Every month on Facebook and Twitter, Body Gossip hosts a themed discussion. This month, it being March, we're hosting a Cyber March.
A Cyber March against Body Shame. Because we've all got a part of our body that we don't like, don't we? What's yours?
Mine is my tummy. I've never liked it. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is, but there are various reasons mainly involving the fact that my boobs stick out more than it, it's incredibly pale, and because I do love a beer and a curry, there's a pot belly there which, I'll admit, I spend an awfully long time every day sucking in.
Sound familiar? Because I reckon I'm not the only one who doesn't have a 'perfect' tummy - in fact, I reckon our very concept of the 'perfect' tummy is completely warped.
When I think of a 'perfect' tummy, I think of the image at the top.
In fact, the website I pinched this image from even states the following: (NB do you have something soft to punch, like a pillow, because you're gonna need it after this)
"Stand erect and pinch the roll of skin under your belly button. If your weight is normal, this roll will be very small. If you are carrying a little extra weight on your tummy, the roll of flesh will be bigger. If you can pinch half an inch, you need to get rid of the roll by regular exercise. You will have to implement an emergency plan which comprises exercise, diet and anti-stress therapy."
Well, I need some anti-stress therapy just reading that! WTF, there is so much that annoys me about that sentence.
1) "If your weight is normal" - I believe that if you exercise in moderation and eat a healthy, balanced diet (with some treats thrown in!), look at yourself in the mirror and that is your NORMAL weight. We are all unique, and what's normal for one person, is very different to the next.
2) "If you can pinch half an inch, you need to get rid of the roll" - as if the roll is evil, the devil incarnate in fact, good god how horrendous that you have fat on your body, who would have thought that we actually need 20% - 35% of body fat to SURVIVE! Plus, as I sit here, I can pinch a good 2 inches. So there!
3) "You will have to implement an EMERGENCY PLAN" - good grief. As if we have the time and inclination to consider an extra inch on our tummies to be an emergency, worthy of an emergency plan, no doubt costing a fair penny - and I bet that any results would be shortlasting anyway, going back to my first point: we all have a natural, healthy body shape. Not everyone's body frame and metabolism can support a tummy like the one above.
Plus, I bet that picture is totally airbrushed. And I bet that poor girl hasn't enjoyed a sticky toffee pudding for years. Or a cheese board.
SO! Armed with my determination to love my tummy - my normal, slightly squidgy but delightfully REAL tummy - I have pledged to take a picture of it every day this month, and post it on Twitter!
The first picture I took, was hard, I'm not going to lie. It felt very exposing, publicly displaying something that I'm nervous of revealing even to those closest to me. But, here's the picture here.
And after that it became SO much easier!
Now, reading this, aren't you a little bit tempted to take a picture of your tummy and post it on Twitter???
I BET YOU ARE! SO DO IT!
Tag it with #lovingmytum and #bodygossipcybermarch and JOIN THE REVOLUTION - Hello to diverse, real and yummy tummys, and GOODBYE BODY SHAME!
Love, Ruth x
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The "perfect" tummy