Do you ever read a quote that just hits you so hard? For me, it was a few weeks ago when I saw a quote on some social media platform and it said something like "We live in a society that begs women to love themselves but tells confident women to calm down."
Seriously, read that again. Holy cow. This applies to women in all kinds of ways, but how have you seen that play out in your life? I can definitely relate to that on so many levels. When I gained weight and was struggling with my body image, feeling like such a stranger in my own skin, and hiding under layers and layers of clothes, the message was "just love yourself", "beauty is not just external", "others see beauty in you that you don't see in yourself". Yes, those things were, and are still true. But once I lost the weight and not only accepted my body but started LOVING it and taking care of it, the message seemed to change.
Why are you eating that? You're already skinny.
How can you eat that?
Chicken again, huh?
Your life is boring.
We're all going to die eventually you know.
The message our society sends isn't "love yourself in the skin you're in"; the message is more like "love yourself but not to the point where it makes someone else feel uncomfortable".
Why do we do this to each other? Often times, the moment we project something positive people respond negatively. And I'll be honest, as women we do this to each other, A LOT. Very rarely will a guy at work make a comment to me about what I'm eating (possibly because I work in a female dominated industry, but I don't think so). When I was eating fast food daily, no one would have thought for a second to call me out. "Sooo.... Burger King again, huh?" That would have NEVER HAPPENED. But the moment you bring in something healthy, the condescending comments are endless. People will go completely out of their way to bring me something I don't want to eat to see if they can get me to "crack". My time spent at the gym (moving my body the way it was MEANT to move) is viewed as an obsessive, self involved thing that I do. Or I get comments about how I spend my time that way because I don't have children. Trust me, even though I don't have kids there are a million other things that could take up my time instead of the gym. I lived that way for years, I know all about it.
My point is I would never, ever call someone out (except maybe Camron :P) for their daily food choices. I would never nag them about how they choose to spend their free time. So why do we do those things to people who are trying so hard to take care of their bodies in a world that is already setting them up for failure at any corner?
Personally, this shit annoys me but it doesn't really affect me. But what about the people who are affected by it? What if those people give up on a healthy lifestyle because for some really messed up reason, it's seen as the unpopular choice? Why do we do this? I have a hunch that this type of negativity rears it's ugly head when the person projecting it is forced to realize there's something in their life that might need to change. Deep down they might know they should be eating a little healthier or working out a little more frequently. They might also feel like a stranger in their own skin, spending their day completely consumed with their negative body image like I was. Or there's just something else in their life making them miserable. Misery loves company.
But I'm here to encourage you - never calm down. Be confident. Love your body. Move your body. Nourish your body. Appreciate your body. Take care of your body. Because trust me, once you find that confidence, it is the best feeling in the world. Don't let anybody take it away from you.