A lady I know recently told me how she really wants to lose weight because she doesn’t want her child to grow up thinking that his mom is fat. It’s worth noting that she’s one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met and she barely has any weight to lose (by society’s standards anyway. If you ask me, her body is just fine the way it is). I’m also going to let you know that the small amount of weight she has gained was through breast feeding – so she literally has this body that she now loathes as a result of caring for her child. I totally understand why she feels the way she does, but it’s so wrong. Ladies, I haven’t even had children and I already know that one of the byproducts of producing a mini human being is that your body changes and it’s totally natural. Now you want to punish and hate yourself for it?
Society has somehow convinced us that being chubby or a couple of kilos overweight is a disease. I’m not an advocate of obesity because that causes real health issues, but we know that the size 6 model body is something that’s only attainable by a few, and even then that incredible metabolism and slenderness often doesn’t last much further than 30. So we body shame ourselves constantly because we don’t look like supermodels. We punish ourselves with those ghastly meal-replacement shakes and drive to the gym full of self-loathing at 4:30AM, all in an effort to attain a Victoria’s Secret figure.
Then we’ll go out on the weekends and have a good time and maybe eat some pizza, have some drinks and dessert. We’ll wake up on Monday morning and carry with us the shame of having enjoyed our food for the rest of the week, and discuss with our friends in mutual disgust for how much we ate and how badly we shouldn’t have done it.
Don’t get me wrong: exercise and eat healthily by all means! If you’re a gym bunny, please continue! And if you want to be a body builder or are happy with a fuller figure, good for you. But can we please stop shaming ourselves and being repulsed by our bodies. I’m so done with people, including myself, feeling unworthy because we don’t look like the Photoshopped models we see in magazines. We have these unattainable standards of beauty shoved in our faces all day and we simply can’t live up to them, so can we please find something more worthwhile to direct our efforts at? Can we please just realise, and widely accept, that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and there’s nothing wrong with that? Can we stop calling Size 10 ladies “plus size models”? Can we stop any kind of body labeling at all?
In the wise words of J.K. Rowling,
“Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than vindictive, jealous, shallow, vain, boring or cruel? Not to me.”
The size and shape of your body doesn’t define you. Your body should have no bearing on your ability to be a successful human being. Being fat or having a muffin top or a bit of cellulite does not make you a bad person, it does not make you incapable of contributing to society, and it damn well does not make you unworthy of happiness and self-love.