Sunday Self-reflections: Healthy body, Healthy mind



Welcome to another Sunday Self-reflection. Today we're talking body image and self-esteem.

I've noticed an increasing trend in tabloids and blogs this year about 'skinny models' and 'curvy beauty' and it's been causing a lot of discussion so I thought I'd throw my hat in.

Before I start I want to first say I have no bias against either thinner or curvy women and truly think beauty comes in all shapes and sizes!

So the gist of the discussion started around the topic of very thin models, promoting unhealthy body image and discrimination against women of a typical or curvier figure. This lead to some great changes to media, advertising and fashion as a whole. A new burst in plus size models hit the scene and a number of top brands embraced the model with curves - sounds great so far!

However there's been an increasing trend that's moved away from promoting body confidence for the curvier woman and has turned towards what some people are calling 'skinny bashing'. 

If you haven't heard of this, feel glad, no form of discrimination should be OK. But to give you a basic understanding, 'skinny bashing' is pretty much what it says on the tin. It is the open and often cruel and unpleasant insulting of thin people for no reason other than their body type.

So from what began as an attempt to stop abuse and discrimination against the curvier woman (or man!) things seem to have gone full circle and it's now a regular feature to see statements across the web with rude and offensive remarks towards thinner people.

But don't you think we're missing the big picture...?

As a naturally thin woman, I can say from experience that being thin is also not always a choice. In fact for as long as I can remember I've been trying to put on weight, not because I need to (I weigh a very healthy weight) but because of a body image I've grown to think is 'more' beautiful than my own'.
Media 1 - Thea 0.

When I wear a new dress people don't say "hey you look great", "wow that really suits you" but more often than not I hear "wow you're so skinny".

Did you know that in the dictionary the word 'skinny' actually means unattractively thin?

So I'm sure you can imagine as a person who struggles to put on weight how this can be damaging for a persons self-esteem. Maybe you've been there too - compliments aren't always so complimenting are they? 

So why are we putting any body type above another? Why would we want to make any person feel any less about themselves?

Which leads me to the real question, what are we trying to achieve?

If we are trying to tell people that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes then that should encompass everyone - no brainer.

I think it's about time we gain a little perspective. Instead of telling people how they should look, who's right, who's wrong and generally discriminating against anyone, shouldn't we focus on promoting health as a whole? You can be perfectly healthy and have a completely different appearance to the person next to you, so why should we all have to conform to a beauty norm?

We need to be promoting health not just image. Someone can be thin, average or curvy and still have health problems...but they can also be perfectly healthy.

There's a lot of body confidence and self-esteem that's been lost because of the wrong messages flying about in the media and on the web, and it's time for a change.

For my self-reflection project this week I've been focusing on my health. Instead of worrying what the tabloids say I should look like, I've spent some time evaluating and understanding the routes of my worries and ultimately working to feel happier and more confident in my own skin. I can't really change my body type, so I'm wasting my time worrying about petty remarks about being skinny. What really matters is my health. If I'm healthy, it shouldn't matter if I'm thin or not, and chances are with good health will come improved confidence in my appearance.

If you have body image issues too, take a moment to think about why, and look past your physical appearance and concentrate on your health. Are you living a healthy life? Could you make steps to improve your health? You'll find with a healthier lifestyle your happiness and confidence will also improve.

I'd love if you were willing to share your body image experiences as well that you leave a comment in the box below or DM me if you'd prefer. It would be really interesting to see the similarities in our body shaming and body confidence stories across body types, and share any tips you have for improving self-esteem.

We shouldn't be telling people how to conform, we should embrace all body types. Embrace your figure, and your face. Perfection can be found in your imperfections and it's what makes us unique so focus on what matters.

Live a healthy life, look after your body, and look after your mind, they come hand in hand and each needs as much nurturing as the other.

Let's stop the body bashing and focus on things that really matter.

Enough time has been wasted enforcing a particular body type on people and more efforts need to be made to promote health as a whole.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on health promotion and body image so feel free to comment and I'll write back soon! Please be conscious of all who might be reading if you do leave a comment.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back next Sunday for another Self-reflection.

Bye from me!

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  1. Great post and great ideas. I noticed the trend and was quite suprised that by helping some people we judge others. I think as long as people are healthy and satisfied with their own body's as well as take care of themselves, they are definitely beautiful. It's not only your body type, beauty is the whole you, I think, so either thin or curvier women can be beautiful.

    1. Thanks Amila, my thought patterns we a bit all over the place but I'm glad the main message is there.

      I completely agree, society is clearly focussing on the wrong problems here. If we spent all the time that's currently dedicated to changing appearances to promoting the value of better health and the benefits of that, people would ultimately be healthier, happier and more body confident.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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