My twopence on the body shape debate

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6 Comments


I've read this through quite a few times and I think it comes off as a rant, but it's not my intention, so with that in mind we'll get to it.

To start the ball rolling. I’m thin, I’ll just get that out there now.

I always have been. It’s not due to dieting, or sacrifice, or vanity - I’m just thin. 

Once upon a time my Mum and my Dad did that thing that makes a human. They put these little tiny building blocks together that would eventually turn into a small soft lumpy pink thing called me.

"Hi!"

Some of those building blocks were my Dads and some were my Mums and it turned out kind of long on top, a bit peculiar and bunched up around the middle and after all that there wasn’t much left for the spindly support beams, but it’s the way I was made and like each individual out there it’s a part of me. Sometimes we get along, and quite regularly we don't, but it's me none-the-less.

But regardless of my size I’m first and foremost a person. A person with opinions, and feelings. I evaluate my place in society just as much as the next person and sometimes I come out on top and sometimes I don’t.

As a slender woman I rarely voice my opinion on body shape because I feel I shouldn’t. That society won’t accept my opinion, because my lot in life has been determined as "lucky", so any opinion beyond thanks is not acceptable. I couldn’t possible understand self-confidence issues right?

Looking back on it, I don’t think anyone has ever asked me what I would like to look like (I can tell you its very different!) I think the general assumption is that I fit societies’ rules so that’s that.

People will always have their views, some will be kind, others won’t, and a lot of people frankly won’t care either way, but in a world where we’re told the grass is always greener, I’m going to share my part.

I’ve had friends that come and go in my life of all shapes and sizes. On average most of them have been bigger than me, a simple fact I’m very aware of, and has very likely affected who I am and my self-perception.

This is a question I’ve heard and asked too many times over the years

“So how do I look?”

When I see a friend try on a new dress for the first time and I think she looks great, the words that first reach my lips are usually one of the following “Beautiful. Gorgeous. Sexy. Stunning. Classy. Sophisticated. Fantastic.”

I don’t ask that question anymore and the reason why is the most common response I’ve ever had was:

“You look so skinny!”

It’s meant to be a compliment. But when you have body confidence issues just like any person has right to, what I hear is “you look disgusting”.

Have you ever looked up the definition of the word ‘Skinny’?

With my dictionary to hand this tells me:
“(of a person or part of their body) unattractively thin.”

Not what you might have thought!

So I’m not here to complain but to say, we are all bombarded with information our whole lives telling us that there’s something better than what we are and everyone has a different ideal.

The reality is there are a huge number of factors that determine our body shape. Some we can control and some we can’t, but if we can learn to be happy with who we are ‘right now’ surely that’s the best outcome?

I was born this way and there’s very little I can do about it. I might not like it but I hope I can one day come to accept it.

I have incredible respect for ANYONE who can love himself or herself, because it takes work and it's a continuous journey, and ITS HARD! But it’s essential.

There’s still of course one more important point that I would feel wrong not to include. That setting vanity, and body image aside health is also important. Whatever your shape or weight it’s incredibly important to try and maintain a healthy body (and a healthy mind). Your body is a pretty kind of important part of this whole being alive thing, and its especially important to pass that message onto our younger generations.

In that, I think education is and will be incredibly important, but we shouldn't rely on just our schools to teach those things. We have a responsibility to live by example and to teach and express joy for living healthily.

When you consider whether you are healthy or not, how are you doing it? Do you read a magazine? Do you look online for scientific papers proving it one way or the other? Or do you look inside yourself and say "Do I feel healthy? So what am I going to do about it?"

So I will finish on this. Putting it all into one big picture, let’s just try not to judge. Ultimately happiness has to come first, because a life however long, will only be worth it if we value it.

Do not confuse fighting for acceptance and happiness.

Ultimately we need to look inside ourselves. Don’t compare yourself (when you can, we’re all weak sometimes) but especially don’t judge others for their choices or their shape (Taller, shorter, bigger or thinner), because they very likely feel the same issues and challenges as you do. If your body truly brings you happiness then that is the best gift life will provide you, but if it doesn’t, learn to find it where you can, and improve it where you can.


I’ll let you do you, and you let me do me, and hopefully somewhere in there we’ll all find happiness.


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6 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you!

    I was born with an average sized torso, shorter-than-average legs, a bit of hippage, and I've always been rather slim and petite (leaving out the young "puppy fat" stage of course).

    When I'm told I look really thin in a dress, or really skinny, or that a colour really slims me down, I feel uncomfortable for the most part, because it makes me question what I look like now.

    I take after my mother, being 5ft and all, but I guess because we can't really complain about our self confidence issues, or can't make people aware of them, we need to make sittuations better for ourselves.

    If someone calls me a midget I tend to throw back the "little and lovely" malarky or "funsized" because its a lot nice than:

    short-arse
    half-pint
    dwarf
    midget

    Loved this post so much!

    Much love,

    Katie

    | http://funsizeblogger.blogspot.co.uk/ |

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    1. Aw thanks Katie, and thanks for sharing your experience too! I love your attitude, so positive, definitely the way to deal with these issues.

      It's always good to hear from other people and know that whatever shape or size we are we're all going through the same things.
      xxx

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  2. Your quote at the bottom summed everything up perfectly and I'm shocked at the dictionary definition of skinny! I think when it comes to all of our different bodies we should all just support each other and encourage one another to feel like whatever they are and however they look, they are enough- you know?


    www.thesundaymode.com

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    1. I think a lot of people would be shocked by it because it has a different social meaning to most of us, but it definitely highlights the misconceptions surrounding health and body confidence. I completely agree with you and glad to see supportive spirit out there. Hopefully with time and change we become more accepting of all body types. thanks for stopping by again :) hope you're good x

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  3. I was skinny (but tall-ish and hippy -- in my late teens my measurements were identical to Joan Crawford's published ones) until my late 20s, where I gained a lot of weight due to various reasons I won't get into here.

    While it is certainly more difficult to find clothes that aren't awful now, I remember full well it wasn't exactly easy before. I had to wear bigger sizes to get the sleeve length I needed, and to accommodate my (then-bony!) hips, even though the waistband was often so loose it was its own fitting problem.

    I'm glad you posted this, because it's good to point out clothing and body issues go way beyond mere sizes. Mass-produced clothing created this problem. Before that you found a good dressmaker (or learned how to sew) and that was that, with some exceptions for the vagaries of fashion.

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    1. So true! Thanks Katherine. I have to admit my seamstress skills are not what they should be but I really hope that one day I improve and can get back to those times my making and alternating the clothes I buy to fit perfectly. What a dream that would be.

      Thanks for sharing your body experience too, It always fills me with hope when we're able to openly discuss our difference without judgement and be accepting and embracing of our differences x

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