The Bridge Between Body Shaming and Healthy Changing

"Body Shaming is defined as inappropriate negative statements and attitudes towards another persons weight or size."

There are two sides to the spectrum of being overweight in reference to how people are viewed by society and also by their own reflection. There are those who feel unattractive and would like to get healthier and those who feel beautiful but sometimes have to deal with "Body Shaming". There are also those who feel that BIG IS BEAUTIFUL and there are others who express concern because of serious medical conditions that are often the result of obesity. So what is the median? What is right?

I can't say what is right but I can state my opinion.

Being a professional in the health and fitness industry I have seen first hand how being overweight or obese can cause medical issues such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint pain and so much more. On the other hand, being a person who has studied the affects of media on personal appearance, dealt with scrutiny about appearance, and having my own challenges with losing baby weight, I also understand the importance of self acceptance and self love.

Some people have medical conditions that contribute to them being over weight such as hypothyroidism or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). In other cases its not a medical condition that causes a person to gain weight but an emotional trigger such as depression or anxiety. I believe for every overweight person there is definitely a compelling story of how they reached their size. With that being said I do not agree with “Body Shaming" because I feel that obesity is simply a symptom to a larger underlying issue. So instead if shaming people you should understand they have already been through a lot.

As far as the "Big is Beautiful” campaign, I do not agree with that either. I feel as though it should be HEALTHY IS BEAUTIFUL!!! and healthy comes in all sizes!!! Taking a trip to a doctor or health professional can narrow down if you are healthy or at risk for certain medical conditions.

Now onto what I think is the important question… Should overweight people be seen as beautiful? or should they feel ashamed of their physical state?

Once again this is my opinion so if you do not agree, thats fine…

First, I think beauty is not just someones outward appearance. It is combination of personality, spirituality, and physicality. But for the purpose of this subject I will focus on the outward beauty. I feel healthy is beautiful. Being healthy not only adds years to someones life, but adds quality to those years AND LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. So to answer the question I feel the first thing a person should do is figure out if they are healthy or not. If the doctor says they are healthy then I think they should look in the mirror with the upmost confidence and feel wonderful about themselves. If the doctor says that they are at risk of diabetes of any other medical problems then I think they should make a decision to take the steps to get healthier and look in the mirror and say “I am capable of change” "I am going to change" “I am going to get healthy” and if someone can do that they can look in that mirror and know that their determination to better themselves is BEAUTIFUL!

I will end with this… DON’T think of BEAUTY as just “The Skin Your In” there is much more to you than just how you look. Focus on being healthy and most of all, focus on being a good person, being good to others, and making not only positive changes in your life, but being a positive influence in others lives… to me that is what being BEAUTIFUL truly is.

Alexis Perkins

instagram @iamkingalexis

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