It should go without saying that there’s something very wrong with anyone making you feel ashamed, demoralized, or discriminated against because of your body. Full stop. We know that, you know that, but we all know that it still happens every single day. It’s not easy to be a woman in this world or to be at the intersection of so many different identities, but when we can’t even enjoy expressing ourselves with clothes that we love, that flatter our bodies, that we can feel good wearing, we shouldn’t take that as a given! We deserve more. In 2019, in 2020, and every year after, we should have the right to any and all forms of health we choose and the freedom to look and feel good choosing them. But how do we internalize that? How do we really start believing it? Let’s take a look at our relationship with social media to start.
What can function as a tool to make us feel ashamed of ourselves and squeeze money from us based on that shame, Instagram, isn’t an inherently evil entity! That can be easy to forget when it tells us day after day, post after post, “YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH,” but where there are algorithms and trends, products to be sold, hashtags to push, there are also human beings.
Take @i_weigh, for instance, an Instagram page from actress Jameela Jamil of The Good Place proving just that. We’ve been obsessed with what’s become the “I Weigh Movement” for a while, but in case you’ve been missing out, here’s your chance to start feeling a little better every day. According to Jamil, she was tired of seeing women downplay their own achievements and attributes and focusing only on weight or “fitness” which can be yet another coded word for “thinness” in certain contexts. The idea is simple enough--by allowing people space to express things that are far more important than the number of pounds they weigh, even more people will be encouraged and inspired to think of themselves the same way. Need proof of concept? Head over to everyone’s favorite app, check out @i_weigh, and tell me you don’t feel just a little empowered as you’re reading.
Just scrolling through the page which is made from the submissions of women, men, and nonbinary people of different builds, ethnicities, and abilities is a refreshing crash course on the basic humanity we so often sublimate into #humblebrags or crush into silence.
No one’s going to tell you in good faith that you can escape “beauty” standards, but what we can do is reclaim ground available for the taking: our own self-worth. No one’s going to claim that’s easy either, but if we look around, there are people with their hands out to us, either offering or asking for help. Take both.
Lot's of Lola Love,
Team Lola Getts