Dude. This Harvey Weinstein stuff is filling me with SO. MUCH. RAGE. I’m constantly looking up stories about brave women who have come forward and the trauma they endured (and are still experiencing), the sometimes terrible and sometimes life-affirming reactions they’ve received from others, and the men who have stepped up as our allies (go Jordan Peele!).
If you’re filled with rage like me, that’s totally good, normal, and right. Men pushing themselves on women, threatening that if they don’t comply, their careers will be in jeopardy, and viewing women as simply here on the planet for their pleasure is straight up WRONG and BAD. So yeah, we have every right to be f*cking angry. But we’re taught (ahem, WOMEN are taught) that being angry isn’t ladylike, it’s unnatural, and can even incite rage in men…because of course, it’s natural and expected for men to be angry, not women. OMFG.
Okay. If you feel enraged, sad, hopeless (and about a billion other emotions) about sexual assault in the public arena (Hollywood, the government, etc.), here’s one productive thing you can do to fight the misogynistic, shaming culture that surrounds sexual assault:
You can accept your body as it is, take care of it, and stop pursuing weight loss.
This simple (but not easy) action takes a stance against the patriarchal structures (Hollywood, government, medical industry, fashion industry, and so many other things) that tell the world that women should be small and held to an impossible social ideal of thinness. When we accept our bodies the way they are, when we stop the physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially exhausting fight to lose weight, we have time, money, and energy to focus on other areas of our life…like our relationships, career, spirituality, and nourishing our bodies in ways that make us feel great. We say NO to the systems and institutions that want to keep women small, tamed, and controllable.
Also, when we accept our bodies, we take more ownership of them. We begin to view them as worthy of respect–from ourselves and others, not objects for men to use how they please. And when we begin to adopt that mindset, we might feel more comfortable calling out unacceptable behavior from anyone who violates our bodies, or the body of someone else. This is not to say that women who don’t view their bodies as worthy deserve to be assaulted or should be shamed for not speaking out. I’m suggesting that accepting our bodies as they are now can help us have more ownership of our bodies, which helps us realize that only we get to choose who we share physical space with, which of course doesn’t really stop a sexual assaulter from violating someone’s body, but I think having that sense of control of our bodies is important for women.
If you’re feeling hopeless about the way women’s bodies are treated, just try accepting your own. Refuse to buy into the patriarchy’s lie that losing weight will make your life better. Take ownership of your body by listening to what it actually wants instead of letting the diet industry decide for you.
Aaaand if you still need convincing to give up the weight loss fight, here’s a quote from the amazing podcast host and health coach Christy Harrison:
The easiest way to gain weight is to attempt to lose weight.