Body Shaming and Acceptance

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

**This post deals with body issues and in no way is designed to upset anyone. It is rather just to share my views on the whole body shaming movement.

It seems as if the news and social media is constantly discussing bodies, and specifically women’s bodies. I’ve read the articles, listened to the arguments, and yet I find myself with a completely outside and separate view.

The most significant campaign I’ve noticed lately is the #Imnoangel campaign by Lane Bryant. Right after that campaign came out social media was all about how good the campaign is and how Victoria’s Secret is evil. I read the comments posted on social media and kept my own thoughts to myself.

The problem as I see it with campaigns designed to engender body acceptance is that immediately both sides of the coin jump on the bandwagon. The way I see it the campaigns aren’t necessarily as black and white as that. Being a woman who has and still does struggle with her weight, most people would assume that I would be all about backing Lane Bryant and be against the fitness side of the coin. After all I have been and still consider myself to be fat. See the thing is to me it isn’t about fat or skinny. It’s about finding the way to create the best body I can.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve read about how all these fat shamers are horrible and don’t understand how it is to be fat and how people don’t have control over their weight. Every time I read a comment like this I have to bite my tongue and keep myself from pointing out that the majority of us can do something about our weight. Is it tough, hell yes, but it isn’t impossible. Yes, I understand the argument that people have health problems, etc. However, I myself suffer from PCOS. This makes it more difficult to lose weight but I’ve learned that I can’t let that keep me from trying. Sure I could have sat back and never started the journey, but I wasn’t happy.

I know that there are some people who are happy with their weight, no matter what it is. That is great for them. However, just because some people are happy and therefore don’t want to make the change to lose weight and possibly become better and happier, that doesn’t mean that everyone has to understand and agree with that choice. Just as I don’t think that overweight people have to accept body builders or agree with their choice to live their lives the way they do.

On the opposite side of the coin there is the “No Excuses Mom” movement that hit the social media networks last summer. I heard so much about how this was just fat shaming in disguise. Can I say that I agreed with everything that was said when that came out, no. There was an overly simplistic view of the health issue, insinuating that everyone can have the body of a fitness model. Again, that is not the truth.

The problem with all of these campaigns and movements is that people focus on the extremes. We post pictures that on neither side adequately represent the majority of the people. We then use these photos to discuss the extremes on both sides. This is where a great deal of the controversy takes hold.

Honestly, I can see both sides of the argument. I think that the body acceptance movement needs to be altered. It’s not about having the perfect body. It’s about creating the best body we can. I have days where I hate my body and I have days where I love how far I have come. However, I strive every day to create the best body and me overall that I can. More people need to work on themselves rather than to get so upset over what the social media is posting or saying. So what if someone says that fat people are lazy. The honest truth is that yes there are some fat people who are lazy, but we need to concern ourselves with us and not what other people say. There are people who will make every excuse in the book when it comes to their weight, but that is on them. We can’t make everything about these extremes.

Body acceptance needs to be about loving the bodies we are in, but striving to make them better. Life itself is about striving to make the most out of our time here, be it by increasing our education, or bettering our bodies. The shaming on both sides needs to be stopped. No two bodies are the same and that in itself is what makes life so beautiful. I will continue to strive to make my body better. I know I will never have a supermodel body, but I will not give up until I am happy with my progress and even then I will continue to strive to make myself better.
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  • no profile photo CD15145828

    I couldn't agree with you more. In a perfect world all women would be happy with their bodies. I think that you can feel comfortable in your own skin while also realizing that you need to lose weight for the sake of your health. I think that too many women decide to be happy just as they are, because it's just plain easier than trying to lose weight.
    2203 days ago
    Well said.
    I think role models are important. I personally love Adriana Lima (one of the VS models) because she gives me something to aspire to. Now, I'm short and pasty white & will never look like her. But I like to think I can be strong like her (she is a kick boxer - my favourite way to work out) and work hard to have a healthy, happy body.

    But I wish that the media would stop making it about skinny vs. fat. That's not it at all! No one group should be looking down on the other, we should all be sharing our love of our favourite workouts, interesting new recipes, and cheering each other on for a better choice or one more rep. Anyway...I'm going to get all ranty here. You said it so nicely and I'm going off the page!
    2238 days ago
    If Social Media could not create any controversy, what on earth would they talk about - emoticon

    I kind of liked the #Imnoangel campaign; only because I felt it gave the "other half" a fair shot on the media front in a positive instead of a negative view.

    With that said, I'm with you. Some days I absolutely hate my body and some days I think I look OK . All I have the power to do is to keep working on being a better me.

    2240 days ago
    Thought provoking. Thank you.
    2241 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2241 days ago
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