20 Questions About Body Standards.

Why aren’t we allowed to love ourselves?

Why can’t we love our lumps and our edges? Why do we have to hate the rolling hills of our soft, rounded bellies or the angled, crisp peaks of our ‘scarily thin’ elbows? My body, your body, her body, his body, their bodies – they’re all bags of bone soup inside a thin, stretchy skin. Who cares if there’s more? More to love. Who cares if there’s less? Less to cherish.

  Who says that black, coily hair is ‘uglier’ then straight blonde hair? Who says dark, espresso colored skin is ‘uglier’ than peachy colored skin? Who says that small eyes and flat noses are ‘uglier’ than pointy noses and doe eyes? Our bodies are rhapsodies of color and texture and size, each equally, awesomely stunning, in its own way. Each body is a work of art, a delicate act, with each gorgeous part of you working together to make the miracle of life. How can you compare Picasso and Monet? Van Gogh and O’Keeffe? How can you simplify a masterpiece into a rating out of ten? How can you put art into a 2×2 box and say, “okay, this is what’s beautiful, and everything outside it is not”?

Why can’t we show off our self love? Why can’t you talk about how beautiful you think you are, what you like about yourself? Why is positivity about your body taboo and virtually off limits to talk about? Why do you have to post selfies with the caption “I am a trashcan” or “I look so ugly”, or risk being called stuck up or full of yourself? We’re taught that even when we find something to love, something that we think is unique and pretty and awesome, that we’re not allowed to show it off. We’re not allowed to have confidence about our bodies.

In the movie Mean Girls, there’s a scene where queen bees Regina, Gretchen, and Karen stand in front of a mirror and list off all the things that they hate about themselves, and expect the ‘fish out of water character’, Cady, to join in. They’re shocked and astonished to hear that she doesn’t keep a mental list of things that are bad about her physical appearance. God, she’s so weird, right? What did she do before them? Think she’s really pretty? Like her body?

“No, no, no! You should always love yourself!” we scream, over and over again. In makeup adverts, magazines, commericals, on social media. Only, we add, “but you have to be a perfect size 2 and tan and blonde and blue eyed and muscular but not too muscular and dressed the right way”. In order to qualify to have self confidence, you have to fit a certain mold. If you don’t, honey, get a box of bleach and a treadmill, and then when you’ve fixed the problems, maybe you can love your body too. But only once everyone else thinks it’s right.

Screw you. It’s my body, and I’ll love it if I want to.


Author: jenna

May all your dreams come true (even the ones they laughed at).

6 thoughts on “20 Questions About Body Standards.”

  1. I respect your opinions, I really do. But perhaps a post about accepting your body might not be the best way to approach a situation like this. I mean it’s great when people think that their beautiful. But it’s easier said than done. Sure, there are beauty standards that promote being stick-thin, or the trend nowadays is to “love your own body.” But how can you truly love yourself if you don’t feel comfortable? Can you really feel good if you throw up everything you eat to have a thigh gap wider than your actual thighs? Do you feel nice when you can’t keep up with the rest of your PE class and your heart is beating way faster than normal?
    What I’m talking about isn’t a mental thing. I’m talking about physically comfortable, which then leads to good mentality.
    A better strategy is to promote healthiness. If you need to, go to the gym. Don’t sit at home and smile contentedly when your favorite celebrity tells you “I love any body shape” while you’re increasing your risk of cancer or becoming weaker so that you can’t even do a single push up.
    Lose body fat, if that makes your physical health improve. Gain some muscle and weight, because you’ll need it when it comes to fitness testing.
    Only then, when your BMI isn’t too low or too high, will you truly accept yourself. Only then will you be able to feel comfortable mentally.
    So don’t just tell people to love themselves; tell them to be healthy SO THAT they can love themselves.


  2. Sure, there are beauty standards everywhere that people are trying to fight, primarily the illusion that “skinny = better.” Or the trend nowadays is that people say “love yourself, no matter what shape, shade, or size.” I believe the best way to feel comfortable in your own skin is if you’re healthy. You’re probably not healthy if you’re anorexically thin and have a thigh gap wider than your actual thighs. Neither would you be happy if your BMI is too high and you’re faced with constant problems when exercising, or even just notmal activity. So don’t only sit and homr and feel happy that people are finally accepting your body shape, because chances are that if you keep sitting there, you’re going to have a higher chance of getting cancer or being too weak. Go to the gym, go work out and lose that body fat, do conditioning to gain some muscle, not because you want your body to fit in, but because it makes both your mental and physical state healthy.
    The best thing to tell people isn’t to say “you’re beautiful just be you.” Because that is definitely easier said than done. A better strategy is: be healthy. And then you’ll finally accept who you are.


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