So my most recent post seemed to resonate with several of my people, particularly fellow blogger people who understand the FOMO, the ridiculousness, and sometimes the (oft self-imposed) pressure to post/buy/perform/act happy/otherwise be a successful-seeming human while sometimes feel like you’re dying on the inside.
With that in mind, I’ve been thinking a lot about expectations, body image and how we discuss these topics as modern, evolved, go-get-’em-and-give-’em-hell-while-you’re-at-it women. Too many ladies in my life, myself included, I’ve heard spew something negative about bodies: their own body, others’ bodies, my body; something negative about someone’s personal style, someone’s body shape or just general comments about weight, and it all just makes me sad. We’re always so good at telling each other how gorgeous and brilliant and bulletproof we think our friends are, so why is it so damn hard to say (and legitimately believe!) these same things about ourselves?
It takes just as much effort to process and verbalize positive thoughts versus negative ones, and the outcome for all is
usually always better, yet going to the negative is reflexive for lots of us. It’s easy to find the flaw, to focus on what’s not perfect rather than celebrating something for what it is. Why is that?
I’ve shared before about my experience growing up a big kid and the heartache and pains that came along with that. Paradoxically my issues with depression and anxiety didn’t start to crop up until after I’d lost quite a bit of weight; a cruel irony that certainly isn’t lost on me. The health issues I’ve been experiencing lately have all come about when I’ve been at my thinnest, when everybody seems to want to tell you that you “look great!” when, again, I feel like death personified.
But here’s the thing: having been on the receiving end of both fat prejudice and thin privilege in my life, I can say with confidence that both exist, and both are absolute garbage. When I weighed nearly 250 pounds, I was the same person, with the same thoughts and feelings and intrinsic human value that I have now. It’s some real bullshit when people are treated any better or worse because of what their body looks like, and I honestly don’t know why we’re not talking about this more. Body shaming is real and it hurts and it needs to be something we can get comfortable discussing because it’s the only way things will get better.
So please, don’t praise me for being thin. Thinness is not a moral imperative, nor is it an indicator of overall health. Body type is not an achievement, nor is it grounds for anything less than 100% respectful treatment from anyone, ever.
I want us all to speak more openly about this. I’m holding myself accountable for these automatic negative body thoughts and am committing to only speaking positively about bodies in the company of others, and this includes my own body. Help me hold myself to this. If you’re my friend IRL, only positive body talk is allowed. Let’s change our own mindsets by changing the discourse. Can I count on you to join me?