As someone who has been self-conscious of my body image for years, I can affirm that it takes a lot to get through the day without feeling sort of icky about some part of my body. This mindset doesn’t totally dictate every action, or dissuade me from wearing certain types of clothing, or anything like that. But I do notice how often I check my angles in mirrors when I’m out and about. I stare a little longer at people’s slim waists on Instagram, and I take too many selfies as self-care, which studies have correlated with poor self-image. Woof.
And yet, there are some basic facts about the body that keep me grounded in a pool of self-critical BS. Unfortunately, some of these facts aren’t known by the average person; I had to learn a few the hard way. Still, they’re worth passing on. Check out these seven harmful myths about your weight that you need to stop believing already. You won’t feel better about your body automatically, but every little bit helps.
Your BMI Is EverythingI'm already having flashbacks to PE class in middle school and high school in which we were forced to check our BMI using this special machine. I always felt bad about mine, especially since I was a little overweight. But years later I discovered that I was fretting about nothing: BMI is kind of sort of BS. It simply doesn't take into account several factors of ones bodily makeup, like breasts, bone mass, muscle weight, etc. If you check out the link, you'll discover that the science behind BMI is flawed and pretty nonsensical too. So don't let BMI alone tell you anything, period.Little Miss Sunshine
Only Skinny People Have Eating DisordersThis is what happens when people's only perception of eating disorders is anorexia. But hey, heads up: There are people of all shapes and sizes who have eating disorders or suffer from disordered eating. From bulimia, to overeating, and everything in between, eating disorders aren't one-size-fits-all. Believing that one can't possibly have an eating disorder unless you can see their ribs is incredibly erasing.My Mad Fat Diary
You Can Tell How Healthy Someone Is By Looking At ThemAnyone who is on the larger side knows what it's like to have someone give them unsolicited advice on their health and wellness, which is BS. Why? Because if people really cared about someone's health, they wouldn't just target people who have love handles. You cannot look at someone and know how healthy they are. There are people who are plus sized who get plenty of exercise and have a pretty good diet while someone who is a size two eats Cheetos and smokes cigarettes. But no, it's the girl wearing a size 16 dress that is killing herself. There are people who "look healthy" who have heart disease or high blood pressure, but no, play doctor whenever a big girl dares to take a selfie. Someone else's health--especially a complete stranger--is nobody's business, period. Some Girls
Slim People Receive Just As Much Abuse About Their Bodies At Fat PeopleThis is flat out untrue, and to deny that is to blatantly deny the reality of the world we live in. There are two truths that must be acknowledged: People get crapped on for their looks all the time, especially weight. Both skinny people and fat people are subject to superficial attacks by a-holes. Skinny people are told to eat a burger, fat people are told to eat a salad. People's feelings are hurt, because no matter what size you are, body shaming can be emotionally scarring and lead to negative self-image, unhealthy habits, etc. But let's be totally real here: Our society has a lot more disdain for people who appear to be overweight than people who appear to be skinny. Being slim and trim is an ideal in our society, being fat isn't. There are far more negative associations with fatness than thinness, and this is a fact that is bombarded into our brains every single day. Whether it's the bodies we see in media, to the size range at your favorite clothing store, to the types of comments that a thin girl's selfie attracts compared to an overweight girl's, one thing is clear: Being fat isn't condoned. And no, body positivity movements championed by plus-size, curvy, and/or overweight women hasn't totally changed the way larger people are seen. At the end of the day, having a slim, trim figure is still the cultural ideal, and those who fit outside of that ideal are subject to more scorn and discrimination than those who aren't. Clueless
Your Body Will Look Amazing If You Just Detox/Eat Clean/EtcI think that one of the worst things about social media is how quickly bad information about bodies and health have spread. Remember what I said about olive oil making your boobs perky? Yeah, that's a literal tip I found on Pinterest, sandwiched between some BS how to detox or eat clean, as if drinking juice is the key to having the body of your dreams. As a rule, I don't buy into anything that touts itself as a detox, because that word doesn't really mean anything; it's just jargon that's used to attract people to buy some Fit Tea or drink some overpriced juice. Be critical of what you come across online, especially claims that you'll love your body more if you just eat more mangos and kale. iStock.com
Your Thighs Aren't Supposed To TouchIt's funny, because I think that as much as we've read article after article, tweet after tweet, woke Tumblr post after woke Tumblr post about how the thigh gap is BS, we can still be entranced when we see someone who was "blessed" with it. That...has to stop. People's bodies are simply built differently, and some will have some thigh gap. Others? Their thighs will be very friendly with each other. This is totally normal and has nothing to do with your health or diet. Period. Aerie
Everything You See On Instagram/In Ads Is LegitWe've all seen photoshop horror stories and know that people photoshop the hell out of ads, but it's important to know that people also photoshop on social media and other platforms. We've all been duped, period. Please, take solace in the idea that maybe not every single person with a snatched waist on Insta got that from doing a zillion squats. KylieJenner @ Instagram
What other myths have you had to find out were total BS the hard way? Tell us in the comments!