Body Acceptance Is About Celebrating More Than Just Celebrity Bodies
Please excuse my rant on yet another celebration of the Kardashian’s bodies
Body acceptance has made leaps and bounds over the past few years.
As someone who has struggled with body image and self-compassion for around 18 of my 30 years on this planet, I couldn’t be more excited for the advances society is making in accepting all bodies.
With that being said, it grinds my gears like nothing else when I see entertainment outlets celebrating the Kardashians for ‘loving their body’.
Don’t get me wrong. Everyone should love and accept their bodies the way they are. My irritation isn’t specifically targeted at the Kardashians, (well maybe a little bit) it’s more frustration with society as a whole.
When society accepts and embraces an idolized body with flaws, they think it reads the same as saying they accept and embrace ALL bodies.
Sis, I’ve got news for you — Khloe's isn’t the average body.
Celebrating barely-there, minimal stretch marks on an already socially acceptable, if not enviable, body is not the same as accepting all bodies.
Many outlets have reported on this same story about how brave and inspiring Khloe is to share the less than perfect parts of herself — but in reality, would there have been as much compassion and support for a less accepted body?
A body like mine?
My body has stretch marks all over the place. I have them running up my hips, on my stomach, my breast, my arms, the inside of my thighs. I am also the proud owner of stripes, but mine look nothing like Ms. Khloe’s.
Some are faint and faded, but other’s are angry and red.
The faded ones are reminders of the years I spent shaping, contorting, and trying to carve my body into something it wasn’t meant to be. Something that society would accept and find beauty in because once I was approved in the eyes of the world, I would finally be worthy to receive all the love I’d given.
Sometimes, when I sit down in shorts or a sleep shirt before bed, I gently trace over the silver stripes decorating my inner thighs.
I cringe, remembering clear as day the times I would cry and feel so worthless.
When you’re 14-years-old and have stretch marks that are angry and red, and your body looks nothing like the bodies you see represented in film, or magazines, you assume there is something wrong with you.
There is so much power in seeing yourself represented, normalized, and accepted.
That may have been in the early to mid-2000s, but things have not changed and progressed the way I hoped they would have nearly two decades later.
In 2021, we’re still primarily celebrating socially accepted bodies.
While they may not be perfect, the Kardashian bodies aren’t average and support unrealistic expectations. Khloe explains how she was personally impacted by body-shaming when being compared to her sisters.
“I love that pop culture now has realistic body images for women to look up to, especially for kids,” she recently told Health.
“I love women of all shapes and sizes. I love empowering women, and I’m obsessed with confident women.” — Khloe
Just because she is a celebrity doesn’t mean her experiences of being body-shamed are any less valid. Her acknowledgment of her own experience with body shaming shines even a brighter light that anyone can be subject to this treatment.
What I find disheartening is that if Khloe’s ‘realistic body’ still has room to be shamed, then what kind of compassion will society have for my far more flawed and less accepted ‘average’ body?
If that’s what a realistic beautiful body looks like, there is no hope for me. Especially because I, like most people, lack the same resources she uses to achieve that realistic body image.
Is Khloe’s a realistic body image?
Sure. If you have a personal chef, a personal trainer, a nanny, and several support staff to help your life function normally while you primarily focus on weight loss and shaping your body.
It may just be me, but I do not feel empowered when I’m told that my body could look like hers. That it should. Because I know it won’t, ever. Not because I’m lazy, not because I don’t try hard enough. But because I don’t share the same genetic make-up, additionally, I don’t have the resources she fails to mention that support her in achieving this body image.
Am I overreacting? Maybe.
When I continued reading, I got even more pumped up about Khloe’s correlation between her weight and attaining a certain number as ‘being the dream’.
Khloe had the chance to use her platform to really focus on body acceptance… and yet, she still ended up giving a nod to her weight.
Wait. I thought we were celebrating Khloe’s love of her stripes. What does her weight have to do with that? Especially implying the less she weighs, the more she’s ‘living the dream’.
Now that I’m in my weight vicinity goal… I’m around 150. It goes up a little. When it goes into the high 140’s I’m like, ‘Whoo! It’s the dream. — Kardashian told E!
So because I am nowhere near the high 140's… or 150lbs, does it mean that I’m not living the dream? What does your weight have to do with accomplishing your dreams or living them into fruition?
Make it, make sense.
It will never make sense because your weight does not determine your worth. It has no impact on living your dreams.
Let’s continue to focus less on our weight and more on our wellness — physically, mentally, and emotionally. Pay attention to the energy we have and how we honor our bodies for carrying us through this life.
There is so much work to be done
I’ve had this conversation more times than I can count, but I choose to keep having it because there is still so much work to be done around body acceptance.
Self-compassion is essential to accepting our bodies at any stage of life.
It’s my mission to help other people accept and love and have a positive body image, but often I forget to have the same consideration for myself.
As a 30-something-year-old woman, I still struggle to accept my body.
Logically, I know my body is still worthy of being accepted and respected at any size, but society and the media continue to challenge that every single day by choosing to celebrate bodies that look nothing like mine.
They put unachievable bodies on a pedestal and call them realistic body images because they happen to have stretch marks that weren’t edited out.
I want you to know whether you have, or still are struggling, to accept your body and have a healthy body image, it can be done. It can be done when we all have conversations about making sure all bodies are accepted and respected.
While I will do all that I can do, it takes a community — it takes a village to make a change, to influence a movement.
By having these conversations regularly and normalizing accepting all bodies, I know we can save future generations years of body shaming and damage to their mental health.
Even though you or I aren’t one of the Kardashian’s, our bodies deserve to be celebrated, accepted, and respected.
More on breaking down societies expectations on our bodies, please consider —
From ‘Fat Amy’ to ‘Fit Amy’
Once again, society is focusing on all the wrong things about Rebel Wilson’s weight-loss journey