It's 2017: Time to Stop Body Shaming
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

It's 2017: Time to Stop Body Shaming

Comparison is the thief of joy.

It's 2017: Time to Stop Body Shaming

I have a younger sister who just turned seven years old, and she is my world.

A few weeks ago, I heard her call herself fat. I was completely taken aback and told her never to say that again. I mean, she is seven! Why would she be calling herself fat? It is absolutely ridiculous! I began running through my mind why she would say something like that, and I realized, she probably heard it from me.

Now, unfortunately for my younger sister, she is growing up with a world that heavily relies on the media for entertainment. When I was younger, we had Nintendo DS and playgrounds, not cell phones and Instagram. However, the effect that the mainstream media has on people remains the same. I just didn't have to grow up in it. My childhood was free from apps that led you to constantly compare yourself to the lives of others. I do live in that world today though. It's a world where everybody puts their best foot forward, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it becomes harmful when others feel as if they cannot meet the expectations that society has placed on them.

In my opinion, the worst expectation of all is the idea of the 'perfect body'. We are all victims to it. We are all perpetrators of it.

If you know me personally, you know that I love to exercise and I love to eat healthy. I also love ice cream and cookies and days where all I do is lay in bed. It's about balance. But I struggle with the thought of what I think I should look like. I struggle with feeling like I need to be thinner, or I need to have abs, or I need to have no body fat. (Actually writing that out makes me realize even more how ridiculous this restraint is that I have placed on myself.) Call me bold, but I think I can say that most people can relate. It's a process you have to work at every single day to truly be confident in your own skin. Most of you have probably heard of the concept of 'body shaming'. It is real and awful and horrific that people literally take the time out of their day to insult other people based on their appearance. First of all, judge people on their character not on what they look like. You'll probably gain a lot more great people in your life that way.

And you know what? Technically we are all body-shamers. How can I say this? Of course not everyone has insulted another person on what they look like. But we all seem to be forgetting that we body shame ourselves with every "I feel fat" or "I look ugly today" or "I'm not good enough" that comes out of our mouths, or is formulated in our thoughts.

It did not even hit me how harmful it is to look at myself in the mirror and be disgusted that I ate a cookie, or had a night out with too many sugary drinks, or skipped the gym that day. Sometimes I don't even realize that I am insulting myself, because it becomes a habit. My sister literally saw how I reacted to my appearance and began to mimic it, and at such a young age! After that experience, I am working so much harder on being kinder to myself and watching the words I use about myself not just in front of her, but in general. Who are we to be so shallow that we get to decide that the bodies we have aren't good enough? Who are we that makes us special enough to comment on the looks of another? Who am I to make my younger sister feel like she needs to start comparing what she looks like to other people? I am not those things, so I will not let them define me.

We live in a world with so much opportunity, so many places to see, so many things to try, and I think we all hold ourselves back a little by being too hard on ourselves. Enjoy a slice of cake every now and again. It's okay to have days where all you do is lay in bed and do nothing. Remember that a healthy body and a healthy mind are the two most important things, and the only way you can get there is with balance, and with accepting all parts of yourself.

Because, seriously... it's 2017. Stop body shaming yourself, and stop body shaming others. Confidence is a beautiful thing. Building others up is a beautiful thing. Being you is a beautiful thing.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Types of ice cream

Who doesn't love ice cream? People from all over the world enjoy the frozen dessert, but different countries have their own twists on the classic treat.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

100 Reasons to Choose Happiness

Happy Moments to Brighten Your Day!

A man with a white beard and mustache wearing a hat

As any other person on this planet, it sometimes can be hard to find the good in things. However, as I have always tried my hardest to find happiness in any and every moment and just generally always try to find the best in every situation, I have realized that your own happiness is much more important than people often think. Finding the good in any situation can help you to find happiness in some of the simplest and unexpected places.

Keep Reading...Show less

Remember The True Meaning of Christmas

“Where are you Christmas? Why can’t I find you?”

A painting of the virgin Mary, the baby Jesus, and the wise men

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year. Christmastime is a celebration, but have we forgotten what we are supposed to be celebrating? There is a reason the holiday is called Christmas. Not presentmas. Not Santamas. Not Swiftmas. Christmas.

boy standing in front of man wearing santa claus costume Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash

What many people forget is that there is no Christmas without Christ. Not only is this a time to spend with your family and loved ones, it is a time to reflect on the blessings we have gotten from Jesus. After all, it is His birthday.

Keep Reading...Show less
Golden retriever sat on the sand with ocean in the background
Photo by Justin Aikin on Unsplash

Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my dog. I am constantly talking about my love for her. I attribute many of my dog's amazing qualities to her breed. She is a purebred Golden Retriever, and because of this I am a self-proclaimed expert on why these are the best pets a family could have. Here are 11 reasons why Goldens are the undisputed best dog breed in the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

Boyfriend's Christmas Wishlist: 23 Best Gift Ideas for Her

Here are the gifts I would like to ask my boyfriend for to make this season unforgettable.

Young woman opening a Christmas gift

Recently, an article on Total Sorority Move called 23 Things My Boyfriend Better Not Get Me For Christmas, was going around on social media. I hope the author of this was kidding or using digital sarcasm, but I am still repulsed and shocked by the lack of appreciation throughout this article. I would like to represent the girlfriends out there who disagree with her standpoint -- the girlfriends who would be more than happy to receive any of these gifts from their boyfriends.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments