I have friends tell me that I “look good” because I have “gained some weight.” I have friends that say my butt looks good and ask if it has gotten bigger. Throughout my life, I have gotten comments about my body like this. Sometimes they go in the opposite direction – about my losing weight or looking thin. Sometimes the comments about my weight are positive, other times they are negative, but all the time they are unsolicited and unwanted. I would like to make a habit of correcting people when they comment about my body and here’s why.
People have body image issues. In fact, most people that I know do or have struggled with it at some point in their life. I can pretty much guarantee that you have wished a body part looked a certain way, wanted something to be smaller, bigger, differently shaped or colored. You have thought or said about yourself (or someone else) that you (or he or she) looks, feels, or is fat, bloated (or insert any body comment here).
This type of talk – whether it be internal toward yourself, or external towards others – is damaging. I struggle with the damaging internal talk – and I wish I didn’t because as a dietitian I would like to be a role model for positive body image. I wish, that when someone commented on my body, that I would know what to say back. However, the truth is that I don’t know what to say. And, I wish that when someone commented om my weight that it didn’t bother me, but it does. From now on, I have decided, that when someone comments on my body, or if I hear negative internal talk from myself, i will say, “I am committed to positive body image. And I do not welcome comments about my body.”
What about you? How do you feel about your body image? What do you do when you notice yourself or others commenting on your body?