“You’ve always had a pretty face.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that phrase after losing some weight. “You always did have a nice face but you look great now!”
Why do people think that’s an acceptable thing to say? And for that matter what does that even mean? Even though I have always had a pretty face does that mean I wasn’t always pretty?
The way our society defines beauty doesn’t leave much to be desired. If a girl is thin we accuse her of having an eating disorder. If she is curvy we tell her that she needs to get into the gym as soon as possible. And god forbid if she is obese we feign concern about her health. Then when a woman has a body that society has deemed to be acceptable, something else about her appearance gets ripped apart. If only she would do something about that nose, then she would be beautiful.
I don’t know when or how it happened but the beauty standards that have been imposed on women are completely repugnant. Why, oh why do we tear each other down? Finding self-acceptance is hard enough without the hate and judgement of others. I am my own worse critic, I don’t need an outside audience to also tear me down.
I’ve never been too interested in celebrity gossip. I find those shows on E! to be a little bit harsh and hateful. I don’t really care who is dating who, who is getting a DUI, or who is having a breakdown. I am in utter shock every single day at how our society feels it is okay to impose our views and opinions onto others. Celebrities chose to have a career where they are in the public eye, yeah, yeah, I know. But do we really need to be so effing harsh? Good god, I just don’t understand what is happening to our society. Hateful, anonymous commenting has gotten out of control.
Where does all this hate come from? I can only assume people’s own insecurities, but really that’s only a guess. I just don’t get why tearing down other people helps to accomplish anything. However, I can rant all day long about this, but I’ve totally been guilty. Not of anonymous commenting, or even viciously attacking someone’s appearance. I am guilty of comparing myself to others. When I was really big I would look at girls who were bigger and think “well at least I would never let it get that bad.” One of the worst things we can do in our society is compare ourselves to others. Whether it’s comparing bodies, or beauty, or accomplishments. We need to stop.
My biggest goal in life is to find self-acceptance. I have worked so hard at the gym. I have restricted foods. I have tried every supplement known to aid in weight loss. So for right now I think I need to find self-acceptance with the way I look. This is no easy task. Especially with the views of outsiders always in my ear.
I was recently talking to someone about finding self acceptance. I had explained that I work really hard every single day, but that my weight is just not budging. I relayed that I am tired of being defined by the scale, and I just needed to accept myself for where I am currently at. Be proud of how far I have come, and how hard I work. The response I got from this person made me feel so hopeless. They said “so it sounds like you’re just kind of giving up. Maybe you just haven’t worked hard enough. Have you tried running? Or boxing?”
I had to bite my tongue so hard that I think I could taste blood. But then again I don’t know why I was surprised. This person probably didn’t think twice about the comment. Maybe it wasn’t even meant to be malicious, or over imposing. But I went home feeling defeated, and distressed. Was I giving up? Have I given it my all? Maybe I should try running again. Maybe I should restrict my calories even more. Then I was struck with complete anger, because yet again I let an outside source guide my thinking, and actions.
I know my body, my efforts, and my limits better than anyone else. I work hard, and most days I am proud of myself. I need that pride to extend into every other part of my life. It’s up to me, and me alone to find the self-acceptance that I need to live a balanced life. I need to stop listening to others. Listening to the media, to society, even to my own friends and family.
I was recently talking to a holistic health expert. And she explained the negative effects that stress can have on our bodies, health, and weight. She said what I was doing to myself was crazy. The way I was obsessing about being fat was probably half my problem. Her advice was to find myself. To let go of my daily stress regarding body image. That I needed to find what makes me happy in life. What makes me feel grounded. I went through a period of high stress last year, and I have a feeling my body hasn’t fully recovered.
My point with all of this is that we need to stop fat shaming. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others. And stop being so critical of one another. We just need to stop. Everyone is living their own lives in a manner that they want.
All any of us should want in life is happiness. To go to bed feeling proud. And to wake up ready to make the next day even better than the last. I believe treating myself and others with kindness and compassion is the start to finding acceptance.
So for right now I am going to focus on eating foods that nourish my body, foods that keep me healthy, and happy. I am going to be active in a way that I enjoy. Lifting weights, swimming, riding bike, whatever grabs my fancy each day. And I am going to work at making myself proud each and everyday!