Love Every Body

Body image. Positive, negative, insecure, confident.

It’s easy to be hurt by what others say about your particular shape and size, and decide to bash on the complete opposite of it.

“Well, at least I’m not gross and fat. I’m skinny and I like it!”

“At least you can’t see my bones through my skin. I’m curvy and beautiful!”

Let’s rewind, people.

Who ever said that anyone’s shape, size, build, or status of being “fat” or “skinny” was anyone’s business but their own?

All of my life, I’ve been considered “skinny”, always called pet names that referred to this state. My mother has always told me I have the “perfect body” (that could spark a whole other conversation about what the definition of that is). I’ve also been this way naturally: I am in no way physically fit, the only time I feel I ever have been is when I was in college and climbing hills/walking everywhere I went. I also went through a period of time of being marginally depressed where my weight dropped from its normal 140ish range to around 120, and many people noticed a difference. Receiving comments that I was “too skinny” is not something you want to hear, even though in our society that could be perceived as a positive statement. Recently, I’ve been gaining my weight back and more. I stepped on the scale at a friend’s house for the first time in a long time, and had a split second thought of horror at seeing “150”. And that really should not matter, not even a bit. I should eat healthier, and exercise more, but my weight really shouldn’t drive that motivation. It was the first time I’ve ever had that sudden burst of motivation and I don’t like it. What’s wrong with gaining a few pounds?

I have a friend that I spent a lot of time with in college. She is about the same height as me, but has a totally different body shape. She has the curves and big hourglass shape, the baby doll face with bright blue eyes, the definition of a buxom blonde. The problem was the verbal self-esteem destroyers that she got when she was young. She constantly tried to eat better or exercise more to combat the weight and build she’s born with. In turn, she’d also criticize or use sarcasm to break down my esteem about my body, just because I happen to be thinner than she is. “Well of COURSE that looks great on you!” It would make me less willing to go shopping with her or spend time with her, because it was constant negativity about herself and then sometimes putting that same negativity on me because she is hurt by what others have said to her.

Why should any of this happen? Why should any of us try to make ourselves feel better by tearing down other people, no matter what shape or size they are? How can you see through someone who looks bigger than you and tell if they are healthy or not?

It’s 2013. We need to stop bashing each other. Stop generalizing based on looks. Are we really still doing this?

Tell people what you appreciate about them. It’s nice to compliment them on their beauty or looks, but look deeper and compliment them on their talent for singing, or how kind they are to others, or how good they are with animals. Stop assuming someone is “anorexic” or “eats too much and never exercises” because you never know what that person is going through and how they are (or are not) dealing with it. We come in all shapes and sizes, and we all deserve respect and for people to mind their own business about what we look like.

I’m starting with me, because I have certainly been guilty of this in the past. I’m trying not to generalize people or assume that they have problems or don’t have problems. We all do. We all could probably be a little healthier, no matter what we look like.

What do you think about this issue? What suggestions do you have for how we can be kinder to each other about this, among other things? Have any stories to share?

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11 thoughts on “Love Every Body

  1. lucysfootball says:

    Yes yes yes. It’s no one’s business what weight we are, what we look like, what size we are, whether or not we’re curvy or flat or WHATEVER we are. It’s so easy to self-hate, and it’s so easy to say things casually in conversation that are hurtful, even if you don’t mean them that way. I hate to hear my friends (who are gorgeous, no matter WHAT size) bash on themselves. And there’s only so many times I can tell them how amazing they are. Problem is – they don’t WANT to be amazing. They want to be beautiful. And they think beautiful = thin. So what can we do about that, I wonder? It’s heartbreaking.

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    • Samantha says:

      That is really sad to see. It’s sad too, because there’s not really much you can do but hope that one day they can see it for themselves. I truly believe beauty comes from within, and when someone is radiant, and confident, and loves what they have, they are going to shine even more.

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      • lucysfootball says:

        Absolutely agreed. Some of the most beautiful people I know are beautiful not only because of the outside, but because of the inside – their attitude, their confidence, their self-worth, their love for life.

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  2. Katie says:

    I couldn’t agree with this more–no one but you should have anything to say about your size, and the number on the scale is arbitrary.

    I spent most of my life overweight, and more than I didn’t like the way I looked, I didn’t like how I felt, and I think that’s what matters. You need to feel at home in your own skin, and whether that’s 120lbs. for some people or 150lbs. for others, your own happiness is how you should determine if you make a change or not. The comments of others are immaterial.

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    • Samantha says:

      I completely agree. I’d been taking issue with people who were complaining about people skinny-bashing them but then turning around and saying, “oh well at least I’m not fat and unhealthy”. It’s so true, as long as we are healthy and feel good in our own skin, it doesn’t matter what the number on the scale is, or the size, because everyone is built differently.

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  3. Heather says:

    You get a standing ovation. It took me a long time (and a lot of reassurance from my mom) before I became comfortable in my “too skinny, small-breasted” body. I think it’s…interesting…that our society holds thinness as the beauty standard, but I’ve been made fun of or put down or accused of having eating disorders just about my whole entire life. I don’t know why anyone else’s body type is important to other people, but that needs to stop.

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    • Samantha says:

      It really does need to stop. It’s sad that any of us should feel terrible about how we look. Feeling healthy and comfortable and owning your body is so much better, no matter what size.

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  4. breezyk says:

    I saw something in the states called Operation Beautiful where girls leave notes for each other on mirrors in public places saying things like “You are Beautiful” – I thought that was a great initiative!

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    • Samantha says:

      When I was still contract teaching, I found a few of those in the bathroom at the college! I thought it was the coolest thing! There was one that said “Lookin Good Today’ and ‘Hey Beautiful!” I agree, it is a great initiative.

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