(Eating disorder trigger warning)
“It is a powerful lie to equate thinness with self worth.” – Roxane Gay, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
Ana says I would be happier if I lost 50 pounds. Ana says I would be prettier too. Ana says she’ll love me no matter what, but why am I eating today? Don’t I love her? Ana says I am worthless but she is proud of me today for only eating an apple.
Ana asks, don’t I want to be happy?
Ana is a liar.
Self-worth should not be based on the size of your body. How many moments do we not see our beauty because we are only looking at our physical bodies? We have become products of a world that tells us, to be anything other than a thin, pretty face, is to not be worth much at all. But it is exhausting to never feel good enough, not skinny enough – always wanting a flatter stomach or less jiggly arms – with the sole intent of attaining these things because we attach superficial bullshit to it.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have stepped on a scale or looked at myself in the mirror and hated what I saw. The scale had the ability to turn a good day bad. And, even today, I avoid it if I know I haven’t been taking care of my body. Although I know my weight does not define me, Ana is always ready to pounce.
We do not need to shrink ourselves to make others comfortable. We can no longer equate self-worth with how much fat we have on our bodies. And we need to stop making people feel like shit because their body is not what we want to see or not what society tells us is acceptable.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t take care of your body through eating healthy or exercising. I’m saying stop thinking you are not worthy because your body is not like Cara Delevingne.
No matter the size of your body, no matter if you’re Cara or Ashley Graham or Roxane Gay or anyone else, we need to embrace and shout to the world:
My self-worth is no longer defined by my body!
photo credit: Dimitris Graffin Crouching Venus (Afrodite di Doidalsas),Sala dei Marmi ellenistici, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence via photopin (license)