Body Image

I have to admit “Body Image” is a subject that I’ve struggled with for years. I’ve addressed it in my fictional characters but never directly because it was tough
However, in the past few weeks, I’ve been getting these little reminders about body shaming. I’ve heard a few stories that have happened to the people around me. It makes my heart sink that people think the comments they say to someone else are completely okay and normal.

When I was 14, I had been sick for days then a relative complimented me on my weight loss and said that I looked better without the extra weight. I wasn’t even overweight, but hearing these comments over the years made me uncomfortable in my own skin.

When you’re growing up such words affect the way we walk, the way we talk, and the way we see ourselves. Some people may start to avoid social gatherings or avoid going to the beach. Sometimes it’s hard to brush these comments off because it begins at such a young age and it often comes from people we look up to. It’s damaging that we grow up in an environment where we’re often being compared to our peers. Or to every supermodel in fashion magazines.

What about the things that really matter? Like our thoughts, our morals, and our actions. Why aren’t these being discussed and praised? Instead of the size of the clothing we wear.

Over the years, I’ve heard every weight loss advice you could ever find. “Drink apple cider vinegar or this brand of tea and the weight will come right off.”
“Oh these shorts don’t suit you…Why don’t you wear something baggy?”  

This puts so much pressure on a person that we begin to link the way we look to better opportunities and a better life.

Sadly, this starts at a very young age. I’ve been around mothers who brag about their teens and even pre-teens taking care of their bodies by not eating until they’re about to faint. I’ve witnessed parents shaming their kids in family gatherings because they wanted fries.

What kind of information is this registering in young minds?

When are we going to teach the younger generation these facts:
-We’re all born with different bodies that we should appreciate and cherish.
-You’re more than a body shape or even the way you look.
-Your self-worth shouldn’t be measured based on your body shape or size.
-You may not have the perfect body because there isn’t a perfect body.

Personally, I still struggle with my body image. However, I’ve discovered that movement helps. When you know the things your body can do through movement, you begin to appreciate it even more. There’s always a beautiful connection through yoga or dancing.

In a world where everyone is often scrutinized for the way they look, we tend to forget that body and mind connection is the most sacred thing we’ll ever experience. It will boost your confidence and teach you that how you feel about yourself is what comes first. So I urge you to turn some music on, dance, and shake off all the body image negativity you’ve heard. You’re worth more than all the labels. It will feel great I promise!

Have you ever been shamed? And what’s the most annoying thing you’ve heard so far regarding this subject?

©ZeinaA.G

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