Here’s a truth for you. I am self conscious of my weight. I have been all my life, but more so now than ever before. Now, before you comment and try to placate or assuage, read further. If someone tells you they are uncomfortable in their current body. Don’t say
“Well I think you’re beautiful” or
“Why don’t you try….” or “You should learn to love your body”
They don’t feel uncomfortable in their body because of how YOU view them. They are uncomfortable in their body because of how they view themselves. They weren’t asking for your validation or your solutions. They were not asking for a lecture or lesson in self awareness. They were simply sharing with you, a deep vulnerability of theirs and asking silently that you respect it. You can acknowledge someone else’s triggers without inserting yourself into them or trying to fix them. You’re not making them feel better, you are trying to make yourself feel less uncomfortable with their vulnerability.
Try “I’m sorry you’re feeling this way.” or “I sometimes feel this way too”
Or even “I support you.” Offering a patronizing “positive” bandaid such as “You’re pretty the way you are” is only muffling or belittling people’s physical anxieties, whether it’s intended or not. And for the love, can we stop implying that overweight=ugly? Responding to “I feel fat” with “oh stop! You’re gorgeous” is assuaging and silencing. This is toxic positivity and it needs to stop. A person can be self conscious of their extra pounds without thinking they’re ugly. We need to focus on nurturing insecurities differently, so that we can support rather than “fix” or silence others. It is okay to be uncomfortable in your own skin, and it is okay to say so.