The way we perceive ourselves is completely different to the way others see us. What we see in others is also our own personal point of view – this does not mean we are right nor wrong, but it is nothing but an opinion and opinions do not hold truth.
When I had my surgery at 17, the body issues of a teenage girl had amplified tenfold to say the least. I couldn’t bare the sight of myself in the mirror at times as all I saw was sickness, pain, misery and a disability. In due time I found my confidence again and would wear a bikini on the beach with friends looking confident on the outside but on the inside I was uncertain, unsure and at times afraid.
I was afraid of what others were thinking when they noticed I had a stoma cap on. Would they notice at all? Is it all in my head? What do I do if someone comes up to me? These, and many more are all the questions that went through my mind and I am sure that similar questions go through your mind when you go to the beach whether you have a illness or not. Body issues and body shaming are so apparent in society that it has almost become the social norm to scrutinize ourselves and one another.
Throw into the mix the lifestyle and industry I am a part of today – bodybuilding. The most vain sport you could ever be a part of and can damage even the strongest willed people from the inside out. We are judged on our bodies – our legs are too big, shoulders not wide or defined enough and perhaps our waist isn’t small enough. It’s a sport based on proportion, symmetry, presentation and aesthetics.
Too often as of late I’ve seen and heard, not only everyday people, but celebrities and bodybuilders body-shaming themselves and each other. Quite frankly I am absolutely sick of it. There’s nothing that gets under my skin more than seeing someone putting others down because they feel they have put on weight or they don’t have a nice body – which is all a matter of opinion. Who are we to judge someone else based on their body? A body that is the only one they have to live in and if that person is happy in their skin or they are on their own journey to making themselves better then it’s nobodies place to speak or offer opinion.
As soon as you open your mouth and make comment you are opening yourself up for criticism of not only you as a person but your body as well – let’s face it, nobody likes being criticized for the way they look!
We live in a world where our imperfections seem to gain more attention than our perfections. We would rather pick at the things we don’t like about ourselves instead of the things we do like.
Let’s amplify and acknowledge the things we like and work individually on the things we don’t.
There’s no need for bitter squabble or to use your voice in a way that shames others.
Everybody has a body unique to them – large, small, in-between, muscular, shredded and off-season.