The number of people out there who judge each other on body appearance makes me incredibly sad.
This person is too fat, that person is too skinny, and everyone else is either too bulky, not muscular enough, eating too much, not eating enough, doing the wrong kind of exercise, has a stomach roll, has gross arms, the list goes on.
No wonder there are so many people out there who make themselves sick worrying about how their body is supposed to look and perform. No wonder there are so many people out there with self-image issues, a lack of body confidence, and disordered eating and behavior.
It all needs to stop.
Can’t we all just be kind to each other?
I was incredibly excited for the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday. I love Lady Gaga and have been a huge fan of hers from the beginning. My girlfriends and I were on the edge of our seats in my living room waiting for her to start, and when she started performing, I got super excited. I knew from the second she started moving around and singing that she was going to absolutely crush her performance. Also, her legs! They looked strong AF, and I’m pretty sure I said that out loud in admiration… after declaring that should I decide to give up my online business journey, I’m going to return to my childhood dream of being a backup dancer. Ha!
Here’s the thing. The second that Lady Gaga did that costume change and emerged with a bare midriff, I just knew that her body would be a topic of conversation the following week. I just knew it, and I felt a little sad knowing that regardless of her talent and accomplishments that night, society would most definitely be picking apart any and all “flaws” possible.
And I was right.
The next day, I woke up to shaming and degrading comments like these floating around social media:
Excuse my language, but what the actual fuck.
First of all, Lady Gaga’s body is NOBODY’S business but hers. I might think she looks amazing, and these idiot pricks hiding behind their Twitter screens might think she has a gut, but IT DOESN’T MATTER because all that matters is what SHE thinks and feels about her body.
Yes, she may be a celebrity and in the public eye, but I don’t care if only two people know you or if the entire world knows you. Your body is nobody’s business but yours.
Second of all, Lady Gaga’s performance was incredible! She absolutely killed it. I am in complete awe of the amount of training that it must have taken to be able to perform at the level she did for the length of time that she did in front of the world. That takes a LOT of physicality, practice, and stamina. And the attention to detail throughout the entire show was extremely impressive.
Yet, here we are, reducing all of it to a blanket statement of Lady Gaga needing to do more crunches. Really?!
Sidebar: someone needs to teach @Icancoreaapple about what the most effective core strengthening exercises are. Because they ain’t crunches.
Also, if Lady Gaga was up there with the world’s best six-pack, then everyone would be saying she’s too bulky and looks like a man! We can’t win!
Finally, these types of comments about Lady Gaga’s midsection are precisely what perpetuate the made up and unrealistic ideals about what the female physique “should” look like. But why is there even a should in the first place?
Bodies come in all different shapes, sizes, and appearances, and while it’s certainly OK to have aesthetic goals for yourself, that needs to come from a place of self-love and self-respect, not from what society has set forth for us. I cringe thinking about the number of women who likely heard about Lady Gaga’s “flab” and then looked in the mirror hating themselves the next morning.
If we could all just stop worrying so much about these ideals and stop focusing so much on what everyone else is doing, we’d all be able to just appreciate ourselves and our bodies so much more. We could celebrate what our bodies are able to do. We could accept that there is no one size, shape, fitness program, or way of eating that makes anyone superior or inferior to anyone else.
So the next time you find yourself ready to judge someone based on their body, fitness plan, eating habits, or anything else, take a step back. Have you considered that someone you think is too skinny might actually be trying to gain weight? Have you considered that someone you think is too fat is going through some tough stuff? Also, what does it matter to you? A little tough love here, but if you feel the need to always be commenting on somebody else’s body, there’s probably a lot going on internally that you need to figure out.
It’s time we all started leaving our opinions about other people’s bodies to ourselves and standing up against body shaming when we hear others engaging in it.
There is no wrong way to have a body.
And if you think otherwise, it’s a serious issue. This is an ugly, ugly side to the health and fitness industry: one that crushes people and is damaging. So let’s just take a more positive approach and show each other some compassion for where each are right now on our individual journeys.
Be encouraging. Show empathy. Focus on you.
And most importantly, love yourself and ENJOY your own healthy living journey.
“Be you, and be relentlessly you.”
Lady Gaga couldn’t have responded any better.
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Great article Athena!
Thanks, Michelle! Glad you liked it!
it’s sad, but I had the same feelings you had when I just knew people would talk about her. In my group, all of us were actually talking about how amazing she looked, which was great. and when i brought up the body shaming ridiculousness that came about after her performance, Roberto goes “what?! Why? i thought she looked fantastic!” haha so that just goes to show it’s all so subjective. So proud of how she’s responded to the criticism, though. she’s amazing!
What the actual fuck exactly! I could not believe the horse shit and cowardly comments the social media trolls were making. Like they would ever really say that to someone’s face. No, of course not!! Gah!