This showed up on my Facebook feed today, and I’d like to discuss it briefly.
One of the biggest arguments I hear from people against “love your body” campaigns is that if we tell fat girls and boys they should love their bodies, they won’t lose weight. Telling us that we should be ashamed of ourselves for being more than our assigned BMI, however, doesn’t help. I have spent many years hating my body with a passion. This hatred does not make me want to lose weight. It makes me want to hide away, huddled in bed, fearful of what others will say, and worried that if I were to, say, go running, the sight of my unsightly body would cause mass chaos. Would cause the eyes of men to leak from their bodies, would cause children to cry, would cause other women to somehow become fatties just like me.
Well, fuck that shit, I say.
Loving one’s body isn’t necessarily only about deciding your body is perfectly healthy just the way it is. It’s about loving yourself enough to do what makes you happy. If you hate your body, you aren’t going to take care of it. You’re going to either neglect it, or intentionally destroy it, and destruction is not ideal, either. One can destruct equally well with empty calories and self harm as one can with extreme dieting or a finger down one’s throat.
Being laughed at for my thighs never once made me want to exercise to shrink them. No. It made me wear loose-fitting skirts to hide them. I couldn’t very well go running with thunder thighs, could I? God knows what people would say if I showed my fat in public.
When we tell girls they’re unacceptable the way they are, we aren’t encouraging them to be better; we’re making them feel worthless. When we succeed at that, being “fat” is the least of their worries.