It’s been a while since I wrote a truly meaningful blog post. Truth be told, I’ve been wanting to talk about the subject of body shaming for a while now. I’ve been holding back because I thought I’d get laughed at since my body type isn’t quite what people think about when they hear the term “body shaming”, “body positivity”, or “body inclusivity”. However, I’ve learned quickly in this career that staying quiet will only get you so far (aka you’re invisible). So today, I’m using my platform to voice my opinion and share what I think might even help a few people reading this.
Disclaimer before we begin
That all being said, I want to address the topic of ‘body shaming’ and the body inclusivity movement since both are pretty popular subject matters right now. Curvy girls and plus sized women are gaining attention and it’s about time. I’m not curvy or plus sized myself but I’m all for the body inclusivity movement! There are curvy bloggers that are doing all the right things by promoting self-care, body confidence, and a healthy lifestyle all at the same time. I will say, however, I don’t agree with curvy or plus sized bloggers that are promoting an unhealthy lifestyle to the point where you’re not working out, eating right and simply wanting to be included because you’re considered curvy/plus sized. Embracing your body and completely promoting an unhealthy lifestyle are two very separate things and are not to be confused! I just wanted to throw that out there before I begin to share my story.
My experience with ‘skinny shaming’
I know firsthand that every body type is different, no matter what you eat. For example, imagine sitting next to a friend and both of you eat an entire bag of hot Cheetos. The hard truth is those Cheetos will hit both of you in different ways. You may gain a pound and the other girl may not gain anything at all! It comes down to genetics and overall how fast your metabolism is. Some people just have faster metabolisms than others so what you eat will affect your body differently than the girl next to you.
How do I know this? Because I used to be (and still kind of am) the girl with the fastest metabolism you can ever find. I was underweight until about 4 years ago. You could see my ribs and you could see my spine (you can actually still see my spine). I’ve been tiny my whole life growing up and everyone around me kept telling me I need to eat. “Nita, you never eat”, “Nita, you’re not healthy”, “Nita, you can eat a whole bag of chips and nothing happens to you”.
Anyone that knew me personally knew I ate A LOT. Whether it was junk food or just a regular meal, this girl could eat. Putting on weight was a struggle for me but in no way does that mean I was unhealthy at all or had any type of eating disorder. After years of receiving comments similar to the above described, I decided to go to the gym consistently and start weightlifting. Comments referring to me being skinny was part of my reason to get more active. The other part of me really did want to bulk up a bit so that clothes could fit me better. After 2 years of working out consistently, I gained a few pounds of muscle and looked a bit ‘better’ but of course, not good enough for a critic’s eye. I ate right, I worked out, and felt as healthy as can be but still couldn’t please quite a few people / strangers.
It wasn’t until I moved to D.C. for 3 months when I noticed real weight gain. Not muscle weight, no no because that’s not good enough. It was true fat. I ate out mostly every single day in D.C. and barely worked out. Even though I felt as unhealthy as could be, I was “healthy” in the eyes of everyone else. I had fat on my cheeks, some jiggle on the arms and a butt that could be seen from afar. Therefore, I was healthy…apparently.
The age 28
After I moved back home from D.C., I began to lose the weight I had gained. It was unhealthy weight, and just pure fat that I knew was not good. Before I hit age 28, it was pretty easy for me to lose weight. I know a lot of people struggle with that but I never understood that concept for a long while. I just had such a fast metabolism to the point where the only way I could gain weight was either to lift weights religiously or eat junk food religiously. It wasn’t until I hit the age of 28 when my metabolism slowed down a bit and the things I ate really stuck to my body in a more visible way. I didn’t like the additional added unhealthy weight on my body so I announced on Instagram a few months ago that I’ll be doing #BBG to lose a couple of pounds. I’ve worked really hard to not reach my weight goal but also to look and feel healthy again. It felt great to share that journey with everyone on Instagram and I’m grateful to those that were supportive of my decision. Even though I was sharing was my personal health goals with y’all, there were some people that felt the need to share their opinion with me about I have no pounds to lose. Someone even told me I’m unhealthy for being a size 0 and I shouldn’t encourage others to be that size!
Why is it that if someone goes from a size 8 to 0, the world cheers for their accomplishments yet a girl that is naturally a size 0 can’t work to get rid of 1-2 pounds of unhealthy fat?! I will never sit here and encourage my readers to be a size 0 but I will encourage them to assess their own body type and decide for themselves what their healthy, ideal weight goal is and go after that. I want to encourage those to keep pushing through to achieve their own personal goals whether that’s adding more healthy weight or shaving off a few pounds and no comment will ever stop me for being that encouragement to other women out there.
In addition to ALL of that, I even received comments that were as rude as can be when I did my ThirdLove campaign. I worked with ThirdLove to promote one of their bras and it was a video that was then promoted on Facebook. That video reached a wide range of people…some of those people that had a lot to say too.
Now when you think of body inclusivity, it’s natural to think curvy and plus sized women should be aka “included”. When you think of body shaming, it’s natural to think curvy and plus sized women are being attacked for their size. No one ever think that a girl that’s a size 0 would ever have to deal with ‘body shaming’ but guess what, we do. Want to know the irony of this story? The source of the hate actually came from women that would define themselves as curvy/plus. How can one try and gain all the sympathy in the world for being a different size and then turn around and be rude to others that are a different size? It seems a bit hypocritical to me.
Anyway, I’m lucky no matter what to be surrounded by a good group of family and friends that have been supportive since day one. A lot of you have also picked up on me being upset about a few comments and have gone out of your way to message me with words of encouragement that I’m so grateful for! There are times when ignoring mean comments can be a good thing but there are other times when you need to stick up for yourself. For me, I felt the need to write this post because I know there are girls out there that follow me that are my size and may be dealing with something similar. I’ve seen other influencers my size being told that they have an eating disorder and it’s just not right. Even IF that person did have a problem, publicly shaming them and calling them mean names will not help them. Needless to say, this blog post was necessary to write and I hope this post helps someone out there. I’ll always be here to stick up for you if you need it and no matter what, don’t let anyone get in the way of your own personal goals & overall body confidence…whether you’re a size 0 or 12.
Does this blog post surprise you? Little ol’ 100 lb Nita talking about body shaming. I sure am. Body shaming goes two ways. If you’re a size 0 out there, rock it girl and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not healthy! Lastly, if you’re reading this blog post, please note that words are powerful and what you say to someone can truly hurt. Always try to remember that there’s a living person behind every keyboard and every phone.
If you have nothing nice to say, just don’t say anything at all.
Chat soon, xo!