Why is it that we as a society feel the need to comment on a woman (or man’s) body type? Better yet, what do we think it will accomplish?
Now, I’m not talking about the positive comments. I’m down for sharing all the good vibes and positivity! You want to tell a girl she looks beautiful, DO IT. You want to compliments someone’s outfit, YOU BETTER! BUT….what I’m referring to is the NEGATIVE and UNWANTED opinions on someone’s body type or appearance. And if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I don’t EVER let these comments slide without addressing them in some way… EXAMPLE A
In what realm of this world is it acceptable to share YOUR negative opinion about someone else’s appearance, lifestyle, etc.?
Before I started bodybuilding, I had this crazy fear that I would start to look bulky or manly if I so much as lifted a dumbbell. But why did I feel this way? It took me a while to figure it out…SOCIETY’S INFLUENCE OF OPINION.
Now we all know (unless you’re just extremely unaware) that as a woman, gaining muscle is fairly difficult and takes quite a bit of time. Unless of course you are using PED’s (performance enhancing drugs). I definitely don’t knock those who do use them, but I do have a issue with those who use them and then claim NOT TO. Different rant for a different day… I digress. Simply lifting weights for 4 weeks, 6 months or even a year won’t have you looking “jacked” unless of course you are a) using what was stated above or b) beyond genetically gifted. Regardless, muscle gain for women is a difficult task and does not come easy. But any woman I’ve come into contact with who has ever turned their nose up at the thought of weight lifting, has often stated that “lifting weights will make you look bulky”.
I’m sorry Tina, but can we revisit the days of Lauren Berryhill at 200 plus pounds….(see below) Now THAT, is BULKY
When I let go of that preconceived notion and started falling in love with lifting weights, I found a passion I never knew I had. I found a way to challenge myself in a physical and mental way. I discovered a way to change my body composition that allowed me to feel confident in the body I’m in. It took so much education, learning and discipline to make sure I practice proper form as well as ensure my training coincides with my goals. And after all of this hard work… all of this dedication….Almost two years into my fitness journey, I went from this…..
OH SO BULKY RIGHT????
To this day, I still get comments from “concerned” individuals that I am looking too manly. I’m losing my feminine curves. I’m looking boxy and bulky. All of these comments from random strangers who for some odd reason find that it is acceptable to share their unwanted opinion on MY body.
The BIGGER problem I have with this issue is the mental affect it will have of the person receiving the criticism. For those who are into fitness or are on a fitness journey, most are looking to transform their body. And 99% of them most likely suffer from body dysmorphia. They most likely already see issues with their body image therefore they are on said journey to try and achieve a different look. So when a random person critiques another on their body image, the impact that comment has can trigger something so much deeper than you can image. I’ve personally had such comments send me into an emotional binge eating spiral. That is NOT okay.
The point of this blog post is to bring awareness to your words and how you use them to describe someone else. The point of this blog is to share the insight of someone who receives daily unwanted opinions on her body from strangers. Having and growing a social media platform has taught me SO much and has brought me quite a bit of joy. To be able to share my story and inspire others is so empowering. But what I’ve also had to develop is a thick skin to those who share their nasty and rude unwanted opinions on my body, my appearance and my motive. The confidence I have in myself, who I am and what I stand for has grown to be something I never thought it could, but it was forced. If you don’t have that confidence within yourself, those people on social media will eat you alive…I can promise you that.
The absolutely beautiful thing about the world we live in is that there is so much diversity. So many different people who look different, talk different, have different hobbies/view/likes/dislikes…you name it! Diversity makes this world such an interesting place! Without it, imagine how boring life would be.
So the next time you think to comment on someones appearance, their lifestyle, their body….remember what your mama taught you….
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!