A lot easier said than done, right? The journey to self love can be a tough one.
But a good start would be to stop criticizing other people’s bodies on the internet. I hate that I continue to see body shaming all over social media. It makes me really sad to that women continue to be so negative to each other.
People love to debate what is worse: skinny shaming or fat shaming. When the answer is so simple: neither is worse. Having your body criticized sucks regardless of what size your wear. It happens frequently being that it’s so easy to post a comment via social media on a photo of someone you may or may not know personally.
It is the fashion industry that has created these stigmas of beauty. People get mad when a magazine posts an article about a new plus size model. They comment about how she’s a healthy, normal size and it’s wrong for the magazine to refer to her as “plus size”. But if you interviewed that model, she would tell you that she is a plus size model. Because by industry standards she is plus size and those are the jobs that she gets booked for.
My question is why can’t we just support each other as women and address the actual problems that exist? We aren’t going to change the fashion industry overnight but we need to stop buying into all the crap that’s fed to us and using it against each other. I’m sick of seeing someone call someone else too fat as a retaliation for being called too skinny. Are we in kindergarten? Two wrongs don’t make a right, ladies.
I love fashion because it made me feel good about myself at a time where I didn’t feel confident about my body. I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. Most of high school was full of self loathing and insecurity. Sweatshirts and jeans were my uniform, a far cry from the wardrobe I now own. And let me tell you now so there isn’t any confusion: I was not a healthy curvy girl, I wasn’t obese but I was definitely overweight.
Here’s a little back story. High school wasn’t my jam. I was still going through my awkward stage and I surrounded by so much ridiculous girl drama. In between sophomore and junior year I had ditched some toxic friends, or rather they had ditched me. I spent most of my junior year bummed out about how they clearly didn’t want me to be part of their social scene and was far from exhibiting any form of self love. Senior year I stopped giving a fuck (thank god). High school was coming to an end and I was determined to enjoy what was left of it. I started hanging out with was giant, random and totally awesome group of people.
Depression for me has always been situational and it led to overeating. It’s a vicious cycle: I feel like shit so I stuff my face and then I feel like more shit so I eat more.
As I started to get happier my senior year, my habits somewhat improved. But the real moment of clarity was when I went prom shopping with my mom. If you have ever been insecure with your body (which come on, is basically everyone), you can understand that this was a NIGHTMARE. I was on the verge of a complete meltdown. Finally I tried on this dress that I had been eyeing but too nervous to try on. The dress didn’t fit. But it didn’t matter, I was set on wearing it. The style was a relatively tight through the torso which was out of my comfort zone. My mom hesitantly bought it (obviously it the most expensive dress I had tried on – clearly not that much has changed) and I made a promise to myself that I was going to make some lifestyle changes.
A few months and many trips to the gym later, I wore that dress to prom. Mind you, I wasn’t and still am not “skinny”. But that was okay – I was significantly healthier than I had been in a very long time and I was confident in my own skin for the first time in my young adult life.
College, on the other hand, was my jam. I felt good about myself. Getting dressed up to go out was fun. Clothes were my new best friend. The mall was my chapel. And shopping was my therapy. And so a shopaholic, fashion fiend was born.
Proof of confidence increase during college below… *Sequins = self love at it’s finest*
The moral of this story is that a shopping trip changed my life. I’m kidding, kind of. But fashion was a big part of what inspired me to make changes in my life.
That’s the power that fashion has. The power to bring confidence. But instead we often allow it to do the opposite.
You can never know anybody’s full story or what their struggles have been.
Who the hell are we to comment on somebody else’s body just because we are insecure with our own? What do we gain from such comments? Nothing but more self loathing. So what about just promoting health and self love? Not praising (or shaming) obesity or anorexia but praising health. Whether that means you are a size 0 or 12, because healthy women exist in both of those sizes.
I try to compliment as many people as possible on a daily basis. Or to tell someone they look pretty on Instagram. Note: genuine compliments are the only ones worth making. No Regina George “OMG I love your skirt (that’s the ugliest effing skirt I’ve ever seen)” bullshit. Let’s work to build each other up instead of knocking each other down. My main bitch RuPaul highlights the importance of self love best:
Stop hating on others, so that you can start loving yourself.