What’s with the Body Wars?

One of the things I think a lot of us struggle with – women in particular – is that when we see an image of someone that doesn’t resemble us, and it’s paired with something positive, we interpret that as I’m not good enough, attractive – whatever – because I don’t look like that. In reality, that image isn’t a diss, nor is it telling us that we’re not good enough just because we look different. It’s just one perspective of a positive image.

And, quite frankly, we all need a little more positivity in our lives. If you don’t like what you see, don’t look at it. But don’t bring others down in the process.

fit20Body wars, body shaming, this looks good, this doesn’t, you should look like this, you shouldn’t look like that, this is good, this is bad…

It’s all a ridiculous waste of time.

The body wars taking place don’t seem to be based in reality or moderation. There’s all this controversy over super-skinny models on one side, and then there’s the “big is beautiful” movement (for lack of a better way to phrase it) on the other.

Super skinny and malnourished isn’t healthy. Overweight or obese isn’t healthy. Both extremes carry significant health risks. I’m all for empowerment, no matter what your size. Empowerment builds confidence, and confident people are more enjoyable to be around. But I’m sorry, if you’re empowering yourself by making someone else feel like crap, I don’t care what you look like on the outside – the inside is ugly.

When I need a pick-me-up or motivation to stick to my goals, I go looking for images and quotes that speak to me and my goals. I don’t go looking for images that shame bodies that don’t look like mine just to make me feel better about what I look like. I also don’t waste my time trying to justify what I look like to others and prove to others that my body is beautiful. I know it is – because I take good care of it. And on those days when I don’t like it? I look at my lifestyle and figure out which healthy lifestyle habits got out of control, and I fix it. By addressing the healthy lifestyle issue, the body image issue takes care of itself.

The body wars are exhausting, discouraging, and confusing. And this isn’t a new trend, not by a long shot. It just amazes me that as a society this issue is still as alive and active as it is. Don’t we have better things to worry about?

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