I have to say it’s surprisingly difficult for me to find inspiration to write when I am on holiday at the beach in sunny Portugal. I don’t know why, I would assume the sun, the sea, the beach and the delicious food would inspire me even further, but I am struggling even to come up with thoughts. Yes it’s true. I guess the ‘sunny’ actually translates into ‘it’s so hot I can’t move at all’, and the beach, as you all probably know is tiring and makes you sleepy, and well the food, let’s just say for the amounts I am eating I will need at least 3 months detox, when I am back in London, so it gets hard to move.
Either way, I got to the beach yesterday morning (after my morning workout – yes I’m being very well-behaved, despite all the food), and after the whole ‘sunscreen drill’ I went for a walk with the hubby.
We were chatting about life in general, Portugal and England, holidays, future, and for some bits just walking in silence, watching the sea and people. Suddenly I notice these two women coming from the opposite direction giggling and pointing at another woman, who was slightly ahead of us. This other woman had a slightly large behind, and yes a bit of cellulite as well. But how wrong is that? That you’re just giggling at other person’s shape, size, or issues? Especially women towards other women.
The whole size issue that’s been in the press so much of lately, as well as the feminist movements #HeForShe and #SheForShe and other movements like #droptheplus came to mind.
This is for all women (and men too). Enough with the body shaming! People come to the world in different sizes. Some people are blessed with really fast metabolisms, some people are blessed with amazing body shapes, others are blessed with amazing curves, some people have more of this or that than others, some people have less of this and that, but we are all meant to be different. Full Stop.
Take me for instance. I was born tiny. Really tiny. My grandmother didn’t think I was going to make it. My parents had to measure me every day and even built a graphic of how much weight I gained in the first few months. And here I am. I am not massive, I probably won’t ever be. I am 5 ft 1” (155 cm) which is really petite. I was always very small, and for most of my life thin as well. I have only ever gained weight when I was a teen, after dropping gymnastics and now, that my metabolism is changing slightly. But I don’t gain that much weight, considering all that I eat either way.
That’s me. But then I have friends who have been in diets all their lives, or they eat a pea and immediately feel bloated. Some are bigger, taller, toned, smaller (can’t think of one), skinnier, fatter, bigger… And that’s what life is supposed to be. We’re supposed to be a landscape of different people. Somehow society has gotten this disease of establishing tall and skinny, with the smoothest skinny ever, and ‘God-forbid-we-have-cellulite’ standard for ‘the perfect woman’. This my friends, is the biggest bulls@*t of our times. We live at times where information is all over, surely we can choose to be better educated than this, can’t we?
And ladies, there’s enough pressure from society, and chauvinist campaigns everywhere, trying to make us fit or buy into this perfect body standard, why do we have to do it to each other as well? Be supportive. Help each other. Don’t be mean. Yes she has cellulite. Maybe one day you’ll have it too. Maybe you never will. But how mean is it to point it out and giggle?! Maybe that woman is a super confident woman who loves her behind, and proudly loves to show it off (if so, you go girl), but if you don’t have that, if instead you have a bit of self-doubt paired with that ‘giggle and pointing’, it can really throw you down. Maybe she’ll even stop going to the beach, which is probably something she really loves. Shall we stop doing the things we love because we are being shamed by other people? NEVER.
I read a scary article this week, saying that this generation of women are having less sex than the previous generation, not even talking about one night stands, but with your long-term partner, because not only they have to deal with work-life pressures and career drama, they also have to worry about fitting into this silly ‘perfect body’ standard! Honestly, this is dead serious.
So wouldn’t it be nice for people to just support and love each other instead of pointing? And please note, to me this has to go both ways. I think your body is your means to walk this earth, and it’s your choice how you want to treat it. And every one should be free to do what they want. So if on one side I am completely pro #droptheplus movement I am also completely anti ‘skinny bitch’ kind of talk. Both things hurt, even if you think it doesn’t. How many models complain of being bullied when they were teens because they were too tall, skinny and weird? Use your brain, don’t be ignorant, you cannot assume skinny people have eating disorders as you cannot assume bigger people eat burgers and fries all day. I remember the looks my sister used to get because of her skinny legs and arms. It’s just the way she is. So before you go skinny shaming people, think that if ever someone was to say ‘fat bitch’ how utterly wrong this would be. There’s no bitch ever. There’s people, in their shapes and sizes. For instance I don’t like campaigns stating the ‘perfect body’ featuring only skinny and amazing looking women, but I don’t like campaigns entitled ‘real women’ featuring only curvy and voluptuous women either! ‘Perfect, I am neither, so I must be a frog’. Just say ‘lingerie, now in stores’ – we get what it is without you having to label anyone.
I can’t be a hypocrite though, I am guilty of a bit self-loathing as well. I am getting better, but I know oh-too-well that feeling of having desert and feeling guilty for 3 days. Of not feeling like I am ‘beach ready yet’ and complaining about cellulite. I do it all the time, but now I am leading a healthier life. I work out and try to balance what I eat. Still I have cellulite and I don’t really fit that ‘standard’, especially the tall bit (haha). But sometimes I too, feel uncomfortable or sad, about not being in this standard. This is ridiculous, I know. So I will try not to do it anymore. It’s time we start loving ourselves as we are and that’s it. And if we don’t love ourselves, than do something to change it. ‘Love starts within’, says Katrina from TIU, and it’s true. You have to be the one who feels good about yourself and that’s it.
I think what we all have to be a bit more understanding about is that we all have something about ourselves we’re not too comfortable with. There’s always something. Not just ‘mere mortal’ us. Everyone. And I really appreciate the fact that so many role models for young women are showing that they’re real women too. They reveal the things they like least about themselves, the ‘No make-up’ selfies, no Photoshop, some even show their stretch marks (bless Chrissy Teigen). This feels silly but it’s a huge step. People start opening their eyes, start thinking and start supporting, which is remarkable.
Imagine how much more confident we would all feel and better people we’d become if we could just learn to love each other, and ourselves, as we are. Not pointing and shaming, but embracing our differences. Wouldn’t that be great?
So common’ embrace the movement – no more body shaming of any kind. Just be loving and kind. Make people happier and the world better.