Whenever I argue with somebody, the first insult they grab and throw at me is ‘fat’. As if that’s meant to offend me, as if I’m not aware that I’m overweight, as if my body has anything to do with my (usually excellent) arguing skills. It’s something they use to hurt me. People have even lowered themselves to tell me to ‘lose weight or get used to being attacked for it’. Now, I’m a UK size 14 and if I were a size 24, it would not be okay to tell me to lose weight or get used to ridicule. It is NEVER okay to put people down full stop but when it’s their body- something that has absolutely nothing to do with anybody but them- it’s a little ridiculous. I’d actually go as far as to say moronic.
Right now I have 24 e-mails in my spam and inbox about how to get a bikini body. Seriously. Obviously these aren’t personal, before anybody suggests I stop being so sensitive, that’s not the problem. The problem is I have 24 e-mails that, by their very nature, suggest I don’t have a body fit for a bikini. This is wrong. I do. I can go to Tesco right now, buy a bikini, come home, put it on and VOILA ‘bikini body’. This body has a lot of lumps and bumps; I have surgery scars that are still looking pretty fresh, I have stretch marks and you might want to sit down because this is a big deal according to Cosmo- I have cellulite! I’m not ashamed of any of these things. My surgery scars obviously are regarded as battle wounds (I am NOT over-dramatic excuse you), my stretch marks are just bits of skin and same for cellulite- cellulite being something that can never be cured but I have had product after product rammed down my throat via advertising of things that hide it.
I decided a long time ago that all the effort that I put into weight loss could have been put into accepting my body and who I am. It’s hard when you live in a society that is so vehemently focused on looks and so many people put how you look above who you are. It’s hard because we are made to believe that we should be ‘curvy’ in the ‘right’ places and ‘slim’ in the ‘right’ places. But never fat. Or thin. If you’re too fat, ewww look at your thighs, if you’re too thin, you could fall through a drain. We CANNOT win. I will never, ever be perfect. Or even close. I’ve lived, I’ve suffered, I’ve grown and through all these things, you gain what the media so bluntly describes as ‘imperfections’. Instead of trying to live up to these unrealistic expectations, instead of putting myself through emotional turmoil because I can never be quite as beautiful as I want to be, I started trying to love myself. Which is a much simpler, much more rewarding task.
It would be so lovely if more women did the same. Whatever size and no matter what ‘imperfections’ there are, I’d love to see women just accepting and loving themselves. Embracing their bodies, kind of like Dove’s ‘love the skin you’re in’ campaign but with a wider demographic of women and sizes. I don’t agree with saying that curvy bodies are better than slim bodies or vice versa. It’s a bit sick actually to try and put women against each other with yet another thing. I just want us to be happy with who we are so these e-mails would be less popular, so Cosmo et al can speak about successful, inspiring, intelligent women and what they did to get where they are rather than wasting paper on loathsome articles about beauty and how we’ll never be good enough.
Wouldn’t that be fabulous?