Body acceptance is extremely hard. One doesn’t just wake up one day and decide that today is the day one will feel positive about their body and accept it for what it is. It is a journey, probably a never ending journey.
For me, one of the hardest things to get over is that feeling that people are passing judgement on my appearance because I am not, and never will be, representative of what is perceived in the media to be a ‘normal’ or ‘healthy’ portrayal of a woman. You don’t see women like me in magazines or on billboards!
We live in this horrible judgemental society. I wouldn’t dream of telling people what to think. What I will say and have no problem in saying is this; we, as a collective, need to stop judging.
Who are we to judge?
What gives us the right to look at somebody and decide that they are unhealthy?
Their height? I think not.
Hair colour? Really?
Perhaps their shoe size? No, don’t think so!
Waist size?? Ah, now we’re getting there but let me tell you…no, a person’s waist size does not give anyone the right to look and judge whether a person is healthy. It does not give us the right to look and judge whether a person is happy. It does not give us the right to look and judge full stop!
It is so tiresome to see people being judged because of how they look. It is hard to watch men and women punish themselves trying to conform to a certain ‘ideal’. It is tragic to see food being associated with guilt instead of pleasure.
The example being set for our young people scares me. Instead of being encouraged to embrace themselves they are comparing themselves to photoshopped images with unrealistic standards.They are subjected to tv shows in which impressionable people sit and watch men and women be berated like naughty children if they ‘only’ lose 1/2 a lb, lambasted in their underwear on national television for ‘failing to meet a target’ It is wrong.
We need to stop equating how a person looks with their health and their worth. We need to start thinking of health as a whole, taking into consideration mental health. We do not know what people are going through. We need to stop, think, keep our opinions to ourselves and move on!
Don’t be the person who copies and pastes a Facebook status regarding invisible illness or mental health who then walks into a coffee shop to smirk at the lady with the cream cake. Be a better person than that. Have a cuppa with that lady, ask her how her day is, look past the cream cake for goodness sake.
Society is frustrating. I’m sure you can tell by my writing of this piece that I am frustrated. I am trying so hard to be accepting, not of you or the person next to you or the person you saw on the bus this morning, but of me.
I am in no way promoting an unhealthy lifestyle, I am all for people choosing to better themselves if it is their choice and they are doing it for themselves. I am in my way, doing my little bit, to help me and anybody else who is struggling with body image, to feel positive about themselves.