We all have distorted body images– we obsess over the parts we hate, we don’t spend enough time focusing on the parts we love, and we don’t see ourselves as others see us– although some of us seem to be more comfortable with our bodies than others.
That’s why it was so refreshing to read this blog post from Forward (Feminists with Disabilities). The post says that it’s exhausting to constantly hear that we should love our bodies, no matter what’s wrong with them.
Maybe it’s time that those of us who don’t love our bodies accept that fact, and start speaking out about how it’s okay to not love your body. One of the things the author said that really resonated with me is this:
“We should talk, too, about the reasons why people may experience conflict with their bodies, and how social attitudes, life experiences, and other things may play a role in the relationship people have with their bodies, without singling out people or shaming them for not loving their bodies, or not loving them all the time.”
The post goes on to discuss the particular issue of women with physical disabilities, and how uncomfortable people are looking at disabled bodies. I think something similar is true of being overweight; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a person look surprised and uncomfortable when looking at someone who is obese. And, unlike disability, people feel no remorse about saying mean and judgmental things about “fat people.”
I encourage you to read the post, to think about why you love or hate your body, and to think about not only the message the media constantly sends you about how you should look, but about the message you get every day that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t love your body.