Mental Health

The Pressure To Be Thin

Ideally women should be:

  • Quiet
  • Sexy
  • Modest
  • A good cook
  • Conservative
  • Minimize their ideas and themselves
  • Helpful
  • Submissive
  • Friendly
  • Warm
  • Maternal
  • and most of all THIN

This isn’t a new concept. You see plastered images everywhere of thin women. Thin women who want to sell you clothes, thin women who want to sell you a dating app, thin women who want to sell you a pharmaceutical drug, thin women who want to sell you a weight loss pill, thin women who want to sell you a hamburger. THIN THIN THIN, all we see is thin.

Well, not all we see, I do see some companies jumping to get a hold of more diversity in both body shape and color. So that is a step in the right direction.

I was with Meg last night and I was watching her try on clothes. I admitted to her that when I was 108 pounds back in college I would wear Spanx. I think we both about died laughing. I now weigh 150 and would never think to purchase a product from Spanx unless absolutely necessary for a certain garment. But for the most part, I am fine with my rolls and the way my tummy hangs. This is who I am, it isn’t for everyone.. however.. I have found it is for most people (lol).

So, we get these messages from everywhere. From the media, school, doctors, family, friends and through our culture. As a whole, thinness seems to be valued. The thing is, there are so many dangers to valuing thinness.

Dangers of Thinness

  • Self hate. If you are focused on what is wrong, you won’t be able to see what is right. If you believe that something is wrong with you, it is all you will see.
  • Focusing outwardly. What is the obsession with focusing on what everyone looks like? Sure, I like looking at attractive people, but what the hell? Focus on how kind you are, focus on how hard you work, focus on how much love you can exude. Focus on what makes you YOU vs. how much time you spend in the gym or how much weight you’ve lost this week.
  • Eating disorders. Eating disorders are the #1 most lethal illness. While a number of factors can contribute to an eating disorder, a preoccupation with thinness is a factor.

What You’ll Gain By Focusing Inward

  • More time. You’ll have more time to spend with yourself, your friends, your family and on the things that bring true happiness. Saying no to diets and the fitness culture is hard when it is literally ALL around us.
  • Meaningful conversations. When you aren’t focused on thinness and diet culture, what will you talk about? I’ll give you a minute to think. If you can’t come up with much..get a hobby!
  • Less worries. Have you heard of the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck? Well, to be honest I haven’t read it but I love the title. Rule #1 stop caring about what you look like when you’re having sex. Rule #2 stop caring about what you look like sitting down. Rule #3 just stop giving a fuck!
  • Self Love. Do you know how freeing it is to just love yourself? It is fan-fucking-tastic. Self love is saying “Sure, there are things that I would change but this is who I am and I accept that.” eventually you may get to the point where you’re saying “I actually ..wouldn’t change a thing.”

How To Break The Cycle

Breaking the cycle means that you’re going to wear what you want because you love it. It means that when someone invites you to their diet bet, you have a meaningful conversation around why that is actually a toxic question to be asked. Breaking the cycle means that you only talk positively about your body around your children (and adults too!). Breaking the cycle means spreading body acceptance around like sprinkles.

Helpful Tips

  • Unfollow Instagram accounts that promote thinness, hardcore fitness or diet culture.
  • Try out clothes you wouldn’t normally purchase out of fear they won’t “look good” on your “body type”.
  • Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself and quit the negative self talk.
  • Surround yourself with like minded people that also believe that thinness isn’t the ideal.
  • Tell people to shut up when they tell you to lose weight in your DMs.

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