FW has been focusing on the issue of body image over the last six months, and was very pleased to see this topic come up during the #fbloggers twitter chat recently which backs up what we have to say today, and have been planning for a while but wanted to tie into making resolutions.
We think there are only two resolutions you should make, ones you need to keep for yourself and others and the media at the moment are making us think this is increasingly important.
1) Promise to love yourself for who you are, and only change that person because you want to, never to fit in or because of pressure from others.
2) Think about how you make others feel, make a commitment not to undermine the way they feel about themselves, or attack their body image.
Coming back to resolution one, I’ll point to a current advert from a diet company, a girl talks about how due to weight loss they now do things together. OK so basically your mum was fat so you wouldn’t go shopping with her, yeah there is a great example of how to behave and no body shaming there, conform to an ideal or your not part of the fun.
Given the bombardment at this time of year from diet, health, gym companies its hardly surprising people are being made to feel inferior. well you know what, fuck them, celebrate who you are not the agenda they are following to make cash by making you feel shit about who you are. Anyone who tells you to do something is only worth listening to if its purely to help you and isn’t using shame for change.
(I feel that there is enough information out there on diet etc for you as an adult to make an informed choice about your lifestyle and who you want to be, lets be honest until people are given the same pressure over smoking and drinking as lifestyle choices this is about image or making money not health.)
On the second resolution, its a lot easier for people to love themselves for who they are (resolution 1, see their linked) if your not making them feel rubbish for it. We can all sit and blame the media for perpetuating body image issues but if we buy in and then take part in that we’re not only giving them a platform to do it but are as guilty as the people we blame. If you use body image to insult someone your not only attacking them your undermining the confidence of other people that see it. An example would be, how many people commented on the press position that Jennifer Lawrence is fat, how many people then thought that and said well if she is what does that make me. this is destructive, so this year you need to focus on your part in this culture that increasingly pervades, lets all make a commitment to step back and say lets not judge others this way, lets end this idea that body shape or the face you have is an acceptable thing to attack someone over.
Every single one of you is a beautiful, unique and wonderful pinnacle of perfection, your amazing in your own way, never let anyone make you feel bad for being that & never make someone else feel bad for it either.
And don’t forget that body shaming isn’t just about people we perceive as overweight, it applies to everyone, being called too skinny can hurt as much as being called fat, comments on chest size, to flat, to big, the shape of a nose, the type of lips someone has all hurt and can be used as weapons. We urge you to see this as a universal thing, not as only applying to one set of people you have pigeon holed as unacceptable.
I’ve consulted a Dr on this, (yes Dr Seuss is a Dr) and I’ll leave you with one of my fave poems.
Today you are you,
That is truer than true,
There is no-one alive that is youer than you