From A Victim Of Fit-Shaming

From A Victim Of Fit-Shaming

Internet bullies can't seem to get enough.
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I'll start off by emphasizing that I'm not the only one. I am one victim of internet trolls and bullies. I am not the first and I will not be the last.

In the society we've created and live in today, it's almost frowned upon to be a woman and live a healthy lifestyle. Hitting the gym every day is "obsessive," eating vegetables and chicken is "lame," and having abs is "disgusting" and "manly." What I think of as dedication and commitment, twice as many people are going to see as "gross" and "unattractive". Honestly, that's perfectly fine. That's your opinion and you're entitled to such. I've learned over time I'm not going to be everyone's cup of tea and I'm okay with that, but what I'm not okay with is fit-shaming.

To me, fit-shaming is the way someone attacks another person for their eating habits, their commitment to fitness, the amount of muscle they have on their body, the degree of leanness they have reached, or just their overall "fitness" lifestyle. It's incredibly similar to fat-shaming, just directed towards fit people instead. Fit-shaming usually takes place over the internet (thanks to our favorite keyboard warriors) and sometimes straight to the face. Sometimes they're disguised as backhanded compliments, but other times, they act as daggers to mental health and self-esteem. For example, the following comments are real and taken directly from my Instagram account:

You're anorexic

This picture is 1000% photoshopped lol

WTF

Oh honey! Praying for you

You look like a flamingo yuck

Your body is so ugly

Are you a man?

That's f*cking gross

You looked way better before

Is that a giraffe?

You look like a monster from Dark Souls 3, go eat a damn sandwich

Ew!!!

You're messed up smh

You have a problem

If you think it sounds extreme, it isn't. It's ridiculous and it's real. Think of what would happen if I said any of the above relevant things to someone morbidly obese? I would be charged with hate crimes and bullying. Why does being fit and healthy make things any different? I workout and train because I love it, not for anyone else or for their judgment -- whether they approve or not. I don't ask people for what they think about my body, but for some reason they still feel inclined to tell me their opinions. (You know, because I totally work out to please them, I forgot.)

Remember, this is an inside look on my experiences alone--it doesn't even begin to dive into what thousands of other women are dealing with on their photos and posts every day. What implores another human to say these kinds of things? I will never understand the logic, reasoning, or motive behind these types of comments and I feel truly sorry for the men and women who go to these lengths to feel better about themselves. Your "concern" for how my body looks is not concern; it's hate, it's hurtful, it's insecurity.

I should note that each and every comment listed above was made by an individual I have never met or heard of in my entire life. They are strangers with one purpose, and one purpose alone: to let me know they are miserable in their own skin.

In a world of so much destruction and terror, we need to build each other up. We need to celebrate our accomplishments. We need to love our bodies, love the people we're becoming, and love the people in our corners. If you are, or have ever been, a victim of body-shaming, remember you can't please everyone and change what they think about you. At the end of the day, remember that you are more than just a body. You are an image of hard work that no money can buy. You are the epitome of passion, work ethic, self-respect, dedication, and discipline, and no one can take that away from you.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-girl-fitness-28061/

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Part 1: Necessary Changes

One of my favorite movies is "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kathy Bates. In the movie Bates' character Evelyn Couch says, "Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face, and I didn't like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed." I know the feeling.

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I looked in the mirror over the weekend and didn't like what I saw.

The person I saw looking back at me is petty, selfish, manipulative, and unattractive. It wasn't that I hated what I saw, but I definitely didn't like what I saw either. It's a surreal feeling, looking at yourself through a critical lens, and it doesn't make you feel good in any way shape or form.

The image that I see of myself is not how I want others to perceive me. I want to be someone that people look at and see kindness, compassion, strength, and confidence.

I have enough general life experience to know that these types of changes aren't going to happen overnight, and not all of them will be physical; most of these will have to happen from the inside, from within myself.

When you find out you are all broken and damaged, it's hard to know where to start putting the pieces back together. I figured the best place to start would be the most literal: my actual insides; so, I decided to embark on a deep-cleansing journey to get all of the toxins out of my body, from the inside out.

I found this book on 10-day green smoothie detox stashed away in the dark corner of my bookshelf. The science behind it seems accurate and legitimate. By eliminating certain foods, your body is able to detox itself off of chemicals and foods that are slowing down your metabolism; the smoothies are specifically designed with combinations of foods that help restart your metabolism. Part of the detox process is getting rid of all dependencies on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Every day you are given the recipe for a specific smoothie; you make the smoothie (about 40 ounces) and sip on it throughout the day whenever you get hungry. Every smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, water, fruit, and flax seeds. If you do happen to get hungry throughout the day, you are encouraged to eat raw nuts, hard boiled eggs, and a wide variety of crunchy green vegetables. There is also a detox tea that you have first thing in the morning, but other than that no other beverages are allowed except water.

I know that this is only the beginning of a very long, emotional, and draining journey. But I think I'm at the point in my life where I have to make these changes. I have to put my pieces together, I have to become a normal functioning adult, I have to find out who I am. I think that this is the perfect way to start.

For the next 10 days I am going to be documenting my experiences, how I'm feeling, what my emotions are doing, and any results that I see.

Stay tuned!

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