If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen this hashtag in my most recent post. Get ready to start seeing it more.
For years, I’ve had a horrible relationship with my body. No matter what I looked like, there was always something I thought wasn’t good enough. When I was in high school, I saw myself as fat. When I gained weight in college, I looked at photos of my body in high school and longed for that figure again. When I started lifting weights, I was unsatisfied with my stomach fat and hip dips. I hate the fat on the inside of my thighs, and I feared tank tops because of the extra fat on my arms. I want a rounder butt and thinner waist and muscular arms but not too muscular just toned and oh losing some weight in my face would be nice but not so much it makes my nose look bigger and OH MY GOD WHERE DID THOSE STRETCH MARKS COME FROM?!
And thus, the spiral begins.
As my relationship with my body has grown, so has my awareness of all of the messages we receive that give us body anxiety.
Of course, there are the obvious ones: magazines telling us what we should look like, the whack-ass sizing on women’s clothing (seriously why do my pants range from size 10-15????), and the scandal that occurs any time someone famous shows any sign of possessing body fat.
Then, there are the messages we receive about how the shape of our bodies determine our health. In 2017, Nike released a plus-sized fitness line that sparked a ton of fat-shaming comments. Despite the fact that a fitness line promotes *ahem* fitness, fat-shamers sped to the instagram comments to criticize Nike’s promotion of “an unhealthy lifestyle.” Eye roll.
Recently, I saw a Facebook post comparing body scans from a 250-pound woman and a 120-pound woman. The point of the post was to highlight the fact that visceral fat, aka fat that surrounds your organs, is unhealthy to have. It was very clearly structured to imply that fat people would be healthier if they were thin. Because “It’S aBoUt HeAlTh!!!”
What the post failed to mention? Even very thin people can have dangerous amounts of visceral fat. You can’t tell how much someone has just by looking at them. Honestly, the point of “It’s not about being skinny. It’s about being healthy!” would be better made by showing two 120-pound women, one with visceral fat and one without.
Also, SOMEONE ELSE’S HEALTH IS NONE OF YA GODDAMN BUSINESS!!!!!
So, fuck it. Here’s to my body no matter what. Here’s to the stomach rolls, the cellulite, the stretch marks, the scars, the pimples, and, yes, any and all visceral fat hiding underneath my skin. I love you, body. Forever.