Throughout my life, I’ve been told my body isn’t normal and that I shouldn’t love what I look like. If this is true, what is it saying to the younger generation? I was 12 when I was told I needed to lose weight and be put on a diet. Why does this matter when we are so young? I remember a quote from a friend’s mum and she said,
“It doesn’t matter when you’re young, you can lose the weight when you’re older”
That has stuck with me for 10 years. Now that I’m older, I see it’s true. Who cares when you’re younger? You’re a child, you shouldn’t be restricting your child or put children on diets as their bodies are still developing. Yes, it is harder to lose weight when you’re older but wouldn’t you like your child to enjoy themselves and not look at food like its the enemy in their life?
You’ve probably seen the new Cosmo UK cover featuring Tess Holiday and let me tell you, I would have loved to see that when I was younger. Having been put on a diet with magazines showing me the “perfect body”, I felt like an outcast from my friends. I was branded fat and well, to them I wasn’t normal. If I saw that cover when I was younger, I would know that all bodies are different and no matter what, the only person who needs to worry about your body is you.
Body Positivity starts from a young age. If we’re told we’re not normal just because we have a different body than our peers than what does that do to a person? A child? How does that affect someone so young and especially as it affects their mental health? If we keep telling young kids their bodies aren’t perfect or aren’t society’s picture of “normal”, then what goes on in their head when they look at themselves?
I’m not saying this is the same for everyone struggling with this kind of thing but when I was basically told I wasn’t normal and I needed to lose weight, I would go on stupid diets. One I remember was the apple diet, where I just ate apples? I was 14/15! The fact that I thought that diet could even work baffles me.
So what does this mean now that it is becoming okay for plus-sized people to be featured in magazines and different kinds of bodies being featured on runways?
It means that we are presenting a more positive picture for younger children and for those struggling with their body. They can find comfort in the fact that other people are like them. It helps them come to terms with the fact that they too are normal!
I feel blessed to even talk about this stuff to you and not get shit for it. I may do but I really could care less. I know there are health issues associated with being overweight but if someone is happy and healthy, why does that matter? Just because their overweight doesn’t mean they don’t exercise and have a stable diet. It may be a different problem that is being dealt with.
If you see someone flaunting themselves and being who they are, cheer them on. Don’t shout derogatory terms at them, it really doesn’t help you in any way.
Finally, be who you want to be, no matter what you look like. You are loved and valued and if you think different, then I love you and I don’t even know you. Never let someone tell you your body isn’t normal because no one is perfect and no one is the same.
Let’s celebrate who we are and our bodies, it’s time to love yourself no matter what you look like.
Featured Photo by Pierre BEST
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