I’m writing this post because I saw something today that sparked a bit of an outrage in me and I decided today was the day. Today was the day I will speak and have my voice be heard. Today is the day I will cause a stir.. a ripple affect to hopefully something bigger. I’m fed up and totally and completely appalled at the way us human beings view things. But most importantly, view ourselves. OK, so, before I get on my soap box and start ranting and raving, let me tell you about the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I follow this very beautiful and stunning women who was a plus sized model. She is beautiful inside and out. She was an advocate for women’s beauty standards and was strong, confident and always boasted that beauty was in any size. So I thought. Recently, she has lost a lot of weight. Great! Good for her! She claimed she was eating clean and that’s how she was dropping the weight. Fantastic! Having done sugar fasts and various cleanses and having a background in nutrition, I know that clean eating and omitting processed foods and sugar, have a huge impact on your health in so many ways. OK, so fast forward to today.. where she reveals that her weight loss is attributed to consuming nearly half the amount of what your daily calorie intake should be and hitting the gym. Now, I didn’t need my fitness and nutrition background to have me know that cutting your daily calorie intake in half isn’t really sufficient for an adult woman, or anyone for that matter. Especially when you up your physical activity. Sufficient calorie intake is so vital for the daily functions of your body. Every single person would shed a huge amount of weight if you deprived yourself of that many calories and started working out every day. That’s obvious. But here’s my problem with this situation.
Everyone knows dieting is bad for you. It’s a temporary solution with long term repercussions. I had an eating disorder when I was younger, I can tell you first hand, cutting calories drastically and working out will make you become thin fast, but it will also make you gain all the weight back and then some. On top of that, it will contribute to other health issues. Yo-yo dieting is terrible for your heart health and not to mention, your self esteem. But that isn’t the only issue here. Every one of her fans were complimenting her on her new figure and how gorgeous she looked and how they needed to try this out immediately to shed weight. So.. you’re asking, who the hell cares what some other girl does. It’s none of your business so long as she feels good. Right? Well, maybe. But it kinda is my business. Being in the limelight automatically makes you a voice, a role model and passer of messages, etc. I’m sure you all know what I mean by this. In a society already inundated with messages of thin being the desirable achievement, having one more person sending out those kinds of messages kinda concern me. Kinda makes me cringe… kinda makes me think, oh crap, here we go again.
Here’s what they DON’T tell you. Here’s what many of my friends and family, and myself included, will tell you. When you’re obsessed with the size of your jeans and the number on your scale, then ultimately, it means that your exterior is your motivation on how you feel about yourself. It is the goal of your mission. It is the be all and end all. It’s the way you gauge your self worth and beauty. And THIS is the problem. If you equate shedding weight and being ideal sized to beauty, self worth and acceptance, then that’s a really big problem whether you admit it or not. You may try to deny it all you want, but it was the same for me. For my friends. For so many people I know. At my thinnest.. I had my parents telling me to eat because I was looking ill to them. But I didn’t feel thin. In fact, I felt so huge and fat back then. I’m much heavier now and I feel way more confident now and attractive than I did then. I look at those photos and think to myself, “holy crap.. was I ever thin? How did I think I was so fat???” And it has nothing to do with loving my “fat body” better than my thin body.. and EVERYTHING to do with loving ME. So, I’m going off topic again as I usually do. Back to our model. How does this affect me? Well, I enjoy seeing strong role models for young women out there. It makes me feel happy and relieved that we have various shapes and sizes with truly important and strong messages they send to our young impressionable ladies. Or men. Now someone drops weight, in a maybe not so conventional quick way, and it garners them so much attention and celebration. The same happened with Kelly Osbourne. Just to be clear, I am NOT hating or bashing weight loss. This isn’t a personal attack on her and her weight loss journey and achievements. What I am bashing is, the amount of celebration and positive reinforcement that weight loss receives! Even when I’ve done cleanses in the past and shed some weight, I was feeling fantastic on the inside. The weight loss wasn’t the reason for my cleanse but it seemed to be the ONLY part that got everyone’s attention and complimenting me. It made me kinda sad. Health and feelings were never ever important to anyone else. It was the weight loss.. the desire to be thin and want thin and look thin and ACHIEVE THIN that was the constant in everything.
The bottom line is that our society equates and celebrates THIN with beautiful and healthy. When thin definitely does not mean healthy and it should not be the standard of what beauty is. There are SO many initiatives done to change this idea but the truth is, it hasn’t changed one bit. In fact, I think it’s gotten worse.
It makes me sad when tons of my friends who are already so slim, think they’re too fat and are on diets and constantly trying to shed pounds and do not see themselves as attractive, beautiful and worthy women. For what? How do you not feel beautiful in your skin? Why are people so brainwashed to think they are not good enough or attractive or acceptable? What made them feel this way? So horrible and ugly? Well, this is what I have to say to that: YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH AND ATTRACTIVE AND WAY BEYOND ACCEPTABLE. But it is only up to you to believe that. And no amount of dieting or bikini ready bods are going to make you feel that way.. in fact, a lot of times, it kinda may make you feel worse and more self conscious.
So, what’s my purpose here? Well, I’m tired of this idea that fat is unhealthy. Fat is gross. Fat is ugly. Fat is unacceptable. Fat is not good enough. FAT SHAMING or ANY BODY SHAMING for that matter is seriously the gross thing here. Your health starts with your mental health and inner being You must first accept and love yourself and feel you are beautiful at whatever size you are! This isn’t about shaming thin girls and telling them to “go eat a burger” either. Some people are naturally thin too! And they’re just as beautiful and need to love themselves as well. This isn’t about one being better than the other. This isn’t about celebrating obesity and saying obese is gorgeous. But THIN DOES NOT EQUAL THE BEAUTY STANDARD AND NOR DOES IT EQUAL HEALTHY. This is a sick and twisted idea that needs to go away already. And everyone needs to start accepting themselves and loving themselves FIRST AND FOREMOST. 🙂
I’ll start with me. I took this picture of me this morning when I woke up.
This is my chunky self in all my glory. All sunburnt, in my pj’s, all my junk hanging out, with bed head and all other grand things. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of me. I wear a bathing suit in public and I don’t care if that sickens or offends you. I absolutely accept and love myself. I don’t think I’m “gross” or “unacceptable”. I think I’m lovely and attractive and fabulous. I’m healthy and I’m happy. I take steps to better myself constantly. I refuse to body shame myself because of someone else’s standard but most importantly, because of MY standard.
If you want to be fit and run and work out and be healthy and all these things then go for it. I am not, by any means, bashing that. Being fit and healthy is awesome. Your body works better, your insides run better, your mind runs better, etc. But if the reason for your works outs is because you don’t like your body, then I have news for you. You will never be good enough for you or love yourself or think you’re hot and attractive and sexy and acceptable. Accept who you are. Love who you are. All of you. 100%. Improve things you’re maybe not the happiest with. But NEVER EVER hate or despise yourself because of your belly, arms, thighs, butt, hips, jeans size, number on a scale, or chest size even. Do not equate any of that with beauty, acceptance, self worth, your value. PERIOD. LOVE YOURSELF NOW. LOVE YOURSELF ALL, COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY. And if you don’t.. START DOING IT NOW. Don’t wait for your weight to be right or perfect. Stop body shaming others. Stop body shaming yourself!! Start being happy what you’ve got and flaunt it and be proud of the perfection that is uniquely you!!! Replace negative back talk with positive affirmations. Be your biggest fan and give yourself compliments. Seriously.. it works. :))
So, now that I’m done ranting and raving… I seriously hope that I can start a better pattern of self acceptance and self love over here. Where body shaming and lowered self worth can hopefully be diminished, if not, completely eliminated. In a perfect world, right? 🙂 Baby steps..
Have an awesome day! :)))
Peace, love & light:
( “eff your beauty standards” is not mine and is taken from plus size model Tess Munster. Visit her page here: http://tessmunster.com/ )