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Friday, 5 August 2016

There is no such thing as the 'perfect body'. Everyone will always have an opinion. People will always judge.

I'm forever fed up with hearing about body shaming. It's something we all go through, it's something we'll probably never get rid of. Humans judge, and we all do it (whether we mean to or not), but body shaming really winds me up. It serves no purpose, other than to bring someone else down because of the way they look, and it's absolute bullsh*t.

My experiences

When I was younger I held on to my puppy fat for quite a while, and people would 'joke' about how chubby I was. Then I grew up, lost the weight, and people would comment on how I was 'too skinny' and 'too bony'. I got older, and filled out slightly again, and would hear comments about how I'd 'put on a bit of weight' or had 'grown a bit of a belly'. Now I've reached a place where I'm happy with my body. I exercise regularly and eat healthier, and have lost some weight again. But it's not the weight loss which has made me feel happy with the way I am now, I look and feel fit and healthy. Some people may still want to make comments about the way I look, but I'm finally at a point in my life where I really don't care about someone else's opinion of me. Some people may think I need more weight on me, and that's fine. Others may think I need to lose more, and that's okay. Some may even think I'm becoming 'too muscular' or 'less feminine' and that's fine too. What isn't okay is someone I don't know being rude about the way I look or the way I dress. Have your opinions, but don't try to force me to change the way I look just because it doesn't conform to your ideas of 'beauty'.

There's no right or wrong way to look

A 'perfect body' doesn't exist. Magazines splash their front pages with pictures of skinny female models, or chiselled male bodies, and it's perfectly fine to look that way. If that's what you want then go for it, but please don't believe that you have to look that way. You don't. I know it's clichéd, but you really are beautiful the way you are. Some people may think skinny is beautiful, others prefer those with a bit more curve or a bit more muscle. But just because that's what someone prefers, it doesn't mean that's the 'right' way to look in order to be deemed beautiful. Some of us are born with a bit more curve than others, some of us are naturally skinnier than others. Every one of us is unique, and we need to embrace and celebrate the individual beauty we all have. 

Body shaming isn't just a female thing

We all hear about how women are pressured into looking a certain way from a young age, but what about the men in our lives? Body shaming can get to them too. Men are often taught that they need to be tall, rugged and muscular in order to be 'handsome'. Just as there are always pictures of skinny, curvaceous female models on the covers of magazines and advertising campaigns, there are pictures of tanned, Herculean male models in tight fitting underwear. Men get put down just as much as women now, being judged for how much of a belly they have, how tall or short they are, or what they're wearing. I read an article the other day about how cargo shorts make hot guys look ugly. Like, seriously? Men can't wear comfy shorts now? Guys get body shamed too, and we need to help them deal with it just as much as we're trying to help women.

Wear whatever the hell you want

A picture popped up on my phone the other day which said 'Just because it zips, it doesn't mean that it fits', and showed a close-up of a girl with large thighs wearing a pair of denim short-shorts. For a good few minutes I just stared at it in disbelief, I was so disgusted by it. If they didn't zip up then I'd probably have agreed that they didn't fit, and that she should probably throw them out and buy a bigger size. But they did zip up. Surely if you can do them up, they fit? If I can zip up my jeans then great, I'll be wearing them for the rest of the day. I was so annoyed by the picture, it was one of the things that inspired me to write this post. If you're wearing something tight (skinny jeans, short-shorts, leggings etc.) and someone tells you you're too big for it, smile and get on with your day. Seriously, don't let it bother you. If you're happy in what you're wearing, wear it. Wear it with pride. Don't let nasty comments get you down about the way you look. If it's hot. wear whatever makes you comfortable. Girls, wear that skirt with confidence! Guys, if you want to wear those cargo shorts, do it! It's your body, don't let anyone else tell you how to dress it. 

You'll never please everyone

Someone will always have an opinion about the way you look. Always. No matter how far you've come, no matter how happy you are with your body, someone else will always think you look wrong. Someone will always think you look better a certain way, someone will always think you need to change. But there are always those special few who think you're beautiful no matter what. Friends and family don't care about the way you look or the way you dress (okay, your parents might have had a problem with that outfit you wore during your rebellious teenage years...), and they will always be there to pick you up when you're feeling down. Just remember: the only person you need to please, is yourself.

I could go on writing about this for hours, and I wouldn't have been surprised if smoke started billowing from my keyboard...

I know it can be hard to ignore body shaming comments from others, but trust me when you do, it'll be worth it. You'll be so  much happier and a lot more confident.

You can't be perfect, but you can be you, and that's better than perfect.

"You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful."
- Amy Bloom
  1. Bae! This post is literally my inner feelings <3 Don't get me wrong being 'too' skinny or 'too' fat sometimes (a lot of stress on the word 'sometimes') may indicate you're not living healthily, but 90% of the time it's just how we naturally are. As long as the doctor is happy with your health and you feel physically fit, your size legit does not matter whatsoever :) Glad you wrote about slimmer, more muscular girls getting shamed too, and guys feeling the pressure - often only the 'fat shaming' is noticed.


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