I recently entered a world in Twitter where people are hastaging #GrowingUpSkinny or #GrowingUpFat or #GrowingUpBeautiful, other non body ones are #GrowingUpCanadian or #GrowingUpWithSiblings, anyhoo people are using them in a way that brings about being bullied for their appearance or saying they didn’t grow up beautiful and some are self shaming, others are trying to bring a positive light to the hash tags (#love). I find it interesting that these are bringing groups together, however I have a few things to say about this whole business. I was bullied for being fat, and my best friend was bullied for being too skinny, and you know what? It’s not okay to bully anybody for being too fat, too skinny, too beautiful, or too ugly! It’s not okay to bully anyone for his or her appearance, in any sense. There is a difference between telling your girlfriend you don’t like that shirt and then her telling you that you look too fat or too skinny in the shirt.
I have a point to all this, I had body image issues up until grade 10 (and even then I still had some concerns), I thought I was a chubby girl, but with figure skating and my friends there who made me feel strong and beautiful I was able to gain confidence in my body, then I started working out in gym class with this awesome group of girls and started feeling better about my body, granted I fell off a box and my inner knees looked like someone had beat me to a pulp, but regardless I began to feel better about myself.
At some point this winter me and my friend were having coffee and, as we often do, we were discussing women in the media and how that perception changes young girls views on there own body and we both came to the conclusion that in our respective tween years we both wanted to look like the models in Seventeen magazine and now we are perfectly happy with out size, of course I don’t wake up everyday and say “hey I look perfect”, but I do try and find something I love everyday about my body instead of bullying myself. Moral of the story, these hash tags are bringing groups together who were bullied for their looks, people saying they still aren’t beautiful, and it’s sad because as a society and as children we tend to be brought down by a certain person, or a group or an adult and that affects us. I hope that when my child is milling about the world they are never told “are you anorexic” or “you’re so fat” or “you’re ugly”. In a way, this shapes our character and how we deal with conflict and mean criticism, which we need. But we all have to remember and teach each other there is no wrong way to be beautiful and no wrong way to have a body. I have also noticed those do-gooders on Twitter praises everyone and they are pretty awesome, so go them! I am all for awareness and pointing out what is wrong with society and the spectrum’s of body image bullying, but just know what when you think you are beautiful the whole world elevates, and there will always be someone, in every aspect of life that will try to bully you for your image, or your work, but you know what? Surround yourself with positive people, not someone who tells you that you need to lose weight and eat less peanut butter, cause you don’t need that kind of negativity. Body love is about loving yourself to want to improve what you have, make sure your heart is healthy, make sure your liver is healthy, and remember treat yo self.