Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blog Feature: Racing Bananas

Today, I wanted to share a post from Racing Bananas because I loved the message behind it. It really hit home for me and I think more women (and men, too) need to read such an honest post like this one. In it, Kim writes about the controversy of body shaming as well as her own personal struggle with it, and I think collectively as women we can admit to doing it at one time or another.  

The post is beautifully written and Kim strikes the perfect balance of considering both sides because no matter what a person's size, body shaming hurts everyone.

I agree 100% with what Kim is saying because when did it become okay to critique what another person's body looks like? I love the last line she throws out there: why can't we just support each other?

But really, why can't we?

I'll leave that there for you to think about and without further ado here's Kim: 

Happy Tuesday all! Today I’m talking about a topic that kind of gets me riled up. Before I start, I want to put this out there – this is just my personal opinion. It’s ok if you don’t agree with me and I love hearing other points of view – it’s what makes us unique and individual.

Body shaming.

Body shaming is when a person or people express negative attitudes, statements, etc about someone else’s body or weight. Body shaming goes both ways – people can have negative attitudes about people who are they believe are overweight or people they believe are too thin.

The issue of body shaming came up in the media last week when Maria Kang, a blogger, business owner, and mother posted the below picture on her Facebook page:


Kang got a ton of negative feedback about this picture. People claimed that she was body shaming mothers who don’t look like her (fit, toned, muscular) and was insinuating that if you don’t look like her, it’s because your lazy or not trying hard enough. Kang, in defense, explained that her intent was to demonstrate that she makes time to work on her fitness even though she is a mother, and not that everyone should look just like her.

I don’t think anyone in this situation is completely right. Could Kang have chosen to portray herself differently to make a point? Sure. Did she have to wear booty shorts and a sports bra? Probably not. But do people have the right to judge her for putting this image out? Not really. So where does that leave us?

As I’ve become more emerged in the healthy living world, I’ve become more aware of body shaming. I’ve seen examples both on the internet and in real life.

“You’re a size zero – you must have an eating disorder.”

“Do you really need eat that donut?”

“You’re not going to work out tonight…again? Do you think that’s a good idea?”

Body shaming goes both ways, but no matter what, is not ok. When did society decide it was ok to start judging everyone based on looks alone? Did it start when we started picking apart celebrities in the media for gaining or losing weight? When people started comparing themselves to other people? I can tell you that I’m so sick of picking up a magazine to see why Kim Kardashian isn’t good enough because she has “too much cellulite” or raising concerns because Mary Kate Olsen looks too skinny. It needs to stop.

The truth of the matter is we are all different. Our bodies are different. Our metabolism is different. Our goals for what we want to look like are different. It’s ok if you want to make changes about yourself. It’s ok if you want to lose weight or build muscle. It’s not ok for people to make you feel about where you are or where you want to be.

And likewise, it’s not ok to body shame yourself. I am guilty of this and I’m working to stop. I want to stop complaining about how fat I am. I want to stop complaining that I didn’t go to the gym. I want to stop complaining that my legs are too fat or my arms are too jiggly or that my stomach isn’t tight enough. My body is everything and it is what it is because of decisions I made. Instead of shaming myself, I’m choosing to make changes that will make me happy. And I’m making these changes for me – not for anyone or anything else.

So that’s where I am with this whole body shaming issue. I don’t have any sort of solution to offer. All I have is my platform to say – why don’t we just choose to support each other?

What do you guys think?

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