Whether we admit it or not, a woman’s body is often subject to human scrutiny. People would often make unsolicited remarks about a woman’s physical appearance, both complimentary and derogatory. Sadly, many people regard women’s bodies as public property, and women can’t help but feel like they are being watched — or worse, judged.
It doesn’t matter who is watching you or judging you. Whether it’s a relative, a close friend, a bully in school, or even a stranger — people will always have something to say when it comes to a woman’s physical appearance.
I had this experience first-hand during my second pregnancy five years ago. I’m naturally petite at around 95 lbs, but I had a difficult first trimester and thanks to my morning sickness I lose around 10 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight during the first three months. Imagine being 85 lbs AND pregnant!
And on top of it all, I’m a fitness enthusiast who workout or do yoga everyday since before my pregnancy, and I didn’t stop that habit even when I got pregnant. This little piece of fact about me became an excuse for most people to make unwelcome comments about my pregnant body and unnecessary weight-loss — that it was totally unhealthy and that I should stop working out because I was already too skinny for a pregnant woman.
I remember how my co-workers and acquaintances would shift their gaze towards my belly when they would meet me in the hallways of our office building, and how, like almost subconsciously, they would make comments on the size of my baby-bump. This went on until after I gave birth. And they would still comment on how quickly (or slowly) I returned to my pre-pregnancy figure.
Although people are entitled to their own opinion about things — and I won’t deny it, some of them are really well-meant — there are those comments that are just plain ignorant and sometimes, badly delivered.
There are many women nowadays who are getting more and more insecure about their appearance. What with the media feeding us with illusory images of what beauty is supposed to look like — and honestly, most of them are too far from reality — women are becoming less confident in their own skin. And these unwelcome remarks about a woman’s body just add insult to the injury.
There is no perfect body. If you think you see one on Instagram, think about angles, lighting, editing, and filters. Also,“perfect” is subjective. What’s perfect for you may still be flawed to someone else. The thing is, as long as you are happy with how you look, and as long as you don’t have major weight-related health issues, the number on the scale or tape measure should not really matter at all.
BUT if you are not happy with your own body and how you look, do something about it and take the first step toward change and self improvement rather than whine, hate yourself, and wallow in self-pity. Be proactive. Do it with so much love for yourself that you ensure to only use methods that are beneficial and not harmful to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
In my case, I don’t really care what other people think or say about my physical appearance because I myself am my number one critique. I workout regularly to stay active and fit, and try to eat a healthy diet because I value my health. When I don’t like what I see in the mirror, I can’t help but feel bad, but I use this as a motivation to improve myself (improve, not starve).
There are also women who just love themselves no matter what size they are. They know their worth so much that no amount of external scrutiny would affect their self-confidence. Just recently, I came upon a blog of a lovely woman who unselfishly shared her weight gain journey. She should be a source of inspiration for those women who still struggle to see their worth without looking at the numbers on the scales.
You cannot force others to love you for who you are. You should be the first person to love yourself for who you are, freely and unconditionally. Fill yourself with so much self-love because only then can you make wise decisions that are best for your well-being.
We cannot force people to stop scrutinizing women’s bodies, but we women can control how we react to their scrutinizing remarks — both compliments and insults, whether intentional or not. You can either use their comments to harm you, or you can use them to love yourself more, whatever self-love means for you.
“The most beautiful thing we can wear in the world is confidence.”Jay Shetty
Don’t aim for a perfect body. For as long as you have a body that you’re happy with, then that’s what makes it perfect.
Everyone has the right to be comfortable in their own skin.
Keep aiming for a healthy and happier you.
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