Over the past few years social media has become a massive part of our lives. For whatever reason you use it for or whatever platform of media you use, it benefits our lives one way or another. I use social media every single day – Instagram being my prime use followed by snapchat and twitter. I use it for daily motivation, inspiration and because i’m part of a massive fitness community online. I find pleasure from it and it’s become a massive part of who I am. In fact, it kinda makes who I am. Sad, maybe? I’ll let you decide, but if being sad makes me happy then i’ll take it.
However, as sad as it is social media isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Over these past few weeks I’ve noticed a lot more body shaming, negative comments and overall an increase of nastiness – not on just my account but many other fitness/health accounts on social media. Body shaming has become an alarming and more pressing issue that needs to be addressed. It isn’t ok and should not be allowed. End of.
I’m not saying nobody has an opinion or that none of us have never judged someone for perhaps their choice of clothing or new hair do… Let’s be real, we’ve all judged somebody sometime in our lives but we’re mature enough to think these thoughts quietly to ourselves. After all, what right do we have to speak of somebody else’s life?
The point I’m trying to get across is how rude, selfish, unthoughtful and damn right nasty people have become. These people I’m talking about have no filter – they speak exactly what they think. An example of some of the comments i’ve seen/heard recently:
“You look better than you did before”
“Why aren’t you more muscly?”
“How can you say your a personal trainer when you have no abs or muscle?”
“You need to eat more – you look unhealthy”
“Do you actually workout?”
“How much weight have you put on?”
“Where are your abs?”
“I can see some cellulite”
Yeah… you get the picture. So, to the people that don’t think before they say: YOU are body shaming a human being and that is not right. You don’t have the right to tell somebody that they looked better than they did before their transformation, you don’t have the right to tell somebody what weight they should be, you don’t have the right to ask somebody about their weight and you certainly do not have the right to tell somebody how they should look.
Recently, two of my favourite fitness Instagram accounts have experienced body shaming themselves and have spoken publicly about it (hoorah). Something of which I think is massively important – bringing body shaming to light and not hiding away from it.
Jazmine Garcia, AKA @jazzypooo very recently posted about body shaming and how it’s sadly become a massive part of her Fitness YouTube lifestyle.
The response Jasmine has had is purely amazing and it’s everything I wanted to say. It’s genuine and honest. Although we don’t even owe it (not one little bit) to those who body shame it’s important to realise that it doesn’t matter what other’s say about you. Be happy with yourself, continue to eat that pizza, lick that whole pint of ice cream, workout when you want to and not because you feel like you have to… Just be you and be happy with your body – it’s an amazing thing and you should be damn proud of it.
Grace, AKA @gracefituk is another fitness account I follow on Instagram who has also experienced body shaming.
A prime example that people just don’t think before they speak and believe truly that they are in the right – the right about body shaming others to possibly make them feel what? .. Satisfied with themselves for upsetting the feelings of others? Hmm.
It’s a shame that others feel the need to think that these comments are far more important than the subject of the photos itself. When we post a photo of ourselves it’s mainly because we’re feeling proud of our bodies or keeping ourselves accountable throughout our journey. Not because we think the only important thing in that photo is our weight, or our ‘abs/no abs’, muscle etc… Shouldn’t the most important thing about that photo be the fact that the person is feeling proud, confident, sexy…? Yes, it should.
Although this should be nothing any of us should have to deal with, unfortunately it is. These past few days (since posting my transformation photo) i’ve had a few nasty and unthoughtful comments of which hit my confidence and sadly, did make me doubt myself. BUT, from hearing about other’s body shaming experiences it’s helped me realise that I am not alone. This happens to so many people and it’s hearing these body shaming stories that help us realise that there is nothing wrong with us. Instead there is something wrong with them.
So, here are a few things that help dealing with criticism:
Own what you have – Find your assets that you have and be proud of them. At the moment I really love the progress my upper body has made and I love it.
Be flawed and fabulous – Instead of waking up everyday and moaning about your love handles, make peace with them. Some girls would love to have what you have! Learn that not everyone will agree that you look flawed.
The time is NOW – Don’t wait to love yourself. Start now. Go write a list about everything you love about yourself. This doesn’t have to be just physical but mentally too.
You can’t please everyone – One of my favourites. You can’t please everyone and nor will everybody be attracted to you. Just like you’re not attracted to everybody and that is totally fine. We are all completely different and unique.
You can please someone – Who likes you for you? Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you. There is nothing more uplifting for the soul than those who lift you up when you are feeling down.
So what if there is somebody more ‘beautiful’ than you – In our minds their will always be someone who is more prettier, slimmer, sexier etc.. So what? Comparison is the thief of joy. Learn to love you for who you are.
Women come in all shapes and sizes and shouldn’t be shamed for it. In an ideal world women would support, motivate, encourage and complement each other, without the labelling. We should support others through success, through difficult times and overall in everyday life. We need to remember that body confidence does not come by trying to achieve the perfect body. It comes from embracing the one you already have – despite other’s opinions.
So, next time you find yourself a victim of somebody else’s careless words realise that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you but them. Rise above the critics, and realise that every single one of us are beautiful – inside and out.