Despite being a generally confident person, I still have to fight hard to love my body

Tessa Stoop

I will never understand why people find it acceptable to negatively comment on someone else’s appearance. I think we can all agree that fat-shaming is offensive, but ridiculing a person for being skinny shouldn’t be acceptable either. Nevertheless people find it necessary to comment on my weight, saying “I should eat more” without thinking about the impact such words might have. Yet when I point this out it’s my fault for being too sensitive and easily offended. Let me tell you that this is not my fault – Something is seriously wrong with society. When I look up a YouTube video the first thing I see is a woman apologizing for the way she looks. Is this the message we want to send out in the world, that women should be ashamed of their body? We already live in an era where we’re constantly watched and criticized all the time, and now our self-worth seems to be supplanted by the continuous fear that if a woman is not beautiful enough she’s lost her value. Despite being a generally confident person, I still have to fight hard to love my body because I’m constantly conditioned to believe there’s something wrong with it. But just because I happen to have less meat on my body, it doesn’t mean my body is any less loveable. I’m blessed with legs that carry me everywhere I want to be, eyes to admire the sheer beauty along the way, and arms to welcome whoever wants to walk this rough path of self-love with me. With this body I overcame illness, I fought wars in my head – Heck I can even birth new life with it. So why is that not enough? Why do I have to live up to what others want from me? When I look in the mirror I want to see what I look like without having other people’s opinions reflected at me. Maybe if we stop pointing fingers and extend a hand we can finally embrace the shapes and sizes we’re blessed with. It’s hard to push forward in a society that weighs us down so much, but the path toward acceptance becomes easier if we learn to walk in the shoes of others sometimes, even though we have an incredibly long way to go.

Tessa Stoop

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