Ideals and stereotypes are really so last decade.
A friend of mine who was constantly body shaming people caught my attention and I tried to explain to him that his comments could hurt them, and that he should stop. But he asked me, “Why shouldn’t I,if what I say makes them want to look better and they go to the gym? They’ll be healthier right?What’s wrong with wanting to be better? “
Better health-wise? Nothing. In fact you probably should plan a better diet and lose a few pounds if you're over the line. But better looking? Why is it that if you have abs and a jawline you look better, but people without these things don’t? Who wrote all this down, why is it so ingrained in our brains?
If attractiveness is measured by the size of your waist or the bulge of your biceps, then there’s something seriously wrong with society. But that’s already obvious,isn’t it?
So what happens when you tell someone they’re fat, but ‘it’s for their own good'?
It spurs immediate action. They go home, they look at themselves in the mirror and turn dissatisfied with what they see. There goes self confidence, there goes self esteem. The light in their eyes dies out, but you don’t see it, do you? Behind closed doors, they throw up what they’ve eaten because they feel like they don’t deserve to eat now, when they’ve already eaten so much until then. Like every morsel taken in just adds to the size of their thighs, like nothing about them is special anymore and they won’t be taken seriously until they slim down and conform to your ideals. Dreams and hopes and talent all wasted and swiped away without a second glance because someone somewhere decided to idealize an unrealistic body type that is now the most important thing one should focus on.
People starve themselves. They develop eating disorders without even realizing it. Instead of going about losing weight the healthier way, they fall prey to brands selling magic weight loss pills and nonsensical diets that is horrendous for your body.
But more importantly, they lose a sense of self. They feel like they’re reduced to nothing but how much they weigh and what they look like. As if everything else that person is, all the virtues and talents that define him or her is of no value anymore because hey, you’re fat. Because hey, that’s all you are.
Here’s the deal. People are of different body types, fat, skinny, tall, short, whatever it may be, it’s none of anyone’s business. If you’re concerned about their health find a way to help them in ways that won’t make them hate themselves. And if you can’t do that, then you may as well just keep your opinions to yourself. Don’t say it if it’s not kind, don’t say it if it’s going to make them love themselves a little less. You can’t be harsh and rude to people because ‘it’s for their own good'.
That’s just dumb.
When I say this, I know I’m speaking for a lot of people and that’s really sad. Thoughts need to change, people need to open their minds. If someone wants to hit the gym and get ripped, let them. If someone wants to focus on toning their body, let them. And if someone wants to just be healthy, but with no particular desire to look a certain way, let them. Live and let live, man, come on.
As for me, I know it was stupid to get caught up in the moment and overdo it, but my idiocy isn’t the point. It’s what drove me to it. I’m going to go back to an easier routine as soon as this agony fades, and I’m going to eat healthier, and most importantly I’m going to keep myself happy. The momentary lapse into anxiety and self loathing was exactly that, momentary.
And I’m not getting rid of Matthew any time soon, no matter what anyone says. Because it’s going to be a statement.
A definitive ‘screw you' to everyone who thinks I need a flat stomach to be beautiful.