change the way we look. And that’s what a lot of people don’t get. We look at these models, or social media figures and compare our bodies to theirs, compare our skin to theirs , our face structure to theirs, our height to theirs- and think when we look like that we will be happy. But we aren’t meant to look like anyone except ourselves, and trying to be someone else will always result in failure. So instead of praising one body type and shaming another- why don’t we just accept all bodies as deserving of love. And with that, I wanted to end this post with one of my favorite quotes. “Someone else’s beauty doesn’t take away from your own.”
Until next time!
Let me know in the comments:
What part of your body have you learned to love?
What non-physical trait makes a person beautiful?
Do you like these types of posts?
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