The ‘Love Your Body Movement’ Is Doing Body Image All Wrong

It’s all over the news and media, skinny girls who are photoshopped to have an even tinier waist and bigger boobs and butt to promote the tiniest bikini that can barely even be considered clothing. Then, you see the comeback article about how curvy girls are beautiful too and “real girls have curves” and so on. Instead of women joining forces to go against society to say that body shaming is not okay in any way, they are teaming up against themselves and are defending their body types by tearing down others. Which, when you think about it, is complete and utter bullshit considering body type does not matter at all.

I’m so tired of reading all these “dress for your body type” articles in magazines and seeing body-positivity articles saying “if you want to wear a crop top, wear a freaking crop top”. I’m tired of seeing these things because quite frankly they either push women into thinking that their bodies can only wear certain clothes, or that they should wear super revealing clothing just because other people shouldn’t be judging them. Personally, I’m a firm believer in wearing whatever feels comfortable. I am in no way comfortable wearing a crop top, even with high waisted shorts so barely any skin shows. Now, many people would say to me “you’re beautiful the way you are! Wear the crop top!” But the reality is that I’m just not comfortable.

And let me tell you a piece of advice: if you aren’t comfortable wearing something, chances are that it shows. Wearing a full length shirt that you feel sexy in comes across as a lot more attractive than a small piece of cloth you keep checking in the mirror or pulling down. If you feel self-conscious about your outfit, it will show, so the “best thing to wear for your body type” is whatever the hell you want. Someone of my height and stature may feel amazing in a crop top, but that doesn’t matter to me because I don’t, so I stick to my guns and what I know I look good in while also feeling comfortable, and it makes all the difference in the world.

Another reason why this whole body-image thing is bullshit is because it isn’t about your body shape, but about your overall health. I am 5’4”, 183 lbs, and I wear size 14 jeans and size large/xl tops and dresses, depending on the brand. I am well aware that I may not be of perfect health, but I live a healthy lifestyle. Growing up, I was always a little bigger, but my weight really took off in middle school. In high school the gain slowed down, but still continued through my freshman year of college when I reached an all-time high of 208 lbs.

I was never confident in my body or my ability to meet guys and whatnot, but I was accepting of my size and the consequences of it. All these magazines told me that I should accept myself and that society was bullshit, and it just fed this myth that it was ok for me to be as big as I was. What no article told me, however, was how not okay it was to treat my body as horrible as I was. Half way through sophomore year, I decided to turn things around. I started working out regularly, and I wrote down what I was eating. I wasn’t counting each individual calorie, it was more about being conscientious of what and how much I was eating. Without really doing anything else, the weight just started coming off.

In 3 months I dropped almost 30 pounds, which made me feel more amazing than ever. Then, when health issues arose in March that prevented me from being able to workout for 3 months until I had surgery, I was prepared. I knew I would gain a little weight, but living a lifestyle where I balanced working out and eating right helped me to watch what I was eating when I couldn’t burn calories from an hour of cardio. It’s not about dieting and working out for a few months to drop the weight, it’s about making healthy a lifestyle. If you’re overweight or obese and decide to live a lifestyle with working out and healthy eating, the excess weight will fall off and allow you to improve.

It’s okay to eat half a pizza for dinner on occasion when you’ve had a stressful day, but balance it out with a slightly more intense workout or a lighter meal, like a salad, for lunch. Working out and eating right will make you feel so much better, and make you feel proud of your body, regardless of your size. I know that I am larger than most girls my age, but I also know that I am doing what I can to treat my body right: I do cardio 6-7 days a week, and on days I don’t I go for a 2 mile walk, I keep track of what I eat to have a general idea of how many calories I should be consuming, and I pretty much only drink water.

What this whole “love your body” movement gets wrong is that it’s not about loving your body for how it looks, but loving your body enough to treat it right with proper nutrition and exercise. Someone who eats right and works out but is a size 10 is a lot healthier than a girl who is anorexic and a size 0. Everyone is built differently: some people have wide frames, others are more petite, and you should accept your body and structure for the way it is because I promise you it is beautiful, however, you only have one heart and when it gives out, there isn’t much that loving your cosmetics can do to help. Accept your body type for what it is: everyone is built differently, but love your body enough to treat it right and be healthy. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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