Why Flat Stomachs Are Overrated

Why Flat Stomachs Are Overrated

Health and happiness and kindness should always be a priority over achieving society's ideal body shape.


When I was younger, I struggled with my weight. I was a little on the chubby side, and definitely bigger than my classmates, but it never really bothered me. I was a happy kid. I loved life, and I even loved myself.

But to this day at 21 years old, I still remember sitting on the bus and watching two boys from my class look back at me and laugh. When they finally caught my eye, one boy said, "Hey, Theresa! You're fat. "

Fat. I had never used that word to describe myself before. But watching those two boys say it over and over again to my face, watching my peers laugh at me, I realized that suddenly, my body was not 'society-approved.' It was wrong to be fat; it was embarrassing to be fat; it was shameful to be fat.

That night was the first night I went home and cried to my parents because of the way I looked. Mind you, as a child with asthma, I had been on numerous steroids and medications that made me gain weight. I would grow out of the chubby stage one day. But none of that mattered to those two boys who pointed out that my body was considered less than ideal, and ultimately pulled the trigger and shot me into what would become a lifelong struggle with body image.

I'm not sharing this for pity. I'm sharing this because I accepted my body and was happy with how I looked until someone told me that I didn't look the way society wanted me to look. That I wasn't the thin ideal. And apparently, not having a flat stomach and a tiny waist was wrong. Even at eight years old.

Isn't that bothersome? That people can be happy with how they look until someone tells them otherwise? That one comment made as a child can affect someone decades later?

What we need to learn as a society is that being thin is not what's important; what's important is our health and our happiness, and most importantly, being kind to one another. I may not have a flat stomach, but I'm healthy. I have days where I hate the way I look, and I envy other girls' bodies, but I would never make anyone feel ashamed for the way they look just to make myself feel better. We have to make ourselves feel beautiful on our own and together as a society. Let's stop putting others down for such superficial, trivial things such as physical appearance, and instead, build each other up.

It only takes one comment to affect someone negatively for the rest of their life. Remember that before you speak to someone.

Popular Right Now

Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Meditation Is Not A Perfect Practice, But It's Still Worth Your Time

You'll thank me later.


I began doing yoga a few years ago, and I instantly loved it. The combination of stretching, mental relaxation, and emotional release is amazing. It creates a sense of zen and peace in my life that I can use during the stress that comes from school, work, and everyday life. But the one part of yoga that I am not in love with is the meditation aspect.

I absolutely dread meditation. I do not know what it is, but I can never quite seem to get my mind to quiet down. No matter how hard I try, there is always a million thoughts running through my brain. "Did I finish that homework assignment?" "Am I breathing too loud? Can other people hear me?" I become so focused on other things happening around me that I just can't seem to calm down and relax.

But meditation is not about just clearing your mind and going completely blank. It is about focusing on a single thought, object, or intention and just allowing those emotions and feelings to overcome you. Focusing on one intention in your life allows you to become focused and re-centered. Meditation is not a set in stone practice, it is adaptable based on each person's needs.

There are seven general types of meditation: loving-kindness meditation, body scanning meditation, mindfulness meditation, breath awareness meditation, kundalini yoga, Zen meditation, and transcendentalism meditation. Each of these general types can be adapted to fit ones specific needs in that time. All seven of these meditations offer stress release options to help with daily stressors and inconveniences.

There is no perfect way to meditate. Meditation can also be as simple as just closing your eyes and simply breathing for a few seconds while focusing on one important thing in your life to help you remain grounded. There is no one set meditation type that works for all people. Some people enjoy all of the forms or even several of them, while others such as myself strictly enjoy the body scanning meditation.

The body scanning meditation focuses on scanning the body for areas of tension and to encourage the release of tension in that part of the body. Once the release occurs, the whole body can begin to relax even more. It usually starts by focusing on the toes and relaxing then moving up the legs, the torso the arms to the fingertips, and all the way through to the tip of the head.

My ideal meditation type is not for everyone. Playing around with the different types of meditations is the best way to find an ideal type of meditation that fits what the body needs. Unlike with most things, practice doesn't make perfect. Practicing the art of meditation just helps to refine the overall calm and zen that is felt.


Related Content

Facebook Comments