Perfectly Imperfect: All of our bodies are human

It’s 2017.  The Women’s March along with other events and movements are taking place to empower females.  Life should be great! What else could you ask for now that the discussion is being brought to the forefront, right?  However, it pains me and confuses me all at the same time that people STILL feel the need to criticize women (and men as well) for their physical appearance.  Lady Gaga at the Superbowl and Miss Canada, Siera Bearchell, at the Miss Universe pageant are just the first two names that pop into my head from recent incidences, but this is happening to women everywhere, all the time.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!  It is troubling for me to come to terms with this because we are not only criticizing those who may be viewed in society as “overweight”, we are criticizing “healthy” bodies and shaming them for being human!  Lady Gaga had some skin folding over…take a look down at your stomach right now as you sit and read this.  Tell me your skin isn’t folding over slightly.  SO IS MINE! When we move, our bodies move too and creases and folds happen.  

I have never personally been shamed directly through comments regarding my appearance but I know how it feels to be put down by others.  I have always struggled with this.  I have been told constantly to not worry about what others think or say but that is not always easy to accomplish.  It never feels good – regardless of how confident we feel about ourselves – to hear others talking negatively.  If you are deemed fat you are criticized; if you are too thin, the same thing! How about muscular? Or pale? Or maybe you seem happy and successful and people decide to hate on you and make it their mission to bring you down?  What I have realized is that we cannot win.  We can be doing all the right things, feel the best about ourselves, be happy, healthy, and successful and someone will still find something wrong.  The key is remembering that your opinion about yourself is the ONLY one that matters.  Outside opinions are irrelevant. There are so many ways to represent the female body, what it looks like, and what it may stand for to you. Let your body be your representation of you and do not let anyone try and take that pride away!

When talks about body shaming or any discussion about people’s negative comments towards another take shape, people always say it is about that person and has nothing to do with you.  I do agree with this statement from my own experiences.  Any negative feelings sent my way are usually stemming from an insecurity from the sender.  These body shaming incidences seem to go along with that.  I don’t think it matters if they come from men or women; something is going on within themselves that makes them feel the need to bring someone else down with them.  Think about any bully you ever experienced in elementary school, or ever (because adult life has them too!).  The bully always has issues of their own and the only way to deal is to mask them by making others feel bad.

So what is my solution or recommendation to all of this?  Unfortunately, I do not see the end in sight as social media makes it all too easy to hide behind a screen and make comments most wouldn’t dare to say in person.  However, I think we all need to take a step back and remember to be kind to each other.  And, the only way to be kind to each other is to first love yourself.  Embrace your physical, mental, and emotional qualities.  Love them hard.  When we can be kinder to ourselves, we can radiate that outward to the rest of the world!

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.

Rachel

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