I’m sure most of us have felt it, and a lot of us have probably participated in it in some way. I know I have when I was younger, not ‘fat shaming’, but ‘skinny shaming’. I have made statements about people being too thin and have told people they should eat more. I always knew fat shaming was horrible but hadn’t considered why smaller woman would ever feel self conscious or why men would. This was until I realized that I was part of the problem. I now feel bad thinking about the ignorant comments I made. I’ve had friends with eating disorders who have struggled greatly with body image issues. I have friends who are naturally skinny who want nothing more than to gain weight because they hate being so skinny. I have had coworkers at work bullied from customers calling them fat. Is the world not hard enough for us all without all the body bashing? Can people not think about how the words coming out of their mouth may effect someone for hours, days or even years?
Ive never been teeny tiny or huge. Even when I’m small I still have curves, however I have been body shamed. I’ve been called chubby and was made fun of when I was younger. I felt fat and ugly. I remember a comment about my belly jiggling when I ran which made me feel disgusted in myself, I was about 12. I have also been called too skinny, been asked if I am anorexic, and have been told I looked gross ‘since you lost weight’. I am currently around the size I was at my wedding.
This size for me represents health. Not because I am smaller, but because I ate healthier, drank less alcohol and exercised more! I am a month into being a vegan and have now lost more weight. I have never dieted in my life even when I was bigger. I love food, and love finding ways to make delicious and healthy meals. Being Vegetarian and Vegan is and always was a way of life for me, not a diet to lose weight. To be honest I have worried if I lost too much weight because of all of the comments I have had. Then I remember, I AM HEALTHY. I eat and I am active.
In moments where I should just be happy with myself because of the healthier choices I’ve made and the fact that I’ve finally become vegan, I am questioning myself, my appearance, my weight and finding myself wanting to gain weight. I have had lots of negative comments recently. I responded to one person who told me I was too skinny that they were too big. I got defensive and deflected my hurt feelings onto them. I wanted them to know how they made me feel. Almost immediately I felt terrible. How will bringing someone else down help? It won’t.
Body shaming is never ok, it doesn’t matter if your male or female, or if it’s fat shaming, or skinny shaming. I am so sick of it, but unfortunately we can’t change the things that other people do. The only thing we can do is change how the things people say effect us and how we react. Do we let their hurtful words define us or do we define ourselves?
I say we define me ourselves!
This is me!
I challenge you to define yourself! Use the hashtag so we can support each other on this journey of self love.
- Pick one of your favorite pictures of yourself, when your really feeling yourself (Selfie, yoga pic, holiday pic or whatever!)
- Pick 3-5 POSITIVE words to describe yourself
- Write them in the caption or on the photo
- Post the photo with #thisisme