People tell me a lot of things they don’t tell anyone else. I hear some of the darkest parts of people’s lives.
After 6 years, I’ve heard more than most can imagine. I’ve also experienced so much of my own darkness, nothing is surprising.
The other day I was more than surprised.
I was shocked, and a little heart broken, for a friend of mine, as she shared with me that people were actually MEAN to her when sharing her struggles.
I have a really fit friend who has a disorder that causes her to not see her body the way it actually is. We see a super fit, happy and gorgeous person, and she sees something totally different.
I realized in that moment, that although I sit here with easily another 30 pounds to lose on my journey, I am MORE COMFORTABLE in my skin, than she is looking like a bikini model.
People may think they want to look like here, but side by side, they would rather FEEL like me.
Body dysmorphia is the medical term for what she has, and it’s actually REALLY common. It affects hundreds of thousands of new people in the US every year.
The kinds of things people say, when someone shares how bad they feel about their body, are so patronizing and thoughtless.
Things like “Oh please I’d kill to have your body!” or “omg just wait until you reach 40, you’ll really hate your body then” and “I don’t want to hear it from you, you’re so thin” etc.
I see this online all the time. People telling other people to quit whining and getting into a “who has it worse” life comparison, instead of helping each other.
We completely write off another persons pain because it doesn’t match our own ideas.
Having absolutely no experience or understanding of what they are going through, we assume we have it worse and they should see things our way.
It doesn’t make sense for us to live in a world where the only pain that is respected as real, is the one that we’ve made socially acceptable.
It would be socially acceptable for ME to hate my body because I would be considered a plus size (anything above a size 8 these days btw *eyeroll*).
However, because she fits the socially idealized version of what a body should look like, her emotions don’t count. She’s not allowed.
THAT IS INSANE.
I’m not allowed to love my body.
She is required to love hers.
Based on WHAT?
Because somewhere some guy sitting behind a computer with Photoshop, has hand panted what we should all aspire to be, and mainstream media has plastered it all over our ads and entertainment?
This woman is struggling and NEEDS support, but has been shamed out of asking for it, by the people she needs understanding from most.
I don’t have a neat little tie up for this post, frankly I’m just pissed and someone needs to point out that this is not okay.
I hope that anyone reading this will take the time to think before they speak (or type) next time. Kindness is ALWAYS better.
I don’t often ask you to share what I post, but if you think people need to read this, it would be a nice way to show some support for her <3
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”