Healthy v Normal

Not long ago I came across an article shared on Facebook on ‘realistic bodies’. Specifically it was an artist’s own recreation of Disney princesses such as Belle from Beauty & the Beast, but with more of what the writer referred to as realistic and normal bodies. And boy, did it get my blood boiling.

Source: Movie Pilot

Realistic? Normal? I’m all for embracing our bodies and all of our differences. Because one size does not fit all. We are all born with different body shapes and that’s just so wonderful. I embrace that. What is never OK is to cast a body type as normal and another one as not. What is with this ‘normal’ business? Can we replace that awful word with ‘healthy’ please. Yes, Disney had a tendency to create animated characters with tiny figures so I can understand the artist depicting Belle (above) for example, with a different body to show that some of us have that kind of body. That’s great. But let’s not forget they’re not real people, people! They are only cartoons. And while we’re on it what about Hercules? Aladdin too. How do men feel about them as body representations? I’d love to know.

This article got me thinking about how damaging this kind of language and discourse on bodies can be for anyone’s mindset on body image. Looking at our own bodies and wondering, are they normal looking? Some of us are very slim, naturally. Some of us are naturally curvaceous. What is healthy for me might not be healthy for someone else. And that is OK. I was born with a slim build. A size 8, with long looking limbs on a 5ft 5in frame, round hips and with tiny wrists and ankles. My mam is the very same, except after having 6 children her body has naturally gone through some changes. Over the 25 years of being on this earth I have received a few comments on my weight. Interestingly, negative comments such as my being too slim and wondering whether I actually eat, have featured. Yes, I do eat. Quite a lot. This is how I look. Sadly I cannot help but feel there is this warped body-shaming going on created by…society? A sort of shaming for being slim and also for being bigger in size. I’m not sure who or what has created it. It’s just sad. Let’s just embrace health, have strong and healthy bodies, and respect them no matter the size.

I’m quite happy with my body. I’ve learned to look at it not as a size, but as a very important reason why I am still here today. It’s healthy so I’m healthy, and that’s just priceless to me. I’ve learned that eating enough and well, exercising, avoiding stress and getting enough sleep (sometimes the hardest to do) help keep it in check so I can get on with my life. So let’s spread positive messages on embracing a healthy diet and lifestyle, and not a body-type standard. Then with that will come a happy and healthy body.

Here is the link to the article in question:

Here’s to being kinder to our bodies. X

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