Don’t love your body

July 10, 2015

Don't love your bodyAs exhausting as it is living in a culture in which women are taught to be hyper-critical of their own bodies, the backlash that implores us to ‘love our bodies’ is also a tad draining, no?

Yes, on the one hand I am tired of reading articles about getting myself ‘beach ready’ (ie: skinny, tanned and hairless) or how to lose a ludicrous amount of weight in a short space of time. But on the other hand, I am equally sick of being told that I’m beautiful as I am. That I should ’embrace’ my curves and celebrate the wonder of my human body.

I get it. Women are sick to death of being told they’re not good enough and they’re fighting back. But to me, simply trying to invert it and commanding women to love themselves is just as oppressive and unrealistic. And it also doesn’t change the conversation. The assumption still remains that we want to ‘beautiful’ – all we are doing is trying to change what that looks like.

So instead, how about us all just relaxing a bit? How we look certainly means something, but it doesn’t mean everything and it’s definitely more complex than whether or not we or anyone else thinks we’re ‘beautiful’ or how much we love our wobbly thighs. It’s also a lot more interesting. Rather than trying to love ourselves, accepting ourselves feels more realistic and achievable to me.

This doesn’t mean never talking about our appearance, the food we eat, the exercise we do or the make-up we use. It just means accepting that these are not solely tools in an impossible quest to achieve some elusive level of either perfection or self-acceptance – both of which I would wager are well out of reach for most of us. There are so many other angles to these topics.

Replacing feeling bad about your body with loving your body means we’re still talking about the same thing. As Don Draper says ‘if you don’t like what is being said, then change the conversation.’ So don’t love your body. Instead, let’s change the conversation.

What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

P.S. why Rachel isn’t married, I’ll do that when I’m thin and the thorny issue of sharing money.

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  • Reply Rachel July 10, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Yes! Basically, the conversation is still always framed around a woman’s self-worth being tied to how she looks. Actually, I’m not beautiful, but it doesn’t really matter. I can still look nice, but there’s so much more to me than that!

    • Reply Rose July 12, 2015 at 9:19 am

      I think you put it better than I did!

    Reply Rachel July 10, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    This is an interesting viewpoint. I think I agree generally – forcefeeding women this new dialogue of loving yourself doesn’t actually solve anyone’s issues with self esteem. And it also means the focus still remains on women’s appearances! What about all the other amazing things women can do and feel good about? How about we focus on those, instead of looks, for a while?

    Rachel |

    • Reply Rose July 12, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Yes, totally. I am not sure I perfectly articulated the issue here but I agree with what you’ve said there. Thanks for commenting as always! xo

    Reply Hannah Webster July 19, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Yes, I love this! It sums up all my problems with the body image debates that I’ve never quite been able to explain. I do want to be happy in my own skin, but I want to define that on my own terms. There’s definitely something to be said for allowing women to speak out and say they feel happy with their bodies, but it’d be nice to have some extra depth to that debate that reminds everyone men don’t need to fall into either of these categories, they get to focus on other achievements and we can do the same.

    • Reply Rose July 26, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      Totally agree, Hannah. I don’t think I perfectly articulated myself here but glad it resonated with you xo

    Reply Honestmum August 20, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    So refreshing and true, body image and image doesn’t define or limit us, time to take charge of the conversation.

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