Stop telling me to love my body

There seems to be this phenomenon at the moment of people talking about self-love. All types of people with all types of perspectives. It can be honestly overwhelming, for me at least. So, I am going to do what I do when I need to process things, and write about them. One by one. And then, there is a strong possibility I will post them here, because it’s my blog and I do what I want to [cue Lesley Gore]

What I am about to write, is likely to catch some people off guard. I want to make it clear, before I go any further with this, that the content of my words is not directed at an individual, but rather a collective. And yes, of course, I understand the complexities that generalisations bring, but in this instance, I am using my voice, in my space, to tell you my feelings something that I have experienced so many times I have lost count.

I need people to stop telling me to love my body. Specifically I need people who have changed their bodies, to stop telling me to love mine.

I wrote those 140 characters on twitter months ago. 140 characters that seemed to sum up everything I had thought, and felt at that very moment, which is often the case with the things that end up on my twitter. It didn’t end there though, as it would on most other occasions. I have been thinking about those characters, the way the shapes curve and the letters hang in the balance a little bit each day. Because I realised they didn't just sum up how I was feeling at the time, but rather, how I do feel even now.

My guess is after reading that you landed somewhere on the spectrum between nodding your head and thinking, thank fuck someone said it [although I am certainly not the first], or being a little pissed off and offended. I can only imagine that whatever the response is, it is directly linked to what end of that conversation you have been part of.

Have you noticed how there is this group of people who have gone through some type of body transformation, whether it has been through dieting and exercise or surgery or maybe even just drinking tea that makes you poop, who have dramatically changed their bodies and then become super vocal about self-love. Touting slogans of “love yourself no matter what” or “your body is amazing and the only one you have so celebrate it”. Honestly, I can’t be the only one that finds this so bloody polarising. On one hand, I am all for the positive vibes that comments like this put out in the social media sphere. With all the negativity that is out there any words of love and warmth are welcomed. On the other hand, I can’t help but shake the deathly feeling that this is the height of hypocrisy.

The vast majority of these voices never talked about how much they loved themselves before they saw their bodies change in such a dramatic way.  Yes, in this instance I am talking about significant weight loss... there will be a whole other post dedicated to the reverse scenario in the next few days. Promise. And trust me, I understand it, the psychology behind conventional successful weight loss could be a motivational poster [where the mind goes the body will follow… right?] but I can’t help but feel like someone who has changed their body [no matter how they have done it] and then is preaching that we should all love our bodies regardless of size or weight or what we look like, is more part of the problem than the solution. I wonder if anyone has ever stopped and thought “I wonder how it makes someone feel when I tell them to love themselves, even though I wasn’t able to fully embrace exactly who I was because I wanted to be change myself’. Maybe it is my own bias that is creeping in, perhaps this person was a full on self-love-warrior before the transformation, but didn’t sing it from the rooftops. But isn’t that the problem? That the exposure [or perhaps in some instances even the confidence] only comes after the change. I think about some of the people who I consider to be part of this collective that I am talking about, and I can guarantee that their language has changed along with their waistline.

Perhaps I am just disenchanted from the years of ups and downs. Mostly ups on the scale. Let’s be honest. I just can’t seem to shake the feeling that this idea of loving your body is consistently perpetuated by people who have [by all means worked fucking hard] to change theirs first. Honestly I think about reading those words, 'you have to love yourself first' and I just feel nothing but frustration. It feels so hollow, and it feels like their is this deathly added weight, of not living up to what I am 'meant' to feel like. And maybe, just maybe because sometimes I don't feel like that, that obviously thats why I am not finding my own transformational success. Does that sound conceited? Perhaps, but hey, its honest.

I just keep asking myself... Where were there voices before the changes? When they looked like me? Are we not meant to have this enlightenment until we have already made the changes? Do they honestly believe that I should love and celebrate my body where I am at right now, even though when they were here they did something dramatic to change their lives? All of these questions swirl around in my head, and I simply don’t have an answer.


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