Hi. How have you been?
So during the past few weeks, I’ve run a little experiment of sorts. I actually counted how many people would verbally judge my body. In the past week alone, I’ve had 17 people come up to me and told me how fat I’m getting.
Seventeen. In one week. Just let that sink in for a while.
That is basically half the people I know in this town.
Okay. So three of these people would follow up the “You’re getting fat” remark with a “but you look good,” as if that would soften the blow of the former statement (Sorry, damage is done). Four out of the seventeen people giving their unsolicited opinions were men while 14 of the seventeen were people I know personally.
My first reaction to negative energy is to retaliate with negative energy. Comments like the following would shoot to my head:
“Oh, so you buy my food now?”
“Have you looked at yourself lately?”
“Okay, since when does your opinion matter… ever…”
“Oh, you’re, like, the trillionth person telling me this. You must feel so observant.”
But I know, fighting fire with fire never turns out right. So I would smile, and just answer, “Yes, I’ve noticed.”
The thing is, I’ve been on both sides of these body shaming comments. Between 2014 and 2016 I lost 30 kgs and dropped four dress sizes. People were also very generous with their comments then.
“You’ve lost a lot of weight.”
Why, thank you.
“You look sick.”
I can assure you, I exercise and eat healthily so I’m in tip-top shape.
“Men like something to hold on to.”
Uhm, the type man who looks at my body for a place to grab onto is exactly the type of man I don’t want.
In my life, I’ve seen the opinion of others turn rejection into anger and bitterness. I’ve heard (and, I’m ashamed to say, participated in) conversations where women blame a cheating husband’s ways on the wife’s weight and appearance – and how she “let herself go.” Of course, we could go into the theories of why people feel the need to body shame. It could be because of underlying insecurities or perhaps they think they are doing you a service. But that would make this post longer than it needs to be.
As a woman in my thirties, in this day and age, I’m still angered at the fact that people think that giving their opinion about YOUR body that YOU take care of, is okay. During the past few years, I’ve learned to love myself more. And it’s been a long process. I went from hating my body (because people said it was not right according to their measurements) to loving every single roll my tummy makes.
Part of that process was telling myself the following, every morning:
I am a child of the one living God. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, by Him. Even every kinky coily hair strand on my head is numbered. I’m more than the opinion of others. I’m stronger than they know and kinder than they will ever be.
When I go out, I give as many compliments as I can. Because if I’m fearfully and wonderfully made, then you are too.
Because if I’m fearfully and wonderfully made, then you are too.
In my humble opinion, being beautiful comes from the realisation that God did not make trash. He made you. HE made YOU. It’s a shame that I only came to realise this recently, but I hope that this post helps someone realise their true potential, regardless of their body size, hair type, skin colour.