There is so much pressure on women to fit into this idea of what a woman needs to act like and look like and be like and that is something that plagues the lives of women of all ages.
There is a small percentage of women that fit into the ‘standard’ expected by the beauty industry and society and then there is the rest of the population that is so far from that idea of perfection and beauty.
I am part of the population that doesn’t fit that image and idea.
I have absolutely nothing against those that do fit in to what the beauty industry promotes but what I do have a problem with, is how the rest of society labels women that do not have a thigh gap or women that aren’t small in build or women that have are somehow different from that ‘standard’ as “fat” “disgusting” “grotesque” “undesirable” “ugly” and the list continues.
These labels make us all feel insecure and in constant need to fit into this bracket and it promotes an unhealthy self image from a young and tender age.
Women of all shapes and sizes desire the feeling of being accepted and we all deserve it.
These expectations cause this lifelong journey to seek this unrealistic image. I do call it unrealistic because it relies on genetics to achieve this look naturally and for those that cannot achieve it naturally, cosmetic procedures are all that’s left to fit into this image that is forced on us.
It is incredibly disheartening to feel like you are unattractive or unwanted because of this belief that you are not good enough for someone or not pretty enough to grab the attention of someone.
Even at my thinnest, I was so far from this idea that girls try to achieve. I was muscular and I was not tall and I was not dainty, nor did I have a thigh gap, and for years I tried to achieve that image. I would starve myself and only drink coffee to give my body the energy it needed, all to have a flat stomach and attempt to be thinner.
I would throw my school lunches away or give it to someone before going home to make it seem like I was eating during the day because I so badly wanted to be a part of this image. At my smallest, I was still a size 10 and that really made me sad.
I think what made it worse for me was the fact that not only did I pressure myself for a good 2 years, I was bullied for still being “fat” when I was averaging 49kgs at 15. The names got worse as I got older and as I started gaining weight and that also broke down the sliver of confidence I had left.
I was also bullied by friends and family and even had comments passed to me from my boyfriend at the time. The people I had needed support and acceptance from, were the people that were causing more and more damage to me.
I didn’t reach a point where I was confident in who I was and my appearance until about a year ago. I sort of adopted that mentality around my 18th birthday, and after being out of the public schooling system and away from the bullying and pressure, for a while.
The bullying continued but it was not hitting me directly anymore.
People don’t realise how damaging words are and they are thrown around with little or no guilt or shame from the speaker. Cyber bullying regarding a woman’s weight is also a big contributor to this ‘weight hate’.
When I saw this quote from Denise Bidot, a beautiful model (in the fashion industry, labelled as “plus size”), it really touched the wounds and scars I have from the journey I walked with struggling to be a certain way.
She’s a mom and a force to be reckoned with and I really love the pathway she is setting for body positivity in women of all shapes and sizes.
There is beauty in all shapes and sizes and forms of women and she is challenging the beauty industry on that, which needs to be done.
The beauty industry makes millions upon millions from female insecurity. The need and desire to fit into society’s standards is drilled into us from a young age as well as the fact that a woman’s body is seen only as an object of sex appeal.
It is degrading.
I, personally, take comfort in my intelligence because I know I will get further in life with a good, solid mind instead of a body that will keep me for a few years until I have kids or get ‘old’.
Women are not acknowledged for their intellect or talents but rather if they fit into a size 0 – 4. That is something that needs to change.
Women are also subject to bullying from other women, which is vile and disgusting. A world where women can rally together and trust each other is a world that will have much more love in it. If we can’t trust our own gender in this fight for our own acceptance, then what is there to trust?
I do have to say that happiness starts from inside yourself and confidence grows once you find confidence in who and what you are, in what you are capable of, and you are all capable of amazing and beautiful things.
I am still so far from being 110% confident in myself but that percentage has gotten so incredibly high over the last year. After I removed the toxic people in my life, some removed themselves, things really started to change. Not all of them are gone BUT I have amazing people in my corner that drown out the noise they try and make in my journey of being happy and confident.
There is no wrong way to be a woman.
Remember that. Remember that on the days where you feel alone and lost and remember that on the days that you feel like you are on top of the world. Remember that together, we are powerful and unstoppable and we are so worthy of respect and love and acceptance.
We are worthy of much more than what we are given so we need to take it for ourselves. We need to demand it and we need to believe in ourselves and each other.
There is NO wrong way to be a woman.