People will find fault no matter what body type you have. We will talk ourselves down and find problem areas no matter what our bodies look like.
Right now, I’m talking myself down, I’m beating myself up. A few weeks ago I wrote a post on ‘beach body readiness’ and at that time I was confident in my appearance, I was prepared to overcome all those years of self hate and embrace my body fully. So what happened between then and now to make me feel unworthy? To make me think that, once again my body isn’t ‘right?’ Is it because it’s the run up to my holiday and I haven’t been going to the gym excessively? Is it because the food I’ve been eating recently is based on what I’m craving and what I like rather than the healthiest options? Is it because everything I’m doing right now is deemed wrong by society in the run up to summer? Most definitely.
Diet talk is unavoidable, weight loss tips are are never ending. It’s getting to the point where I feel that diet culture is going to win and we will always be told that we are worthless unless we fit into this perfect box. It’s becoming increasingly harder to tune out the mindless chatter that’s constantly telling us what to do with our bodies.
Let’s rewind a little bit, back to the renaissance period, where larger female bodies were the desired build. The women that we would now consider to be ‘obese’ were sexy and feminine during this time, a sign of health and wealth.
Then bring your timeline forward, the 1800s where big butts and tiny waist were the number one trend. Women went through huge pain and discomfort, pulling themselves into corsets for smaller waists, wearing bustle dresses to make their behinds appear bigger, just to be accepted.
Now look at the 90s, not too far behind where we are now. The way to win was thin, woman craved to be as skinny and as delicate as the super models they saw on the runway. Don’t forget Kate Moss’ famous quote:
‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’
I mean, helloooo, have we even tried pizza and cake to know how wrong that is?
Lastly, lets fast forward to the present day. The desired body for women is toned, slim, flat tummies, big butts and thigh gaps. Fat is shamed and thinness is worshipped, thinspos and fitspos are everywhere you look and the pressure we face is overwhelming. But from looking back on this extremely brief history of the female body, we can see that for centuries women’s bodies have been objects. Grown and shrunk, twisted and turned to fit the newest mould.
We will never have the right body, because as soon as you think you’ve cracked it, there will be another impossible standard to live up to. If we keep trying to match the body that is most sought after by society then we will never, ever find happiness. We will constantly feel inadequate and will always have an unhealthy relationship with our appearances.
We can’t switch off the media, we can’t stop people’s comments or their views and we can’t magically change our society’s beauty standards. So what can we do? What can we do to love ourselves when the world is telling us to do the opposite?
We can reclaim our bodies, we can ignore the comments and side ways glances (as hard as that is), we can educate those who shame and judge and we can educate ourselves on diet culture and how harmful it is. We can show our bodies love and admiration instead of hate and disgust.
It will take time and a lot of that time will feel like a never ending battle. But it’s on those days, the days you feel unworthy and brimming with self hate, those are the times when you have to work a little bit harder, push a little bit more and by doing that, you are moving that little bit closer to self love and acceptance and in turn, happiness.