Does our society have an issue with weight?

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With lockdown going on I have seen way more fat-phobic jokes on the internet. It’s somehow more appropriate to joke about being fat and in turn ugly. I am fat. I was fat before lockdown and I will be fat after lockdown. It is not funny, and I will not lose weight after lockdown to fit peoples closed minded opinions on weight. My body is not your ‘post lockdown nightmare’. Many people have been taking this extra time to lose weight and get fit, which if that’s you then amazing! However, it does not give you the right to make other people feel small about their body. Lockdown has been incredibly difficult for many people’s mental health’s, so broadcasting your toxic views on how everyone should be losing weight now and making dramatic lifestyle choices is unfair. Jokes about ‘wearing a mask to stop you from eating’ and other jokes along that line are incredibly harmful to those struggling with eating disorders.

To be honest, our society has an issue with weight. Whether you are fat or skinny, society will have an issue with you.

Lately, Adele has had an incredible weight loss transformation. I have seen many say this is the ‘greatest accomplishment’ she has had. Which is frankly wrong. Adele has won an Oscar and 15 Grammy awards, which is surely a better thing to be impressed by… Adele was a great icon pre weight loss and is still an icon post weight loss, because her body has nothing to do with the music or things she has accomplished. To compliment someone’s weight loss can become very toxic because it encourages people to believe that smaller bodies are more desired by society. It is also to note that it is wrong to be criticising Adele for her weight loss which I have also seen on her Instagram comments. It is clear women can never win; be too fat and you’ll be made fun of, lose some weight and be too thin you’ll be criticised. I think the thing to take from it is the world will always critic your body, so the only opinion that should matter is your own. Leading on from this, I once said to a friend that she looked very slimmed, I hadn’t made a compliment or criticism, I had just stated it in our conversation, which I did instantly regret because I hate commenting on other people’s bodies. At the same time others of our friends had openly celebrated her weight loss… To which she confessed to me later that it was due to her being in a poor mental health place and struggling to eat. Had I complimented her on this weight lost then she probably wouldn’t have opened up to me, nor would complimenting someone on weight loss from depression be appropriate.  She had not purposely wanted to lose weight and was deeply struggling on the inside, so being complimented on this was draining her mental health further.  I do want to note it can however be supportive to comment on someone’s weight loss, but I do think it is important that the person has lost weight purposefully and for the right reasons. Make sure you have the context before the compliment.

I have so many messages every single day in my insta dm’s asking me to promote weight loss products from skinny coffees and appetite suppressing lollipops. There is not enough money in the world to ever make me want to promote these products. This is because I would rather be eating HEALTHY and be FAT (omg shocker), than be using skinny coffee (which basically makes you poop yourself non-stop to be skinny) and treating my body poorly. There has been some people I know that have become ambassadors for these products, they will use the same stock photos of ‘results’ that the brand will send out to each ambassador. I have a mainly female audience online and I could never promote such a toxic way of living on any of my social media. To me, it is much more important to promote self-love and self-care to my audience. I regularly discuss with them how my opinion on myself has changed. I wish when I was younger, I had someone real to look up to and to take comfort in. Instead I followed lots of slim celebrities endorsing harmful products and showing off toxic ways of living. Leading me to lower the low self-esteem I already had. I think it’s funny that we assume that people’s weight is equivalent to the food style they eat. Some of my friends are slim while eating a considerable amount of junk food, with others like myself being fat while still eating a well-balanced diet. There are so many factors involved in weight (like genetics and metabolism speed), that an appetite suppressing lollipop isn’t going to solve my weight ‘issues’.

For as long as I can remember I have always disliked how my body looked, my whole life I have thought I was fat. That being fat was horrid and a bad thing (which it is not). When looking back at me aged 15 thinking I was fat and disgusting at a size 16 makes me cringe. It is weird to think that at a size 20 I am more comfortable with my body than I was at a size 16. Now at the age of 21 I have learnt the whole world will have an opinion on my body, but I like it and that is the only opinion that will matter. The obsession of my body has come from the environment around me. The media, school friends, family, everyone always has something to say on someone else’s body. When I was 16 one of my relatives gave me dieting pills on my way to work and told me I would be ‘happier’ and ‘liked more’ if I took them. Luckily for me my parents laughed at the idea when I showed them what said family member had given me. My self-confidence issues had stemmed from issues like this. Issues that other people had put on my weight. In all honesty, there is still days now where I wish I was skinnier, where I wish I didn’t have certain faults, but I remind myself that my body is my home. I could spend my whole life picking faults in my body, but I would lead an unhappy life. The secret is you will probably always find things not to like about your body if you spend your time looking for the faults. I am not going to say your body is perfect and the nonsense I used to tell myself. Your body keeps you alive and healthy, that’s it’s job. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I tell myself regularly that my body is keeping me alive, my heart is good, and I am kind, and that’s all that matters. Since stopping looking for my faults I am leading a happier life. I have lost the care of what others think and it has led me to change my whole outlook on myself. I eat what I want, wear what I want and be who I want. Just from one tweak in my mindset. It wasn’t an easy change, and the growth period was uncomfortable. I will always be growing to accept my body more and leaving behind the negative stigma that surrounded me for so long.

I put out a question on my Instagram which has 20,000 followers of which is a mainly young female audience saying ‘Do you think we live in a society controlled by body image?’ , after the 24 hours it was up it received 100% votes on YES. I then asked people to tell me their opinion if they felt comfortable. It was interesting that every single response was pretty much the same. The media has an issue no matter what size you are. Below is one response!

@Jazwillis stated ‘We most definitely live in a society controlled by body images – there’s not a day that goes by where you don’t see a half-naked beautiful body on our social media pages, which is fine. Bodies are art but we then start to compare ourselves to all those images. That’s where body dysmorphia comes into play – we pick at ourselves because we don’t look remotely like something that we’ve seen online when in reality we are more real and should be more accepted than what we appropriate as ‘normal’.

We continue to try and accept different body types but somehow comment sections still fill up with negativity and sly remarks are still muttered under people’s breaths. If we as human beings didn’t care so much about what we looked like or continuously compare ourselves to a certain size or shape, we’d be happier without a doubt. The image of perfection that we continuously see results in an unrealistic reality filled with defending our weight, promoting body confidence just for ‘the gram’ even if we don’t feel confident at all, extreme dieting & even surgery.

On a positive note, I do enjoy seeing more people genuinely speak up for different shape, sizes and race on social media. It truly is the growth that we need, and I can’t wait to see more of it.’

The issue with our society is it is so fixated on how people look rather than who people are. I sometimes wonder if I became incredibly skinny while having a horrid personality would I be liked more by society? Quite probably. However, I would rather be known for having a good heart and always doing right by others. Weight does not affect the person you are inside. Which is cringe and cliché, but the size of your body has nothing to do with the amount of love you can give another. Those worthy of loving you will love you at a size 20, 12 or 6.

So, to conclude this, whether you’re tall or short, fat or thin, remember your body is your home. There is no perfect body image, so stop trying to be it. If you stop picking faults in yourself and others, then the societies stigma will begin to change. We are the society and we have to say no to the constant negative chatter on bodies. Stop reading the negative tabloids on people’s bodies, because you feed the writer to keep posting more. Stop liking posts of celebrities and influencers who perpetuate obsessions with being skinny. Stop comparing yourself to others and start accepting you. We need to start speaking positively to family and friends about body image. Say no to those being negative about your body and stand up for yourself and others.

You are surviving this lockdown period and that’s all that matters. I am proud of myself for the person I am, and I am proud of you too. You are you, and that is enough for the world, no matter what weight you are.

 

All the love,

 

Queen Clo xx

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