Contrary to popular belief, I was not born thinking the sun shined out of my own ass. It took time and effort in order for that confidence to soar to the astonishing strength that it is now. Though my self-love journey of empowerment has been successful, there are some trying issues that won’t dull away, and that is: everyone else.
Not everyone is going to understand a person who is happy with their body. Actually, most people won’t. You see, most people are focused on being something different than what they are. It’s not the fight of skinny verses fat. It’s learning to love being in the skin you are in. That’s a lesson that is not normally on the curriculum.
Even when you wake up feeling like a sex goddess, you will pour your cheerios in a box that reads “More grains. Less you.” There are body-shamers everywhere, and they won’t magically disappear once you’ve made the impressive leap for a happy ego. They stick around like the angry trees in The Wizard of Oz, swatting at you as you run for your life. This is a war for your mental health, and dealing with diet talk and body shame is the last step and hardest battle, because you must come to terms with the fact that you will be a self-love soldier fighting a slow, painful, body acceptance battle forever.
There is no mystical spell you can cast on some jerk who tells you to order the side salad instead of those french friends you’ve been looking forward to. There is no right way to tell your best friend to “shut the fuck up” when her size 2 waist says “Omg, I’m so fat!!! I totally ate a cheeseburger today!” I wouldn’t want to spend time with anyone who openly made fun of Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy weight, but sometimes you can’t help the people you’re around. It may be hard to think up a response to these small acts of heavy shaming, so I’ve come up with a few of my favorite responses. Feel free to ad lib and send in your own!
There are other options, obviously. One of my all time favorites is to be super candid and upfront with your shamer. When someone tells you that you look like Adele, when you look nothing like Adele, a little “yeah, we’re both cute, fat and talented” will put them in their place without making them feel stupid. (Don’t get me wrong, they are definitely stupid, but they don’t need to feel that way.)
Although sassy comebacks are fun, it’s also important to be honest with people who don’t understand how shameful they are being with their language. You know your body more than anyone else, and it’s good to put your foot down and let people know that.
If after you explain how you feel, your friend, the diet-preacher, continues to talk about their cleanse as if it were a five paragraph persuasive essay, recommend them a heavy dose of self-love.
“I like you the way you are and I like you the way you want to be. I understand this is what makes you happy, and so I support you. I don’t live that lifestyle and it’s not what I want. So, I will continue to support you in my own way, which may not include diet talk.” Hopefully, they’ll understand.
If that doesn’t work, you have to be the stronger person and let their fat shaming talk be brushed off your shoulders. You have gotten so far in your self-love journey, do not let someone’s stupidity hold you back. Beauty is all in our own heads. If they refuse to believe their own beauty, you do not have to do the same. Realize that not everyone is a strong warrior, and although you have grown immensely, they are still just seeds of happy. (insert metaphor where you are the water and soil lending them support to help them grow).
Do you have any self-love vs. uneducated shamer battle stories? Share them with us in a comment or in an email to Btopia.Mag@gmail.com.