Every morning I like to start by reading a few articles for inspiration, enlightenment and personal growth.  This morning, as I was doing my usual peruse of the internet for said articles, I stumbled across this one;  The Internet Hates Cellulite and Here’s Why. If you’re following along, I don’t like to use my blog to rant about societal issues but this one really lit me up.

Body shaming and haters hating is hardly a new and enlightening story. In fact, hardly a day has gone by over the last half-century that there isn’t some sort of headline on just that. But today, for some reason, this whole idea really irked me.

Where has this culture of inadequacy come from?

How have we as a society who have all lived through it time and time again, not done something to change the story?

There has to be a tipping point somewhere, right?!

How about we start empowering one another rather than continuing the legacy of ideals, shame and ridicule?

I am not kidding myself in thinking this is an issue exclusive to woman, but it seems to be where it is most prevalent. And I’d be completely lying if I said that I never felt the unending pressure from the media and cultural bombardment of what ‘perfect’ looks like. I just feel this highlights how fucked up our society is.

Why can’t we have more than one ideal of beautiful? Or better yet, why can’t beautiful be that there are not ‘ideals’?

Article author, Stefani Ruper very eloquently puts it like this:

The internet hates women who don’t look the way they’re “supposed to.” This is beyond terrible for more reasons than I can state. In short:

Internet shamers encourage women to believe that the most important thing for her to be is properly thin and proportioned. Women with children are led to believe this. Young women are led to believe this. Adolescent girls are led to believe this. Self-worth goes out the window. Priorities that actually matter like health and love and goodness and family go out the window. Women of all shapes and sizes become self-scrutinizing, self-hating, self-doubting, terrified, controlling, perfectionistic worriers who are in existential pain all of the time. 

Existential pain? Well shit, that sounds like a pretty awful way to get through your days.

As someone in my (almost) mid-thirties who has had my own struggles with weight, self-acceptance and self-love from a very early age; I don’t envy anyone raising a teenage girl (or guy for that matter) in the internet and social media age. Atleast when I was growing up we were only shaming ourselves by comparing our reflection to what we saw on tv and in magazines.

It’s taken me this long to learn to be comfortable in my own skin and shift my focus away from striving for perfection, youth and beauty to living a holistic, wholehearted life centred around wellbeing. A life where I strive for health and strength over vanity and false ideals. And I’m sure I speak for the majority when I say this is a battle for most of us every single day.

I’m also certain I can speak for the masses when I say not one of us out there is perfect, and that is perfectly ok. Speaking for myself, I’m perfectly me. Sometimes I gain weight, sometimes I lose weight. Sometimes I buy into the social pressures and sometimes I give them the middle finger. As I’ve gotten older (and marginally wiser) I’m realizing that healthy doesn’t fit a mould. Sometimes healthy is eating a slice of pizza and downing a cold cider and not feeling shameful, guilty or judged.

I’m a female in the western world, which automatically means I’ve felt that pressure and shame. But I also feel like I’ve started to see a different light. The change in viewpoint might be why this article lit me up so much – I feel that there has to be something the collective WE can do to start to shift this paradigm. For all the advances we’ve made in a modern world, how is this kind of thing still happening?

Does change start from within or is it a matter of us consciously deciding not to partake in the judgemental and scrutinizing conversations?

I don’t know where it begins but for goodness sake isn’t it time we started to change the headlines and story, even just a little bit?

Rant over 🙂 

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