Freedom From Body Shame Starts With You

I weigh 135 pounds give or take a few depending on the day. Like every other person on the face of the planet, I have body hang ups. You will never catch me dead in short shorts or a tube top. I personally think that my best feature is my eyes. When I get stressed out I start to lose large amounts of weight regardless of what I eat. This is incredibly personal information that is usually not plastered across the Internet, so why do I feel the need to share this with you? The answer is simple: I am about to try to convince you to own your body (in all its imperfect glory) as well, though you can do that in a more private way if you prefer. This whole train of thought really started when I read this article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-orazem/body-image-what-women-lose-in-the-fight-to-be-thin_b_2551124.html

In case you chose not to read the full article, Kate Orazem is a former anorexic/bulimic who is basically saying that the majority of women in America spend their whole lives fantasizing about being thinner. In a roundabout way, she says that a life centered around being thinner is empty and that we deserve better. I tend to agree with most of what she has to say. I have friends who have whole Pinterest boards devoted to “fitness” that are little more than fat-shaming boards. There are fortunes made on the latest fad diets that leave people physically and mentally worse off than if they had done nothing. I feel like Orazam was courageous in telling her story, but she offers very little concrete other than that.

Rather than talking about our weight obsession as if we are mostly powerless, why don’t we attempt to take action? There are many people who would read this and think, “she’s skinny, what could she possibly know about it?” And these people are part of the problem. I have spent most of my life fielding comments like, “you’re so skinny, you make me sick,” and somehow there is nothing wrong with that…though if I ever presumed to say something so rude as, “you are so fat, you make me sick” I would probably be stoned. The point is that mean girls are mean girls regardless of size.

Society expects people to look a certain way, and not even supermodels live up to these impossibly high standards without photoshop. Why do we as a country spend so much time and money trying to look like someone else? I am not advocating being unhealthy on either extreme of the spectrum, but I think it is about time that we stop weight-shaming ourselves and others. When are we going to stop projecting our insecurities and prejudices on other people?

Body love is an important part of our journey as humans that we as a culture seem to be missing out on. I challenge every one of you (men and women) to start changing your inner-dialogue. When negative thoughts creep in, acknowledge them for the useless abuse that they are and try to replace them with constructive thoughts. I know it’s not an easy task, but it is an important one. Only by changing ourselves mentally can we ever undergo true transformation as people, and as a nation.

image

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Freedom From Body Shame Starts With You

      • [Cannot find the comment box for this, so I am commenting via “reply.]

        Meg: I am so glad you posted this. It shows how our society, sadly, view bodily features. Women’s bodies also change dramatically through the years — yes, we all know when that is.

        I recently had a more than stressful situation and I gave myself permission to eat fried foods — as in, fried chicken, onion rings and some other fried stuff — food that is not in my daily menu. They tasted really good and, for some reason, it also felt good. )

        Thanks for reiterating the jewel of inner disposition.

    • Thanks! By the way, I made sure to make this about more than just women because of your comment about how men are overlooked. Feminism has it’s place, but men deal with much of the same crap women do. We are all human, after all.

  1. I wrote about this a week or so ago. I’ve been fat and skinny. Body shaming happens for all body types. I was amazed to get my first negative comments about how gross women look with muscles. It really does start with us standing up and saying we have a right to look how we are. We also need to make those around us aware of shaming. There is nothing wrong with encouraging healthy habits or lifestyles, but negativity isn’t necessary. I’ve been guilty of it and it is time to change that.

    • Thank you for the validation, Danielle. I guess my main point is really that we should be comfortable enough with ourselves that we can see others objectively. Size and muscle mass (or lack thereof) should not change how we treat other people. By the way, I am hugely impressed with your weight training.

  2. Wonderful Post Megan and beautifully written. I too, often wonder what prompted us to inwardly believe we are all so ugly that we must seek to bring beauty to us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Freedom From Body Shame Starts With You

I weigh 135 pounds give or take a few depending on the day. Like every other person on the face of the planet, I have body hang ups. You will never catch me dead in short shorts or a tube top. I personally think that my best feature is my eyes. When I get stressed out I start to lose large amounts of weight regardless of what I eat. This is incredibly personal information that is usually not plastered across the Internet, so why do I feel the need to share this with you? The answer is simple: I am about to try to convince you to own your body (in all its imperfect glory) as well, though you can do that in a more private way if you prefer. This whole train of thought really started when I read this article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-orazem/body-image-what-women-lose-in-the-fight-to-be-thin_b_2551124.html

In case you chose not to read the full article, Kate Orazem is a former anorexic/bulimic who is basically saying that the majority of women in America spend their whole lives fantasizing about being thinner. In a roundabout way, she says that a life centered around being thinner is empty and that we deserve better. I tend to agree with most of what she has to say. I have friends who have whole Pinterest boards devoted to “fitness” that are little more than fat-shaming boards. There are fortunes made on the latest fad diets that leave people physically and mentally worse off than if they had done nothing. I feel like Orazam was courageous in telling her story, but she offers very little concrete other than that.

Rather than talking about our weight obsession as if we are mostly powerless, why don’t we attempt to take action? There are many people who would read this and think, “she’s skinny, what could she possibly know about it?” And these people are part of the problem. I have spent most of my life fielding comments like, “you’re so skinny, you make me sick,” and somehow there is nothing wrong with that…though if I ever presumed to say something so rude as, “you are so fat, you make me sick” I would probably be stoned. The point is that mean girls are mean girls regardless of size.

Society expects people to look a certain way, and not even supermodels live up to these impossibly high standards without photoshop. Why do we as a country spend so much time and money trying to look like someone else? I am not advocating being unhealthy on either extreme of the spectrum, but I think it is about time that we stop weight-shaming ourselves and others. When are we going to stop projecting our insecurities and prejudices on other people?

Body love is an important part of our journey as humans that we as a culture seem to be missing out on. I challenge every one of you (men and women) to start changing your inner-dialogue. When negative thoughts creep in, acknowledge them for the useless abuse that they are and try to replace them with constructive thoughts. I know it’s not an easy task, but it is an important one. Only by changing ourselves mentally can we ever undergo true transformation as people, and as a nation.

image

8 thoughts on “Freedom From Body Shame Starts With You

      • [Cannot find the comment box for this, so I am commenting via “reply.]

        Meg: I am so glad you posted this. It shows how our society, sadly, view bodily features. Women’s bodies also change dramatically through the years — yes, we all know when that is.

        I recently had a more than stressful situation and I gave myself permission to eat fried foods — as in, fried chicken, onion rings and some other fried stuff — food that is not in my daily menu. They tasted really good and, for some reason, it also felt good. )

        Thanks for reiterating the jewel of inner disposition.

    • Thanks! By the way, I made sure to make this about more than just women because of your comment about how men are overlooked. Feminism has it’s place, but men deal with much of the same crap women do. We are all human, after all.

  1. I wrote about this a week or so ago. I’ve been fat and skinny. Body shaming happens for all body types. I was amazed to get my first negative comments about how gross women look with muscles. It really does start with us standing up and saying we have a right to look how we are. We also need to make those around us aware of shaming. There is nothing wrong with encouraging healthy habits or lifestyles, but negativity isn’t necessary. I’ve been guilty of it and it is time to change that.

    • Thank you for the validation, Danielle. I guess my main point is really that we should be comfortable enough with ourselves that we can see others objectively. Size and muscle mass (or lack thereof) should not change how we treat other people. By the way, I am hugely impressed with your weight training.

  2. Wonderful Post Megan and beautifully written. I too, often wonder what prompted us to inwardly believe we are all so ugly that we must seek to bring beauty to us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s