From my point of view, one of the most damaging things about the current slew of weight loss shows, diet books etc. is newly thin people trying on clothes, smiling into the camera and saying “I’m wearing single digits! I finally love myself after all these years!!!!”.
If someone chooses their life partner or friends based entirely upon how they look, we call them superficial. So why is it considered ok in our society to make our self-esteem contingent upon how we look?
I take a decent amount of flack for being a body positive fat person. Most recently, someone anonymously e-mailed me to say “I don’t think it’s a good thing for you to tell people it’s ok to be fat”. They said a lot of other really mean-spirited stuff, including calling me a fat bitch, but that was the gist of their argument. I get an e-mail like this about twice a week (sometimes the writer is more respectful, but usually not).
Here’s the thing, I’m not interested in being in the business of telling other people what is or is not ok for their body. There are size 0 women who do not have an eating disorder and are sick of people assuming that they do, or hearing bitter fat women call them “skinny bitches”. There are healthy fat people who are sick of the death fat police telling them that if they don’t lose weight they are just going to keel over and die, or hearing insecure thin women call them “fat bitches”.
What I am trying to show people is that they can love themselves no matter what their size or what they want to do with their body.
If someone chooses to lose weight, or gain weight, I fully support them (because, hey, it’s their decision and I want my decisions about my body and weight to be respected and supported). I just think it’s unfortunate that they should make their self-esteem contingent upon that happening.
What about choosing to love yourself and appreciate your body for what it CAN do, and coming to your weight loss journey from that place instead of “I hope I finally stop hating myself after I lose 50lbs”? What if you lose 50lbs and it doesn’t reverse your self-esteem instantly? What if you do lose the weight and suddenly “love yourself”, but then something happens and you gain it back?
You might be able to afford to be completely superficial when choosing your dates, life partner, and your friends, but I think you will find that the price for superficial self-esteem is just too high.