Friday, 25 April 2014

When Confidence Becomes Criticism


Print by Alice Edmonston

Last year I did a TEDx talk on the body confidence of young people and what people can do to support positive body image. Since October my opinions on body image seem to have gotten stronger, I used to feel a bit awkward speaking about them. Not any more.

The decision to eventually write this post was fuelled by an argument I witnessed on Facebook in which one person was protesting that no man would want a 'skinny girl' because they have no personalities and only plus size women have hearts of gold. I was genuinely horrified to read this and felt like she single-handedly undone tons of work within body diversity.

You don't have to be plus-size to have been subjected to body shaming, if anything it can be more difficult to speak up about your body shaming experiences if you are smaller, because obviously thinner people don't have concerns about their body image too.

No matter your size you are still going to have things you don't like about your body, that's just the way it is sadly so why are people being body shamed left right and centre?!

It really gets to me that every time I talk about healthy eating or needing to exercise that someone has to say "why, you're already skinny". The reason I try and lead a healthy life has nothing to do with my size and everything to do with my health on the inside. This leads onto meal-shaming (I am not sure if that is an actual term). Why is it okay for someone to tell me to "eat some cake" or "have a burger" because "you need to put on some pounds". I will eat some cake if and when I want to eat some cake however, I am a vegetarian so won't be eating a burger any time soon. I can only imagine the horror if I told someone not to eat some cake because they need to shed some pounds. It's not your body so you have no right to try and control what goes in and out of it!

As for "skinny girls have no personalities". Come and have a chat with me about the body shaming you are doing and then you'll see my personality.

Complaining over!

Hannah x

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