Society’s Food and Body Standards Frustrate Me. That’s Why I Wrote This Open Letter to Society

 

Dear Society,

Although your promises are not always kept, we place our hope and faith in your possibilities for our lives. You tell us prosperity, happiness, contentment, success, and wholeness are possible. So, we believe you, and we continually strive for it.

However, once the blissful ignorance of youth fades, the realities of what you really are asking of us are debilitating. The standards that have been placed on human beings in the past century are disgraceful.

So I am here to take a stand.

Quit making food a person’s strength or a person’s weakness. I recently read a celebrity in the fashion world was interviewed saying that his best quality was his optimism and his worst quality was that he cannot stop eatingWhat?

In what world is it actually an option to stop eating and still be alive? I understand that the in the interview  probably meant that he is ashamed that he indulges in food, and he sees that as a weakness. Why does he see that as a weakness?

News flash! He learned that from you, Society. That shame comes from your constant labeling of certain foods as “bad” and belittling people who enjoy fueling their body with the delicious foods.

 

Eating food is not a weakness. On the contrary, we cannot be strong without it.

We need to deconstruct the diet culture. It only leads to shame and discontent. I once read in a sickening “weight loss edition” of a tabloid that one woman’s secret to losing X amount of weight was by having an  X  bite rule…

Hold up. Excuse me?

A magazine was encouraging people to limit bites of food for weight loss success? This is your doing, Society. You have made diet culture and weight loss directly connected with the promise of happiness and success, and we are biting hook line and sinker.

Where has that promise gotten us? I’ll tell you- In a hell of a lot of trouble financially, mentally, and physically… more so than we have ever been in history. Ditch the diets fads, restriction talk, lifestyle change promises, and the false hope that your size can bring you happiness, fulfillment, and health. Stop, because my daughter is listening.

Stop encouraging us to believe our worth is connected to the amount of time we exercise, lift, cross-fit, run, crunch, etc. All those things are a great part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. But they in no way, shape, or form define our worth as human beings.

The constant pressure that one endures to “keep up with the Joneses” of exercise and fitness is killing the joy of moving our bodies out of love and care. Just let us move in peace.

Discontinue your unrealistic and simply deplorable standards of body image.

It is sickening that the average human being is so poorly represented in the media. A woman who is plus sized should not be shamed for wearing a tight dress or seen as “brave” for wearing a bikini… she is a woman with a mind, a body and a life.

Without your idealistic standards of what a woman should look like, then we would not even think twice about either her dress or her bathing suit choice! The marginalized bodies of the world need to be normalized, not manipulated, discriminated, or feared. All people should be able to feel comfortable in their own skin without the damaging thoughts, manipulations, and restrictions that you abrade people with daily.

We need to celebrate diversity by taking action in changing who is celebrated in our culture.

Why are we not teaching health at every size? There is no standard weight, shape, or height that equals longevity. We are only certain about two things: you are given the body you have, and there is no way to cheat death.

Yes, there are ways that we take care of our minds, bodies, and souls, but that is not directly related to a specific weight. Our doctors are smart enough to distinguish health outside of BMI; give them a chance!

If weight was not such a stigma on both spectrums, more people would take preventative care because they would not fear the judgment that comes from professionals that only listen to patients who are in the “normal” BMI range.

It is so sad.

Ditch the scale and look at the individual, not the number.

On that topic, what about mental health? If physical health is so celebrated, then why the heck are we over-looking what gets many people in a bind physically in the first place? Mental health needs to be more of a priority. If a person is nourished, educated, and treated properly on the mental health level, physical health will follow suit way easier than over-focusing on the physical health aspect.

You cannot take a deeply hurt, mentally unstable, physically exhausted person (which we all are one or all of these at some point in time), place them on a diet and miraculously change their life. No. What will change a life is helping a person feel safe and loved.

We need to allow humans to feel, express, and connect by encouraging worth and value from the inside out.

This concept will only help you, never hurt you, Society. Believe me.

Endorse self-love and diminish self-hate. This “you are only good enough if” standard that you set is nauseating. It’s creating a trend of self-loathing amongst your people that can only be turned around by a collective group effort.

We are all good enough because we are humans… valued and lifted up because of our differences and uniqueness. Not our similarities and conformities. We need to listen to our children who dream big, love relentlessly, and give un-apologetically.

Think about this: at what age is it appropriate to start telling a human being that they are not pretty enough?

Or that they are not thin enough, that they are not worthy of love and safety due to a size, due to a number, or an impossible and invisible standard?

It sickens me to think of what avoidable hardships my children will endure from your unattainable criteria. It truly sickens me.

All in all, society, I am asking you this. Quit promising us how great we will be “if” and start valuing how great we ARE. Each one of us on this planet is here for a purpose. And if you would back up and let us be who we are, we can fulfill that possibility without restraint.

Love,

The Live Free Fighter

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