*Originally posted July 26, 2013*
Human beings are the cruelest animals on this earth.
We often hear women (and men for that matter) being criticized for being overweight and unhealthy. Especially with today’s media drilling into our brains that thin = worthy, people feel that they must fit into society’s mould of what is beautiful and they beat themselves up over it day in and day out. Sometimes I am one of those people. Why did I eat that? Why didn’t I workout 30 mins. longer? Why do I bulge here? Why is it soft there?
But what about those people who do fit the mould? The people who are active and have no visible body fat? Why do we still criticize them if they are what we are striving to be?
I work with a girl who is about 5’7’’ and 130 lbs. She is a highly active person and is very thin. She does weight training and loves to go outdoors and be active. She eats healthy foods and looks after herself. But she frequently gets comments like, “You’re too thin”, or “You need to gain weight.” Today a regular customer saw her on her break and said, “Oh, good. You’re eating. You could stand to gain 10 pounds.”
For some reason, we as a society see nothing wrong with this bullying of the fit and active. The people that speak to her in that way would probably never tell an overweight person, “You’re too fat”, or “You should put that down. You could stand to lose 10 pounds.” So why do they think it’s okay to tell her she’s too thin?
We mask it by saying that it’s about being concerned for their health and body image. They must think that they are fat and therefore must workout/diet too much, and that is why they are so thin. When, really, we don’t know what the reason is that they are the size and shape that they are.
Perhaps for some reason they are unable to gain weight? Perhaps they are in a healthy body weight/BMI for their height/age and we are just used to seeing people with more body fat than that? Whatever the reason, it is never okay to just comment on someone’s weight like that. Just because someone is thin doesn’t mean that they are immune to the hurtful comments that others make. Just because someone is thin, or overweight, does not give anyone else the right to comment on it.
I have been at a few beaches lately and have had the opportunity to people watch. It is wonderful how many different body types you can see at the beach. Women of all shapes and sizes wear bikinis to the beach. Women who I think have great bodies and should show ‘em off wear full, one-piece bathing suits. Nobody is overly self-conscious (or at least it’s not noticeable) and everyone rocks their suits.
I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight this past year. It has taken a while to get used to it and to feel comfortable in my own skin. There are still days when I’m unhappy with certain parts of my body. But it’s important to remember that, no matter what shape or size you are, you will have haters. The beautiful, thin, fit, healthy people have people telling them they are too thin. The beautiful, curvy, indulgent people have people telling them they are too fat. It really is just about making yourself happy and going with the flow. Because you can’t please everyone and your life doesn’t get magically better when you lose that 5 pounds.