Writer: Corissa Enneking | I can’t turn on my radio for the 5 minutes it takes to get from my home to the nearest Target, without hearing an ad about “losing that winter weight” or “becoming your best self in the new year”. By the end of the year I’ve become a dial-turning ninja, ready to shut down those self hate messages in one quick jab of the presets. I gently remind myself that the media doesn’t get to dictate how I feel about myself, and continue going over my list of “needs” from Target.
I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in a long time, but there’s something about hearing all those ads for weight loss that makes me feel like fighting back. Just because my life doesn’t include a constant desire to change my physical form, it doesn’t mean that I’m complacent in becoming a better human being and taking better care of myself. We hear so much about working out and losing weight and how great it is, there’s a certain morality assigned to anyone who seeks to accomplish those things. So what about those of us that don’t want that? We can fight those body hate messages by creating our own set of resolutions, without all the body hate.
Resolve to let go of black and white thinking
There’s this thing we’ve been programmed to do as a society. We like to assign “bad” and “good” judgments to all things. It makes us comfortable to know that even when life is chaotic we can rely on knowing that some decisions are easy. There’s bad and there’s good, and some times that’s all you need to know. But what if we started challenging that? What if we could open ourselves up to deeper discussions without first assigning judgment to those things we think we know?
If you’re reading this article then you’ve likely already concluded that society’s idea that fat is “bad” is not only wrong, but incredibly damaging to a lot of people. How many other ideas that we’ve been taught are holding us back from loving ourselves and others?
It may not be the most comfortable resolution you could make, and it may even take longer than a year to really get the hang of it, so start small. When you find yourself assigning black and white feelings to something step back and just ask yourself why you feel that way. You don’t have to change your mind, or even rethink your stance, but taking a moment to think about how you decided your feelings about something allows us to have a deeper understanding for the things we’ve come to accept as fact.
Wear Whatever You Want
You know that black and white thinking thing we were talking about? Yeah, well that applies to all these rules about fashion that we’ve been taught. At some point someone decided that fat women have to enhance their curves, not show their cellulite, and of course never show off their stomachs. But who the hell made these rules and why do we all accept them as truth?
So often on my instagram I get comments about what I’m wearing and how wearing something “unflattering” doesn’t look “good”. But exactly what does unflattering mean, and who decided the goodness of my appearance? I like baggy clothes (right now) because they are carefree and express this kind of “I don’t care what you think about my body” feelings that I’m currently having. Some times I like to show off my stomach and wear crop tops that don’t just show a sliver of my upper midsection, but my whole entire belly. Belly button included. I know that it might not solicit the kind of “oh wow I love your style you look perfect” comments that an outfit following all the “rules” might get, but I don’t care. I wear what I want because it makes ME feel good, not others.
Do Your Best
Just as importantly as doing your best, recognize that our best can change from day to day. Some days doing your best means you are on your game. It means that you’re working toward all your goals, and thinking critically about your social impact, and wow you even managed to clean your bathroom. Other days, doing your best may look like a netflix marathon and patting yourself on the back for remembering to take your meds.
When you can remind yourself to do the best you can, and also accept that can differ from day to day your expectations become more reasonable. While you may have to go to work every day, some days it’s ok to skip doing your hair and makeup so you can catch a few more minutes of sleep. Assessing your ability to complete different tasks and adjusting your approach based on how you’re feeling is a vital part of taking care of yourself. Things don’t have to go exactly as planned. Just do your best.
Adopt one of these resolutions and you’ll be well on your way to creating a safe environment for you to love your body. Above all else, don’t let body-hate dictate your New Year resolutions, or your life. You are worth so much, and your resolutions should reflect that.
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