“I have struggled with my weight for so long.”
This is a very common line we hear from women nowadays. Many of us have had weight and body image issues. Although some of us were able to overcome the crippling pressure of society to look a particular way, many (myself included) still misunderstand what it truly means to truly accept what you are and love yourself, lines and flaws included.
I recently saw a brand’s advertisement where women were prompted to choose which door to enter in a shopping mall. There were two doors, and each door had labels on top which read “Beautiful and Average”. The idea is to show how women perceive themselves. As expected, many women walked through the “average” door. Although some confidently strutted their stuff through the “beautiful” door, a lot of them were hesitant at first; some had to stop and think before deciding which door to enter while others had to be pushed by their friends. A very striking part of the commercial was when one woman couldn’t decide which door to walk through and she eventually just walked away. This, unfortunately, happens a lot. We choose to run away from questions that matter.
It was powerful and meaningful, but at the same time it also questions your stand on the way society enforces how women should feel about themselves. Every now and then, I reflect on the concept of “loving your body”. It is an advocacy often miscommunicated as it is misunderstood. Fat-shaming is bad, and so is thin-shaming. Like everything in this world, people need to know that we must always seek balance. There are hundreds of articles about women telling the world how they have learned to love themselves, and yet they also go on telling others who are different from them that there is something wrong about them.
I don’t advocate any look. What I believe in is that whatever you choose for your body, it must be for a good cause. My opinion about your body does not matter. What matters is what you think, but more importantly, you have to decide why. Why do you choose to ignore the extra pounds? Why do you choose not to ignore it? Loving your self does not mean discarding what is causing you pain or agony. It simply means knowing what you want for yourself and doing the best you can to be the best you.