Punishing ourselves for our physical imperfections

treeTopedit I’m going to sound like a hypocrite here, but it’s bothering me the fixation women are publicly having about their bodies. Why have we become a culture where it’s the acceptable norm to talk about our weight, how fat we are and bemoan calories and our lack of exercise? All the frickin’ time?

People are going to have opinions about your body. Sometimes, they won’t be flattering. But when you start to loathe yourself, there lies the path of pain and self-recrimination.

The simple truth is that everyone has warped perceptions of their bodies. Even the skinniest, hottest woman you know might be obsessed with so-called cellulite.

I have the odd moment when I look at my old pictures and wish I could have told the old me that there was nothing wrong with her. When I was a nice, healthy 55kg, I obsessed about a non-existent gut (which is sadly now existent) and bemoaned how unattractive I was. But when you’re bombarded with images of unattainable physical standards, it’s easy not to appreciate what you already have.

"Women are expected to be attractive. Those perceived to be unattractive become offensive and not worthy of being seen in public. Men, on the other hand, are free to be as crude and ugly as they wish, and in many cases are expected to be." – DailyIllini.com.

I hate that women I adore and admire turn into self-doubting, crushed individuals because the popular perception is that women who don’t have ‘perfect’ bodies aren’t worthy of affection, admiration, sexual attention or love.

To be brutally honest, some men do prefer slim, toned women. Does that mean the rest of us not-so-slim, not-so-toned should just drop ourselves into the unattractive bucket and accept life’s cruelties?

If you’re unhappy with your body, let it be because you think you deserve better than to haul around an extra spare tire with you all the time. Not because you care that someone will find you unattractive. The people who love you, will love you whatever skin you’re in. And the ones who love you enough will gently prod you to do something about the skin if it needs some work, because we all need a reminder to not let ourselves go sometimes.

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