Society Says…

23 Mar 2015|

via Pinterest
During a coffee date the other day, a friend and I were chatting about weight issues – the usual gaining baby weight, eating healthy (she was having hot chocolate and I had tea with skim milk and sweetener!), and the obsession we seem to have with weight. And it got me thinking – why are we so obsessed with our weight?
My whole life I was considered skinny. I never had to try and lose weight. But I also didn’t eat super healthy or work out every day. I was naturally skinny. I slowly gained a little weight after high school but was still always quite small. I then had two pregnancies in two and a half years and I gained a lot of weight. I didn’t lose it all. And I still haven’t lost it all. 
Yet, friends and family may still comment that I look good, that I’ve lost weight or I look toned or skinny. Unfortunately, when I look in the mirror, I do not agree and I know in my mind that I am not skinny and I don’t look as good as I can. 
(this is a personal opinion I have of myself)
The question I have is… Who says I am not skinny? Who says I don’t look good?
Me or Society?
Back in the day… women were curvy, women were voluptuous and women were not athletic or super toned and muscular but they were beautiful. Who changed that? And why?
I have learnt over the last few years and my journey through gaining weight and trying losing weight that beautiful is a definition that only you can describe and determine. Your beautiful is your beautiful, and is very different to someone else’s beautiful. And thank goodness for that – as we all marry different people (of different sizes, races, colours, features). Oh, imagine the problems the world would have if we all had the same definition of beautiful?! 
Society has changed this in so many ways. Society says you must exercise (gym contracts, bikram yoga, exercise guides, Kayla Itsines). Society says you must eat lean (sugar is the devil, no carbs, Banting, Paleo, Tim Noakes, juicing). Society says we must have ‘model’ bodies and magazines and TV’s expose us to these perfect, tiny model figures. Society says you must have small dress sizes (all the best clothing styles and outfits come in smaller sizes). 
Society says…
I am the first to admit that I seem to have “listened” to society when she has said that women need to be of a smaller size. But I truly believe that I haven’t listened because I am following the crowd or I think it is politically correct. I have listened because this works for me… I look in the mirror and my beautiful is a certain weight and a certain tone to my body – it is not skinny and it is not muscular. But it isn’t what it is now… I am few kgs heavier than I want to be and I am a few gym sessions flabbier that I want to be. 
And it’s because I said so…
Don’t get me wrong – I have definitely felt guilty eating a slice of cake when a friend is eating a salad, and I have felt inadequate when lying at the pool with super slim and toned friends in bikinis and plenty clothing store change room mirrors have gasped back at me when trying on an outfit. I have fallen into the trap and played victim to “society says” a few times but then I remember that only I can make myself happy – and what is my happy?
My happy is my beautiful.
What is your beautiful
Skinny, curvy, plump, muscular, small, lean?
It doesn’t matter, because it is YOUR beautiful and nobody else’s.
x

4 Comments

  1. This is a continuous struggle for me. I've gained some weight recently but in so doing I regained my boobs (that I had lost after breastfeeding Knox). I couldn't be happier to have them back so I'm not about to try and lose the weight just yet 😉

  2. I LOVE THIS!! I agree…Society is the worlds worst enemy – that and EGO! I unfortunately am in an industry that is extremely superficial and honestly, I wonder if I'm cut out for it – purely based on the fact that IS so superficial. I love entertaining. I love switching on a microphone and entertaining or presenting into camera… that's it. Nothing more or less. BUT, suddenly I'm aware that as a white girl on TV, I have to be a certain size. If you are African and bigger – it's culturally acceptable. I decided that it wasn't going to be about how skinny I am or what the scale says… for me it's all about HEALTH! When I was bigger – 25kgs heaver, I was so unhappy, in an unhappy place and constantly sick. I want to feel healthy nd be the best version of myself! Perhaps we need to stop looking at weight and start looking at health! xxx Thanks for an awesome post

  3. Loved this post Cals, very well written and thank you for your honesty. I agree that beautiful is not a look, it's a feeling. It's about how we feel within ourselves, at my heaviest I never felt beautiful or worthy or strong or healthy. That had very little to do with what others said or thought about me, but what I said and thought about myself. Reaching our own "sweet spot" and happy place, be it weight, pants size, muscle tone, cholesterol or 5k time, that should be what drives and motivates us. NOT what the rest of the world thinks!

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I'm Caley a thirty-something wife & mummy from Durban, South Africa. Ellie Love Blog is all about me, my family and our beautiful life.

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