I don’t know a single person who enjoyed getting changed for gym class. I know I didn’t. Needless to say, I tried my best to get my shirt, shorts, and shoes on faster than you can say “crap I forgot to shave.” I wasn’t about to give the other girls a chance to make judgments about my body, and I had no interest in creeping on everyone else. But one day I must not have changed fast enough because a girl commented, “Dang you’re so skinny. Look at that flat stomach! I wish I had that!”
She wished she had that? There were so many things wrong with this statement that I couldn’t comprehend them in that moment and remained silent while other girls joined in on wishing they had my body.
The first problem with this statement is that the girl who made it was tiny. I’m not talking “where is she hiding behind that grain of rice?” tiny, but she definitely didn’t need to worry about losing any weight. The second problem with this statement? The look that I was sporting was not the result of some genetic blessing, or at least not entirely. It was the result of an illness that made me miserable; one that continues to rear its ugly head today and causes unknowing girls everywhere to flee to the nearest CVS for diet pills because they want to look like me.
You see, I’m often ill as a result of some medical stuff that I really don’t feel like discussing. Before you start ordering my coffin or downloading a funeral playlist—Side note: “Helena” and “Welcome to the Black Parade” better be on it, or I’ll haunt you—I’m not dying. At least, I don’t think that I’m dying any faster than you are. But unless my issues resolve themselves prior to you reading this, I’m probably thinner than you are.
And you know what? That’s okay. It’s okay that I’m thin, and it’s okay if you weigh 5, 10, 15, 20, or 500 pounds more than me. It’s also okay if you weigh less than me, as long as you didn’t harm yourself to achieve this. The point is that we are all shaped differently for reasons that are often out of our control, so it isn’t fair to compare yourself to other people. If you aren’t happy with yourself because you don’t feel healthy then that’s one thing. By all means, do what you need to do within reason to feel healthy. But you shouldn’t beat yourself up for not achieving my look or the look of anyone else for that matter, because your body is working just the way that it should be.
Every day your body works so hard just so that you can achieve the things that your bossy little brain wants to achieve. It’s not fair that the same brain that bosses your body around shames it behind its back. Your body is healthy. Your body is capable. Your body is beautiful. Know this, and the next time your mischievous little brain starts rambling terrible thoughts just gently say, “Thanks for the input, but I like my body just the way it is.”
Where do our unrealistic beauty standards come from? Movies, TV shows, Social Media, Music, Advertisements etc. etc. etc. There are so many places that I could write an entire blog dedicated to analyzing them. But for now, check out this video by Buzzfeed that highlights the super-unrealistic Disney Princess body types that we grow up thinking are ideal.
Header Image Courtesy of Ryan McGuire on Gratisography.com
Disclaimer: I am not a blogging professional, or a magical guru that can solve all of your problems. I cannot be held liable for triumphs, failures, or anything else that occurred to you as a result of reading the content on my blog.