This week has been crazy busy shooting all you gorgeous creatures – and let me tell you, you are looking smokin’ hot girlfriends! It’s so important that we all feel confident in who we are and how we look, because living an abundant life is all about loving yourself as you are, right now. That’s what I’ve dedicated my life to – and that’s what Art of Seduction is all about.
Sadly, something happened this week to make me realise that not everybody out there understands this recipe for true joy and abundance.
Was I just body shamed?
I woke up one morning and checked my social media activity. Mostly it was great – heaps of followers had retweeted my body positive posts. All except one… Seeing my picture of a beautiful, curvaceous model, one guy had commented @argentinaleyva – please lose some weight”. What the @!%*? Had I just been body shamed?! Here’s the post so you can see for yourself…
I was seriously pissed! How dare any human being tell another that it’s not OK to love themselves exactly as they are? Now, I know it’d be pretty easy for any of you smart ladies to find out who wrote this, but I’m maintaining his anonymity because having investigated his website, it’s very clear that this guy – for all his macho talk – is incredibly fragile and has many issues to address himself. It’s always the case that body shamers are simply transferring their own insecurities onto another person. Their comments say nothing about the person they’re trying to shame and EVERYTHING about themselves.
Sad isn’t it?
This guy labels himself “The Depression Assassin” and suggests that depression is a “chosen weakness and not some imbalance in your brain that requires medication.” He continues to say that depression – as a weakness – means that “women won’t be attracted to you and men won’t respect you”. And the way out of depression? Work out and get your body to look the way society and the media expect us to look.
See, now you’re feeling sad for him too, aren’t you?
I have a friend who writes and trains in the field of mental health and as she told me, the way out of mental health issues is to love and accept yourself for who you are right now. Telling yourself that you’ll love yourself when you look a certain way just means you’ll never recover from these life-shattering illnesses – however much of a good front you put on to other people!
Although this sad specimen only has 51 followers on Twitter – well that speaks volumes! – I know only too well that body shaming is a real and present danger for us all.
I recently had a conversation with a client who was body shamed by an asshole on the street in public. She is getting married and almost called off the wedding because that asshole made her feel so bad about herself. Just typing that fills me with rage!
Thanks to her bravery and desire to give her future husband a confident wife, she contacted me to do a boudoir session and will be coming into my studio soon. I can’t wait to talk to her. We both cried on the phone about this incident because I lived it as well in my younger years, before I was able to see how truly beautiful I am.
So what to do if you’re body shamed?
When we’re body shamed, our instinct is to recoil and hide, with any confidence we’ve been able to build crushed with one simple hateful comment from a stranger. But one thing I realized when I read this week’s comment on Twitter was this:
A strong wind cannot knock down a well planted oak.
And so his comment didn’t even brush my leaves! It’s so important that we all know how to protect and defend ourselves from ignorant body shame remarks from others – whether they be strangers or someone we know. Here’s my strategy for making sure your leaves don’t even flutter.
- Stop and recognize how the comment makes you feel. Acknowledge that it hurts or makes you angry and that it’s absolutely OK to feel this way.
- Ask yourself: is their message absolutely true? For example, when the guy told me I needed to lose weight, the real message he was trying to force onto me was that I am not worthy of being called beautiful and hence not deserving of love, acceptance and admiration. He was trying to say that I’m not good enough. IS THIS ABSOLUTELY TRUE? You will find the answer is definitely NO!
- Recognize how the thought of needing to look a certain way to be worthy of love makes you feel. Does it make you feel sad, separated from the world, locked up inside, not good enough?
- Immediately take the opposite action. Flip that thought on its head and turn it around, so instead of thinking that you’re not ‘good enough’, tell yourself “I am enough. I am worthy of love and acceptance just as I am”. Repeat that thought until you feel strong, grounded and peaceful again.
- In the words of the wonderful Brené Brown,
“Shame cannot survive being spoken”
Call your best friend, your sister or someone else you can totally trust with your feelings and tell them what just happened. Say the words out loud! Even as you start to hear yourself speak them, I promise you they’ll lose any power they have over you!
My response to the guy on Twitter? Here it is!
How could I do it? Because I truly love myself for who I am right now…
Just like this TOTALLY inspiring woman!
Have you heard of Dana Falsetti? She’s a yoga teacher who is in huge demand across the US and abroad. And let me tell you, this beautiful woman can put her body into shapes that they rest of us can only dream of! Her message is one of love and acceptance – for ourselves and for the bodies we have. Dana believes that our bodies DO NOT set us limits – the only limit to what we can achieve is in our minds. Damn she’s right!
And here’s the incredible lady herself…
I LOVE this woman! Beautiful. Strong. Athletic… and REAL!
When people tell us how we should act or look a certain way, or when they just plain find things wrong with us, remember that it’s not really directed at us, it’s just a reflection of that person’s own issues in this area.
Copy that out and keep it with you at all times!
For instance, in reality it’s my Twitter friend who thinks that he needs to look a certain way to feel that he’s worthy of love, acceptance and respect. So if someone body shames you, bounce it straight back to the person saying those hurtful words, because he/she is the one dealing with the problem, not you. They’re simply trying to liberate their own pain of not being good enough.
Are you ready to beat the body shamers? Let me know your own stories. You can reach me in the comments section below, or on social media – just click on the links below!
Until next time my beautiful, warrior women!