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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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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A College Student's Guide To Self-Care 101

A trend on the rise, self-care is becoming more and more prevalent.

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My social media sites have been exploding with mentions of self-care. Tweets about the concept are ever on the rise and I think it is important to explore the concept. Self-care practices have become increasingly common because people are ever interested in tending to their emotional and physical wellbeing.

Unfortunately, with the popularization of the concept comes misconceptions. Self-care is not strictly about "treating yourself" and face masks. Additionally, it encompasses growth, reflection, and change. So, without further adieu, here are my top ten self-care tips!

1. Learn to be by yourself

This one is harder than people would think at first. Everyone's personality is different and, therefore, their affinity to being alone will differ as well. However, as I mentioned before, self-care is not only about physical practices. It is about eliminating toxicity from your life. This means eliminating bad habits, which is achieved through reflection and acknowledgment of the problematic habituation. Being by yourself allows you to set your own goals for yourself without any influence from outside factors. Additionally, the ability to be by yourself aids in establishing good self-esteem and ensures that the relationships you allow in your life are true and special rather than just to pass time.

2. Accept compliments

I don't know how this became normalized or why, but I despise the fact that girls have been taught to downplay their confidence. If someone offers a compliment, smile and accept it. Positive feelings towards yourself should be integral parts of your thought processes. Additionally, pay yourself compliments. They don't have to be said out loud but appreciate the beauty that is your body. It does so much for you, the least you could do is appreciate it every now and then.

3. Hold yourself accountable

Like I said earlier, part of self-care is eliminating bad habits. The tendency to attribute one's own failures and shortcomings to external forces is self-serving bias and those with good self-esteem are guilty of it. It may be difficult to balance attribution and self-esteem but in order to achieve growth, you have to acknowledge your own faults. This will allow for clarity and for you to work towards achieving better habits.

4. Don't bottle up your feelings

I am especially guilty of not following this tip. Keeping to yourself may seem like the easier thing to do and, if you are like anything like me, you may hate being seen as an inconvenience. However, I know that if I bottle up for too long, I tend to shut down and then I won't be able to achieve anything. Expressing your feelings is okay. Crying is okay. Anger is okay. Emotion is okay.

5. Try new things

Take a yoga class. Volunteer. Go to a new restaurant. Anything that pushes you out of your comfort zone incubates growth. You don't even have to enjoy everything you do, you just have to try. However, you may also find a new passion because of it.

6. Get some sleep

Don't spend all your time sleeping and lose all motivation to do anything, but make a conscious effort to get sufficient sleep so that all of your days can be as efficient as possible. You will be more energized and your immune system, as well as your physical appearance, will thank you.

7. Don't force yourself to do things you don't like

I know I said to try new things. However, if your best friend loves running and you go with her one day and find out you HATE it, don't force yourself. Find what works for you through trial and error. You will be much happier with your own flow and it keeps you from developing resentment.

8. Learn to say no

All the women in my life are especially guilty of this. We spread ourselves too thin because we can't say no. This goes hand in hand with not forcing yourself to do things that you don't want to do. Saying no doesn't make you a bitch, it makes you strong and lets people know that you know what you want.

9. Say what you mean

Don't sugarcoat things. It will leave you feeling unfulfilled and, quite frankly, it's exhausting trying to tiptoe around what you really mean. Don't be rude or aggressive, rather assertive and straight forward. It will make you a better communicator and will take pressure off of you as well.

10. Finally, treat yourself

I said self care wasn't entirely about that. I didn't say it wasn't necessary.

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