Feminism / Veganism

6 Posts Tackling Toxic Beauty Norms, Diets & Body Image for “Healthy Weight Week”

Many women have unhealthy relationships with food and their bodies. The media bombards us with images of thin, photoshopped bodies that transcend reality. We will never attain those unrealistic images we see on TV and in glossy magazines. Models don’t even look like that, every “flaw” airbrushed away. Yet we attack our bodies, often starving them into submission. What if we focused on being healthy rather than looking at a number on the scale?

We all should strive to be healthy. But marketing rarely revolves around our health. Instead, the media focuses on weight loss and fat-shaming. Society insists a woman’s power and worth comes from their looks and possessing thin physiques. I’m tired of seeing women wage war with their bodies to achieve toxic beauty standards.

All this week (January 15-21) commemorates the 19th Annual Healthy Weight Week, “a time a time to celebrate healthy diet-free living.” YES!!! Let’s rid ourselves of unhealthy deprivation diets and focus on healthy lifestyles instead. Our self-worth shouldn’t be contingent on our weight.

To celebrate, here are 6 posts from The Opinioness of the World tackling toxic beauty norms, weight gain, dieting, body image and self-acceptance:

1. Just The Way You Are: ‘I Will Not Diet’ Tosses Out New Year’s Resolutions to Focus on Accomplishments, Not Failures

Many of us write New Year’s resolutions – weight we need to lose, healthy foods we must eat, money we shouldn’t spend – flagellating ourselves for our past mistakes. But what if we stopped focusing on our shortcomings, tossed out those resolutions and celebrated our achievements? That’s precisely the idea Molly McCaffrey, blogger at I Will Not Diet, had in mind when she created “non-resolutions.”

2. Appalling Children’s Book Aimed at Girls Losing Weight Sends Wrong Message

Last October saw the release of the children’s book Maggie Goes on a Diet. Yep, a diet book. For kids. Lovely. We need that like I need a hole in my head. With the media swarming around us telling women and girls to be thinner, sexier, prettier, the last thing we need is a toxic book telling girls to equate their self-worth and self-esteem with losing weight.

3. Guest Post: Loving Animals, Loving Myself: How Veganism is Changing My Self-Image

“I don’t eat animal products not because some acclaimed diet book told me not to, but because I no longer feel it’s the right, moral thing to do.” In her fabulous cross-post originally published at Eat Plants and Run Erin Plante writes how becoming vegan and ethical eating, rather than dieting, changed how she saw her body…for the better.

4. The Weight of Words: ‘How Much Do You Weigh?’ Project Opens Door to Discuss Body Image & Taboo of Weight Shame

“Have you lost weight?” “You look so skinny!” “These jeans make my ass look fat.” These are some of the things we as women say to one another…and to ourselves. Women obsess over their bodies because unhealthy & unrealistic images in the media bombard us. Erin Nieto’s thought-provoking book, How Much Do You Weigh?, containing photos of women and their weight, confronts stigma of weight shame.

5. Guest Post: The Grass is Not Always Greener

“People have often told me—throughout a lifetime of being underweight—how great I look…People, especially girls and women, praise my thinness…” In this astute and heartfelt cross-post, originally published at I Will Not Diet, the fab Amber Leab opens up about her illness which caused her to be underweight. She discusses body image, toxic beauty norms, and the cultural privilege of being thin.

6. How I Came to Embrace My Looks and Eventually Love My Body

During my childhood, my mother and grandmother constantly dieted. Both women continuously struggled to either lose pounds or maintain their “ideal” weight. Eating vegan and vegetarian for almost half my life, I’m acutely aware of what I consume. For “Love Your Body Day,” I share my weight gain, unruly hair and eventual acceptance of my looks. “My self-worth is not dependent on my appearance.”

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