Confidence comes sparingly. For some people, it’s long-lasting but for other people not so much. However, everyone has a different body and they’re allowed to be uncomfortable in it.
Beauty perceptions are more personal than people realise. Any person of any gender, weight, height and race can feel insecure. It comes with the territory of being human and everyone’s voices should be heard.
Bodies are bodies, and if it’s not your body, then you don’t really get an opinion.
All body types are treated blatantly different. There’s skinny shaming for slender figures, but it’s almost always brushed aside. It’s an unfortunate result of societies value of thin builds and endlessly strived for weight loss measures.
But tormenting someone to eat more is not a compliment. No matter what joking way you mean it to sound. Encouraging someone to eat because they look too ‘skinny’ is also a form of body shaming.
Harassing someone on their dietary preferences is unfair. It’s also ignorant because you most likely don’t know or understand their relationship with food. But let this be said; mind your own business. Nobody particularly wants to hear your opinion anyway.
By commenting on someone’s diet you could be causing more harm than good.
Right now, we’re in the phase of celebrating body positivity. That means all bodies need to be respected. The ones with and without curves, because there is no ‘ideal’ body type that defines beauty. But naturally, people have their stereotypes that they think are helpful.
Like complimenting someone for losing weight. How about you just don’t?
Sometimes weight loss can be unintentional, it’s not always the golden standard. Some people bask in the glory of such powerful words, but not everyone. It’s meant well but honestly; it can sometimes put people down.
That same person may not be feeling great about their body. The weight loss you see they might not. There are many types of people, some who like being told they look smaller. It doesn’t make you any less of a person to feel that way.
Your body is your temple; own it.
Associating weight loss with happiness isn’t comforting. Screw anyone who claims otherwise, what do they know? For some people, it might put pressure on them to diet more. To feel only a sense of worth when they’re being complimented for a better image of their body.
There should be no bodies that are “more attractive than yours” but rather differently perceived. Because that is where body image stems from; perceptions. Different opinions and personal desires that sometimes align with others and are generally accepted.
But almost not all.
The same goes for those living with disabilities. Individuals who are perceived as different and worse, even inferior to more abled bodies. Associating words such as feeble and weak to those with disabilities is insulting, and creates a stigma surrounding disabilities.
One that we need to discourage. Those with disabilities should be praised like everyone else, not regarded as sickly. Studies have shown that those with physical disabilities can produce a negative influence on people’s attitudes and feelings towards their own bodies.
Too many voices speaking about bodies creates unrealistic expectations. For others in society and yourself. None should matter but your own but it’s easy for your own opinion not to matter. For many people, living in their own skin can be difficult.
Shamefully, people of colour (POC) and black bodies were often excluded from traditional beauty norms. Often they were hypersexualised instead and were seen less as people and more as objects.
Beauty should be seen as it is; diverse and boundless. It’s really shameful that beauty is getting so ugly now.
Inclusivity needs to be extended to all members of society, including trans individuals. Commenting on their body can be offensive and is especially so when it’s not warranted. Saying that a person does not look trans isn’t going to make anyone swoon with gratitude.
Because there’s no way to look trans. Prepare for your mind to be blown by this; people just look the way they do. That’s all. There’s no mystery to it, no way to look, no specific gendered version for you to box them in.
Gender stereotypes themselves are dangerous to body image. Inflicting social and cultural pressures on people to look a specific way is very harmful. Let people look how they please, your opinion is ultimately not necessary.
Especially when it’s negative. Just keep your mouth shut, trust me; no one wants to hear what you have to say anyway.
Members of the LGBTQIA community are often scrutinised for their body image. Gay men are always propagated to look muscular and oiled like they just came from a calendar shoot. Gay women are expected to fit into one of two categories; femme or butch.
Bodies should not have to look a particular way according to sexuality. Gender should not determine the shape of one’s body, not everyone associates with one. Weight shouldn’t estimate the worth of someone because they’re heavier or lighter than another.
And skin should not be a beauty trade to try and tear out. Body image needs to celebrate all bodies of all kinds. There needs to be a final acceptance that skinny isn’t the golden standard and neither is curvy nor thicc.
I want to be able to wear clothes and not be called brave for it. I want people to feel comfortable in their skin, no matter what shade.
I’m ready for beauty not to be seen anymore but instead to be felt. It shouldn’t be this hard for people to do that, but it is. And that means something has to change.
Featured image credit: Popsugar.com
Deputy Editor of Brig Newspaper. Fourth year journalism and English student at the University of Stirling. Lover of covering social issues and creator of 'The Talk' column for everyone who needs to hear it.