The less visible sister of fat shaming – skinny shaming.

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Skinny girl with brown hair in sports gear, walking

Hello, dear readers! By now I think you have all heard of fat shaming. Curvy people, especially women have raised awareness about it a lot during last few years. It is no secret that media has been pushing the image of “perfect woman” onto us for quite a long time. We are still drowning in magazine articles about getting beach body and different diets that will help us lose x amount of pounds every month. However, there is one side of body shaming that has not been covered as much and it is skinny shaming. Yes, that is really a thing! Why am I writing about this? Well, because I have been fat shamed as well as skinny shamed.

During my childhood years I was somewhere in the middle – not really chubby but also not skinny. However, I despised PE lessons and ate what ever I wanted, so I was no way considerable as the fit one. Being a kid and hating sports was not cool at all, so I quickly became the main object of mockery in my school. Most of my bullies were boys, who were skinny and loved sports. They could eat all the junk food in the world and still stay the same way. However, if I would eat too much pizza or cookies, my body would show it after some time. I was a girl and being tall and thin was not in my genes. I was jealous at girls, who were like that. The self consciousness made me feel terrible about my thighs, who seemed way too thick at the time (I mean, how thick can be thighs of a ten-year old, who is not overweight?) and small stomach roll that I had while sitting down. For nine years straight I was laughed at because of my body and fat shamed almost every day. It did not mater, if I tried eating less or dressing differently – I was still the ugly, weird and fat kid. This nightmare ended after middle school.

About a year before graduating from middle school I started working out. Of course, results did not show that quickly but I was getting there. After middle school I decided to continue my studies in a different city and different school. Things seemed to get better – my schoolmates did not care about my looks at all and the fat shaming was over. However, soon after that when my workout results finally started showing, I experienced something as uncomfortable which was skinny shaming. As I continued to workout, my stomach rolls disappeared, hip bones, ribs and collar bones started showing a little bit more. I was eating healthier than before and still had normal BMI, however, my parents started getting worried with no apparent reason. I started getting a lot of comments from them that I workout too much and suggested me to workout less and eat more. I could not understand their reaction. I finally started feeling better about my body after all the fat shaming and now this? My parents have never been on the thin side, so this fact made me nervous from early childhood. Will I look like this when I grow up? I didn’t want to. I wanted to be like one of those fit, happy girls you can see on Pinterest and Instagram. Why was is such a bad idea? My parents should have been happy that I wasn’t one of those girls, who look at thinspo every day and starve themselves.

During last  4 years I’ve been working out and eating healthier but their remarks didn’t stop. Especially from my dad. I wanted to feel better about my body and love it but comments like: “You should eat more. Your breasts have become smaller. Your hip bones are showing too much. Your ribs are showing too much. Are you trying to starve yourself? The way you look isn’t healthy. Stop starving yourself. Stop working out so much.” made me insecure and unhappy. You might think that having a slimmer body would make me more confident. It didn’t. I still listened to what people are saying about it. I felt insecure about my hip bones and the fact that I sometimes got bruises on them after workouts, I felt stressed out because I couldn’t find pants that fit me just right. Most of them were too tight in the area of my thighs and too loose around my waist. I felt insecure about my breasts that were never too big but now got even smaller. I was jealous to girls, who could wear nice lingerie, push up bras and actually have something to put inside them. I was almost flat, I still am.

I shouldn’t hate my body, I should love it and you should do the same with yours. It’s okay to have thick thighs, it’s okay to have tiny breasts, it’s okay have boyish body with no curves or very curvy one without small waist. I’m here to tell you what no one has told me – love your body the way it is now. It doesn’t matter, if people tell you that you’re too skinny, too muscular or too chubby. There is no such thing as perfect bikini body and you shouldn’t stress about getting it. There is not one universal body shape everyone should and would be able to fit. No matter what body type you have, it has its own beauty. Stop listening to media and society in general, who’s telling you that you need an ass like Kim Kardashian or body like Keira Knightley, or that you can’t wear crop tops because your stomach isn’t perfectly flat. Wear what makes you feel good, don’t torture yourself in order to look like someone else. You already have a full package of what you need. Sure, you can do some ab workouts or squats, eat more veggies and treat it like a temple but… never take it for granted. You are beautiful in your own skin – embrace it here and now.

That’s all for this week’s blog post. I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as enjoyed writing it. See you next week with another great article. 🙂

Love, Porcelain Doll.

Being fit does not always mean loving your body.

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Girl preparing for a run.

Hello, dear readers! Social media, magazines, commercials and movies are full of images of hot bodies. More concretely – fit bodies. We are overwhelmed with titles of blog posts and magazine articles like “How to get in shape for summer”, “How to lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks” etc. Even more – authors of these resources are trying to tell us that, if we lose 10 pounds, get a flatter stomach or thinner thighs, we will like ourselves more. Hell, we might even love ourselves. However, that’s not true. Let me tell you my story about how I tried to change my life by becoming fit.

I was never the sporty type of kid in school. In fact, I was the one, who was hiding behind all others and hoping that somehow the teacher would not notice me and I could skip high jumping or rope climbing. Maybe I would have tried but the teacher just didn’t care enough to motivate me. Maybe… but the others would have still laughed at me, right? I grew up hearing phrases like: “Ew, she’s fat.” , “Oh my God, look at her ugly face!” and other similar ones every school day. I am pretty sure that I could count the days that passed with no such comments on fingers of a one hand. Not many, honestly. I kind of knew that my bullies weren’t right – I was not fat, just a little bit chubby like a lot of kids in their childhood and early teenage years. However, at that point I didn’t pay much attention that it was normal. All I kept hearing were those mean phrases, repeated every day. And not by one or few people – at least ten if not more of them. These thoughts got stuck in my head and I started to feel more and more uncomfortable in my own body. “Damn,” I though to myself. “my thighs are actually huge and I hate that my stomach isn’t as flat as it should be.” I started to hate what I wear and how I look because so many people reminded me, how much they hate it. Around the age of thirteen I started spending about a half an hour, sometimes even more on my makeup, trying to make it look as good as possible. I thought that maybe it could help me cover up my insecurities and make my, so-called, ugly face more beautiful. I did my best to look better, naively hoping that it will make them stop. How foolish – nothing changed. I hated myself and constantly asked myself: “Why me? Why am I the ugly one? Why can’t I look like my friends? They don’t get even the third part of the mean comments that I get.” This first part of the story continued until the age of fifteen.

One summer I thought to myself – enough is enough. I don’t want to be the ugly girl anymore. I’m sick of having huge thighs and a little chubby belly. I am going to workout to get the body I want and that will make me feel more confident! I started out small – with about 30 squats, 30 sit ups and 30 reps of some other kind of exercise daily. There was nothing more I wanted than just to get those results. This was kind of similar to the makeup part – I hoped it would make me feel more confident and keep the bullies away. Side note – if kids have no apparent reason to be mean to you, they will make something up in their heads. It doesn’t matter, if you have glasses or not, if you’re fat or not, if you’re teacher’s pet or not – they will come up with something. Like Dita Von Teese said: “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone, who hates peaches.” However, I didn’t know that at the time. So kept trying and pushing harder with every month. I used work out every day and sometimes I skipped a day or two, or ate something unhealthy, I hated my guts for some time. How did I dare to do this to myself? I need to reach this goal, I can’t self sabotage myself right now! My workout plan changes with time but I still managed to exercise more than 2 years straight in a row. My body looked better than ever but I still didn’t feel confident enough. I used to look in the mirror and look for imperfections. “My abs are not showing, my arms are too thin and shapeless…” I used to think to myself. I was on this journey that should have been incredibly exciting but somehow I wasn’t excited. Even though I noticed that I had made some kind of progress, it was never enough and the feeling of frustration never really left me.

Some time in November of 2016 I gradually stopped working out at all. I was so sick of this endless frustration and never feeling confident about my body. Whenever I started exercising, there was a little voice in my head that said: “You hate doing this and you still haven’t gotten your dream body after two years. Why even bother?” So I quit and focused on eating less and healthier while I lost about 8 kg until May 2017. Month later I got off the meds and started recovering from everything that had happened. I’ve spent way too long time in this trance-like state, not really caring about anything, not really wanting anything and sleeping way too much. I couldn’t help but sometimes wonder – is this how my life is going to pass? Am I going to exist all the time that I have left in this world?

Getting off meds wasn’t hard but I really had no idea what to expect afterwards. Will I need to use them again? Hopefully not. So I got the courage and told myself: “Listen, you need to get your life together. It’s not going to be easy but you can do it. Stop putting yourself down. Some other person is probably doing it, so why join them and make yourself feel even shittier?” Later on I came up with the 3 task idea. As you probably know, depression basically turns you into a zombie. You don’t care about anything, you don’t want to do anything but sleep and it’s not easy to get out of this cycle. The 3 task idea is pretty simple. Just wake up in the morning and get 3 things done that day. Even if it’s just watering your plants, washing two dirty plates and making your bed. It’s small but it’s still a progress. Later, when I felt like I’m ready to do more, I added more tasks and – voila! – now, in September I’m pretty well-functioning average person. The fact that I came to this point has already raised my self-esteem. When it comes to body image – I realized that I am a human being. I don’t need to be perfect. In fact – I don’t think there are people in this world that have naturally perfect bodies and who maintain them without doing much. Some of as have huge thighs, some of us have small breasts, some of us don’t have perfectly flat stomach but hey, it’s okay! For example, yes, my thighs are still not on the thin side but at least my waist is slim. Life is just way too short to worry about my imperfections and constantly blame myself for not fitting some unrealistic standard. Also, this reminds me one quote I recently found on Pinterest and now it’s added to my cork board in my work room.

hero-today-im-channelling_sarah-silverman

So that’s my journey from hating my body to finally feeling comfortable in my own skin. The moral of the story is – being fit does not always mean loving your body. It’s not about working out, it’s about putting yourself in the right mindset and accepting who you really are. Sure, you can lose those 10 pounds, if you want to but before you do that just stop and ask yourself: “Do I want to do that because I feel the pressure from others and want fit some strange standard? Do I want to do it because I don’t like my body?” If the answer is yes, you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons. You don’t have to be the next Jen Selter, you can live a great life in the body you already have. So what if those thighs jiggle a little? You’re not a Barbie doll that’s made of plastic. Let them haters talk but do not become one of them. Remember, there are only two chances – you can either be your worst enemy or your best friend. Chose wisely.

Love, Porcelain Doll.