How do you do it?
– Keep up a positive attitude about your body with so much of the world telling you that you never look good enough? If you struggle, you are not alone.
Although Becky would really like to be in a relationship, she isn’t meeting any men. She doesn’t want to date anyone at work and isn’t meeting them anywhere else. She is considering online dating but thinks she has to lose 10 pounds first. When her friends tell her she looks good the way she is, she doesn’t believe them. If they encourage her to diet and exercise, she thinks it’s a good idea but can’t seem to get herself to do it. Then she gets really mad at herself for not doing anything about it, but that doesn’t seem to help either.
One day she goes to her Aunt Kim’s house to help her with her computer. Aunt Kim asks, “Any interesting men in your life?” Becky starts sobbing and tells her all about her weight and how it’s getting in her way, yet she can’t do anything about it. Aunt Kim says, “I was much heavier than you when I met Uncle Ben and got married. You don’t need to lose weight. It’s all in your perspective and the kind of partner you’re looking for.” After that conversation, Becky felt so relieved. She realized it was a big waste of time to worry so much over 10 silly pounds.
A big part of the problem is the messages we get about our bodies from magazines, movies, and social media. Fat-shaming is rampant. Many people think that if they encourage you to feel bad about your weight, it will motivate you to lose. But that’s far from the truth.
Fat-shaming does the opposite. People are less likely to exercise and eat well when they experience fat-shaming. When you are ashamed of your weight, it can make you feel hopeless and wonder why you should bother even trying. Studies show that this kind of weight discrimination increases the likelihood of suffering from low self-esteem and depression. Our culture has a HUGE problem when almost 60% of women say they are unhappy with how they look. Some say that number is as high as 90%.
So what can you do?
When you feel ashamed and discouraged about your weight, try some of these tips:
- Cry, scream, or express whatever you feel in a way that makes you feel comfortable.
- Share your emotions with someone you love like Becky did. Don’t be alone when you need support.
- Step away from social media unless it’s positive, inspirational messages like these.
- Cancel your subscriptions to any magazines that make you feel bad about yourself.
- Don’t watch TV shows or movies that portray unrealistic and unattainable body images.
- Join the revolution of women who are learning to be their own Brand of Sexy. That means figuring out what you want, what works for you as an individual, and what will get you what you want. Becky realized that these toxic cultural messages about beauty weren’t working for her. Being okay with her extra 10 pounds did work for her.
Imagine what would happen if we could create a new revolution where being your own Brand of Sexy and sisterhood were the new cultural expectations.
Instead of women fat-shaming other women, we would support and stand up for each other, like Rihanna’s fans did for her when she was fat-shamed. Like Aunt Kim did for Becky.
We wouldn’t worry quite so much about whether we’re fat and how to be better sex objects. And we’d begin to expect acceptance and respect rather than judgment and heartache. Can you imagine how much happier you’d be? How much time and energy you’d have for something bigger than yourself?
We can do this! Join the Revolution and the Sisterhood! Be your own Brand of Sexy.
If you want to create this change in our culture, share this message with your sisters! By the way, men are experiencing fat-shaming too and can be part of the change.