It seems like all we ever focus on anymore is a woman’s weight. The biggest stories on every tabloid cover are that “so-and-so A-list celebrity gained 10 pounds *gasp*!” Every week there is a new diet trend coming out that promises to really work this time—if and only if sell your soul to the diet company and sign a contract that you agree to drink nothing but pulverized kale and strawberries for the rest of your life.
Everyone seems to be fixated on achieving the glorious thigh gap. We’re all guilty of watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and tweeting non-stop about how we’re “eating ice cream in sweatpants and don’t care…YOLO” while we cry our eyes out dreaming of what it would be like to have Adriana Lima’s legs. News flash: no one is ever going to be 100% happy with their bodies; the grass always seems a little greener on the other side. If we’re a little pudgier, we want to be the size of a runway model. If we’re naturally stick-thin, we resent any girl with KimmyK’s curves and butt.
Here’s where I’m going to get a little taboo: body shaming isn’t just happening to girls on the bigger side. I’m naturally skinny. I’ve never weighed more than 100lbs my entire life. I’m 5 feet tall on a good day. I would get the wrath of a thousand girls if I ever complained about my body, but there are things I would of course like to change. I don’t think it’s cute that I can see my ribs. I don’t feel confident that even the XS shirts fit me like a dress. People tell me on a daily basis that I’m “so lucky” that I can eat whatever I want, but what they don’t get is that that doesn’t make me happy.
I have, however, learned to accept these things as a part of what makes me unique and beautiful. My boyfriend still loves me despite my bony knees and elbows. I still get straight A’s even though I can still fit into jeans from high school. At the end of the day, the size of my body has literally no effect on my personal life, my capabilities, or my drive to want to succeed in life.
The point that I am trying to make is this: as women, we have A LOT of hurdles coming at us from the rest of the world, so why are we making it that much harder? Aren’t we all on the same team? I don’t care if you’re pear-shaped, apple-shaped, carrot-shaped, or whatever vegetable you think you resemble, we need to be building each other up, not tearing each other down. Don’t laugh at the girl at the beach who has cellulite and still had the confidence to wear a bikini—tell her she’s rocking it! Don’t tell a girl who is thin that she needs to eat a hamburger—she probably just did. I don’t know about all of you, but I’d rather put my energy into fighting to get a salary equal to a man’s than make a fellow female feel bad that she just ate a Reese’s cup.
Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. What’s important is that a woman has the confidence in herself and truly believes she is beautiful. It doesn’t matter what others think, what is “most attractive to men” (who by the way have no idea what a thigh-gap is and therefore do not put that into consideration when trying to pick up a girl… I’ve asked), or what is apparently the socially acceptable way to look. At the end of the day, what size dress you wear is not the determining factor. Where there’s confidence and there’s brains there is a successful, unstoppable, powerful woman and nothing standing in her way.