It's that time of year again, where we start hearing about these mythical things called Summer Bodies. Have you heard of them?! They're all the rage on social media. Apparently if you don't have a Summer Body, you don't deserve to go outside!
As a fat woman in the beauty and wellness industries, I am FED UP with the notion of Summer Bodies. There is no such thing and I really wish I didn't have to see a bunch of photos of chubby babies and toddlers on my timelines portraying their less-than worth in the eyes of the person who wrote whatever post or marketing campaign.
The annual act of starving ourselves so we fit into some kind of conventional beauty narrative that is perpetuated by uneducated "professionals" triggers the body-worth competition that actually harms people. This less-than, greater-than competition aids in the creation of insecurities, depression, body dysmorphia, and even disordered eating.
I watched an Elyse Meyer video a couple of months ago where she discussed people attacking her for her weight when she was a child, well before anyone taught her how to love herself, she said. When I see photos of beautiful chubby babies on social media attached to posts that shame anyone for being chubby or overweight or god forbid, fat, I immediately think of what those babies would think of them being shamed by adults by virtue of them posting them as a "before" shot. These little ones, almost exclusively little girls, do not deserve to be in your shame campaigns.
As women, it is imperative that we protect each other. There is enough body shaming from men, we should not be handing out insults to each other. I am insulted each and every time I see one of these posts. Not because I am ashamed of who and what I am, but because these "health coaches" are attaching an attack campaign to the pursuit of wellness.
You don't have to be skinny to be well. You don't have to be skinny to wear a swimming suit. You don't have to be skinny to allow yourself to be cool or comfortable in your own skin in the summer. You don't have to be skinny to matter. You don't have to be skinny. Period.
If you want to lose weight, by all means. I've lost almost 60 pounds myself this past year. Not because anyone shamed me into it. Not because I need to fit into a bathing suit. But because I've finally found a Thyroid medication that works. Because I'm working out again. Because I love my family and want to be able to keep up. And definitely not because I want a Summer Body.
If your business depends on you making these types of shameful posts, ask yourself if you're actually helping people. Ask yourself why your business depends on the hurt of others, especially women. Ask yourself if that business model is sustainable. Because as I see it, you're trading on the insecurities and further degradation of women.
And like Elyse Meyers says " I do not receive that."