I was walking outside today, working my ass off, trying to sweat out some negativity, when I remembered that one of my friends recently told me that it was about time for me to “write a new damn blog post already.”
I was just about to hit the 3km mark when Anaconda by Nicki Minaj came on my so accurately titled “workout” playlist. Now don’t get me wrong. I love this damn song. It’s hilarious. It’s catchy. When I am pissed off, it’s a great distraction for me. I am guilty of blasting it in my car like an idiot. But then I started to listen to the lyrics. “Fuck you if you skinny” is repeated a few times in the song, and it got me thinking about body image again. Another catchy song that is also on my playlist, All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor, also has similar sentiments that have become all too mainstream: real women have curves. Literally, “fuck you if you are skinny.” Skinny shaming is just as bad as fat shaming people. I was trippin’ on some dumb shit. I was going to write about body image. Again.
If you don’t know me, you probably don’t know what I look like (unless you are a crazy glasseyeproject stalker which I don’t think I have so I’m going to assume you don’t). I am not skinny. I love food.
I’ve often said that I could live off of Doritos for the rest of my life and be completely happy. But that is not how life works. Doritos would not be adequate sustenance.
Last September, I started a weight loss journey that I am still on today. To date, I have lost almost 50 pounds and 20 inches all around, and am happier than ever to have achieved that through hard work, staying focused, and being determined. But here’s the thing: I did it for me. I didn’t do it because I felt like I had to for someone else, or for society. I did it because I wanted to be able to go hiking and not be out of breath, I wanted to do it because I felt ashamed that I couldn’t walk up a few flights of stairs without being winded. And what’s worse, whenever I said that I was in fact, fat, be it to friends or strangers, I was always told that I wasn’t. But I was. And I still am! And that’s okay! Why? Because I am happy!
When I was growing up, I often got picked on for my size. I was always taller and bigger than my other classmates. To the point that even when I stopped being bullied, I was easily offended by the most asinine things.
It took me almost twenty five years to become comfortable in my own body. I have not yet reached my goal, but I feel comfortable. Why? Because I simply stopped caring about what other people thought about my appearance, or what Western society deemed beautiful. Because at the end of the day, you shouldn’t be doing anything for anyone else. You should be doing it for you.
As long as you are
healthy happy. Because although health is something that is extremely important, even in our society, being “healthy” has suddenly become synonymous with a certain body image. I’ve seen it time and again all over the internet, someone undergoes a weight loss transformation and they are told they are not healthy yet because they don’t fit into some sort of pre agreed upon category of what healthy actually looks like.
Healthy does not fit into a category, big or small. So don’t start shaming someone for not fitting into the rigid “health” category that has suddenly sprung up. Because you are probably not a doctor, and shouldn’t be going around giving health advice to strangers on the internet or in real life. So fuck off. If you do that. Yeah. Stop it. Live your own damn life and stop trying to push your values on other people. What other people do with their bodies literally does not affect you at all. Unless you run the tests, you can’t really tell by looking at someone if they are healthy or not, except in extreme cases.
Stop popularising body shaming. Through song, poster, whatever, I see it everywhere. It’s bullshit. Stop it. “Real women have curves.” Stop. “You should be healthy (as long as it fits into my rigid idea of what healthy looks like)” cut it out. Just be happy with who you are and what you are doing in your life and stop worrying about what other people are doing. And stop trying to push your ideas of what beauty are on other people. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so unless you pull my eyes out and stick yours in, we probably don’t have the same idea of what constitutes beauty.
If we could all just go ahead and stop shaming people for their bodies, and worse, popularising it and making it mainstream, that would be great.