Somebody, Somewhere, Hates Your Body

I saw this yesterday in the check out line:

Wait…WHAT?  Somebody is letting a pregnant woman EAT AT WILL?  She’s already fat enough being pregnant, I’m not sure why she isn’t on a diet to try to keep her baby gains to a minimum.

On a less sarcastic note, I also recently saw this picture of the divine Scarlett Johansson floating around the internet with a caption “Scarlett Johansson in a bikini- looks (disgusting, terrible, abhorrent, or some other ear-catching, cruel word that I can’t remember).

Scarlett looks great to me, and I thought she looked great to everybody else too…but I guess that her cellulite is just too offensive to be overlooked.  (A note on cellulite: it is entirely genetic and most efforts to reduce it will be either ineffective or temporary.  The only real thing I’ve ever seen work to any notable degree is serious body recomposition, and that takes hard, hard work.  It will still never disappear.  And this pains me more than it pains you.)

Kim and Scarlett are celebrities- their bodies will get raked over the coals no matter what it looks like (too fat, too flabby, too pale, too bony, too saggy, anorexic, “addicted to crack”), but I think that all female bodies get hate.  There’s just no escaping it.

So let’s start where it’s easy: Fat women.  I needn’t list the cruel nicknames assigned to overweight woman and girls.  But what’s worse is the assumptions made about people with this particular body type: they’re lazy, they have no self control, they have poor hygiene, they eat hoards of food, they have no concern for health or wellness.  It’s hard to be a fat woman trying to get affection.  On a personal note, I have worn out my life trying to develop a personality that will make up for the undesirability of my body.  I don’t think I’ve manged yet.

There on those on the “love your fat body” front who have waged a psuedo-body acceptance movement.  I use the prefix “psuedo” because images like this get passed around the internet:

First, I am choosing to ignore the punctuation issue.

Second, the answer: It’ didn’t.  But can you imagine the uproar if the images on the bottom were switched with the images on top?  Why is it unacceptable to shame larger bodies, but okay to shame thin bodies?  There’s no virtue in shaming ANY body.  “Real women have curves”?  Well, some do, and some don’t.  Do define womanhood by curvaceousness is no better than to define beauty by slenderness.

Speaking of womanhood:

“She looks like a man!”  Well, no, she’s a woman, so she looks like a woman.  She looks like herself- an exceptionally toned woman.

“That’s just unnatural.”  Well, maybe a little bit.  But if she was a man, no one would be throwing this in her face.

“That’s just gross.”  Muscles are not gross.  It’s fine if this is not what you find the sexiest of physiques, but there’s no need to hate.   Women who look like this work very hard, and don’t think it’s ever fair to diminish that.

And your boobs?  If you’re small, you have the body of a 12 year old boy, if you’re large, you’re fat and gross, and if you’re fake, you’re a bimbo.  There’s not a lot of winning with this one.

No matter who you are, somebody, somewhere, hates your body.

But most people, most places, are probably fine with it.

But it’s the hating voices that we tend to hear loud and clear.  It’s the hating voices that tend to get internalized and turned into our own inner-voices.  It’s the hating voices that tend to shape the way we see not only ourselves, but the world around us.

But does it matter what other people think of our bodies?  Honestly, I don’t know.  I know I should say that it doesn’t, that all women are beautiful, that your happiness has nothing to do with how you look.

But that’s not where I am, that’s not really how I feel- at least about me.  You? You are beautiful, you’re body is beautiful, you should never feel ugly a day in your life.  We all know that that is a lot easier to say about others than it is to say about ourselves.

But I think this needs to be our goal- to understand that we are unconditionally beautiful, and that that beauty does not depend on any man-made standard, but because we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalms 139:14)  Our bodies and our faces and our mind are designed and crafted by God, and while Lady Gaga and I don’t usually see eye to eye, I have to agree with her that He makes no mistakes.

I’m not full of confidence or acceptance of the way I look, but I should be.  That’s the goal.

Somebody, somewhere hates your body, but try not to let that somebody be you.

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3 thoughts on “Somebody, Somewhere, Hates Your Body

  1. Amen! Society puts women’s bodies under so much scrutiny it’s absolutely ridiculous. Thanks so much for this post!

  2. Libby says:

    Love the last line!

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