Skinny sighs!

There seems to be a reoccurring theme on the Pure Nourishment Facebook page where criticism reveals inability to appreciate beauty in a form that doesn’t conform to an individuals ideal. Frequently slim women are criticised, and I suspect this largely due to a skewed perspective inspired by the current obesity epidemic. The thing that saddens me most is the very unhealthy tendency to continually compare, and the unkind comments that devalue the humaness of a form they have a personal opinion about. I have written about this issue time and time again, below is just one response to negativity dumped on a page that exists as a free gift to promote positivity, compassion, inspiration and kindness.. We are ALL beautiful, maybe if we can appreciate others we will have a kinder view of ourselves?! Hxx

I sigh as I sit to write, it’s been a long day (but a good one) and I’m tired, but I’m dreadfully concerned by a reoccurring theme on this page recently, where comments are critical of body shape and size.. usually too skinny or not representative of the general population. If you’ve read my other post about not competing or comparing yourself to others; but celebrating your own individual shape and size, you will realise that this is a subject I find terribly sad and intensely irritating. It can also be quite offensive. I think most of us are outraged to hear someone openly criticized for being too fat or over weight, yet it seems many find it acceptable to condemn someone for being too slim, or label them in some derogative way. I DON’T think it’s OK, I think that none of us are here to judge, and by focusing on someone’s appearance we fail to acknowledge their gifts as a human being rather than how they affect us visually.

I am so saddened by the projected criticism, yes many of the models depicted are slim, but not in my opinion unhealthy. I appreciate we all have differing perspectives, and respect your comments, yet I am saddened that such a negative focus pervades. I am a nutritional therapist, and well aware of what a healthy BMI constitutes, I’m also a relatively slim ex-fashion model (5’10”/178cm, size 8-10 UK / 4-6 US) and very comfortable in my own skin. The photographs I choose are frequently used to illustrate my feelings, and most editorial photo’s available depict slim models, which suits my own frame of reference. It’s amazing that it is deemed acceptable to criticize slim size, yet if such comments were directed at your perception of ‘fat’ or ‘pudgy’ you would be mortally ashamed. Many slim women are sick of being judged by their size, many of us have a healthy relationship with food, and are simply genetically predestined to have a higher metabolic rate and lower body fat. Of course health should be the most important determinant of body size.. and I have devoted my career to empowering people to reach their full potential through optimum health and nutrition. This frequently involves assessment of self esteem and valuing oneself enough to treat the body with respect and healthy lifestyle choices.

There is a lack of media coverage of beautiful bigger sizes, I have previously posted pictures of the ‘Dove’ real women campaign that were removed by some narrow minded critic. If you do look through the albums, you will find pictures of children, elderly folk, some amazingly beautiful women whose eyes glisten with joy through lined and wrinkled faces, some rather ‘fit’ men, and a few celebrities that certainly don’t fit the stereotype (Jack Nicholson, John Reno, Oprah to name but a few). Of course there are some athletic shots relating to my (and many others) personal goals or aspirations, yet I assume you have your own ideals and you are not expected to adopt my ideals in any way shape or form. The point is, the pictures are just illustrations, they do not represent you or what your ideal size should be, and quite frankly I am bored of the media being blamed for making women uncomfortable. I work frequently with clients suffering with eating disorders, and can assure you that the root of such is far deeper damage to personal esteem than media images; usually far more personal, and relating to relationships and control issues rather than media pressure. However, it is easy to blame the media, or resent some innocent beautiful model than face the source of such inadequate feelings. If you’re a fashion model and being criticized by your agent, I will make an exception to the above comment, and if this is the case do please contact me personally, and I will endeavor to help you find a responsible agent, in my experience most recognized agencies take good care of their girls health.

The point is, the pictures illustrate beauty; I wish you could see it rather than compare yourself and feel inadequate. I appreciate that beauty is subjective, but if you simply don’t like something, it shouldn’t offend you. It’s not our job to judge, and we shouldn’t make assumptions, which are often based on our own insecurities. Human beings are amazing creatures, and we should celebrate our diversity and adaptability as wonders of the world. I know we all perceive things differently, but remember your opinion is based on your viewpoint, which is as individual as the creature you are assessing. You might try to blame the media, but do you really need to base your self-worth on the words of fashion journalists?? Please don’t!! Develop your own style, celebrate the beauty in you; but more importantly appreciate who you are as women, friends, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, wives, lovers, and caring human beings. STOP comparing yourself right now, and start showing a little respect for others by not criticizing anyone else for their body shape, it’s such a shallow reflection of your own self worth, and it’s not an attractive quality. Please be kind to each other, show some compassion, take care with your words, and stop criticizing yourselves

As women we generally do ourselves a great disservice by buying into insecurities and competition, comparing and complaining about figures and attributes rather than celebrating our individual beauty and encouraging each other with compliments and admiration. We should nurture self esteem and confidence rather than self-doubt and envy. We should be supporting and encouraging each other, because that’s what it should be about! Do you really think that your opinion of someone’s body shape merits hurting their feelings, or is that a reflection of your low tolerance towards your own inadequacies? Please remember that the body is just a vehicle for your soul, please let that beauty shine through whatever physical form you inhabit, and realize that kindness, compassion, generosity and love are far more beautiful than anything the eye can behold.

This post isn’t about what size anyone should be, it’s about caring for more than our physical presence, it’s about appreciating the souls that inhabit our bodies, and treating each other with respect, kindness and compassion without judging any’body’. It appears the world has become so focused on our visible representation, that it eclipses our perception of the beauty that dwells within us. This, I believe is the basis for healthy self esteem, that enables loving, caring relationships among us. You are beautiful, please celebrate your existence and what you add to the world and stop getting hung up on the aesthetics of size and body shape, there are far more important issues on which to spend your energy.

Please be kind to everyone, including yourself, show some compassion, take care with your words, and stop criticizing. Be beautiful, inside and out, the way you were born to be! Blessings, ♥ Hxx

{Photo credit: Dennis Golonka Via Pinterest, words ~Hayley Darby 29.August.2012}

18 thoughts on “Skinny sighs!

  1. As always, a beautifully written post. It makes me sad that you need to explain why you use the photos etc that you do…I don’t always feel great about myself, but that is because I don’t always do the right thing by my body, not because there are pictures of beautiful and thin women on the Internet! We need to take responsibility for our own happiness and health – your lovely page (and all the photos on it!!) certainly inspires me to try that little bit harder to make my world a more beautiful place.

  2. Well said, Hayley! Thank you. There is far too little kindness in the world…and on Facebook…lately. If only people would stop and think…

  3. Thank you Hayley for such a wonderful post 🙂 Just as you dscribed your skinny sighs, I guess I would sigh about being over-weight since it’s always related to being unhealthy. sluggish, dumb and unattractive? When will everybody realize that beauty is skin deep ?

    • Dear M, thank you. I agree, sadly people are too frequently, too quick to judge on appearance and miss the real beauty within, and the viewpoint is sadly often a reflection of their self-perception. Thank you for being beautifully you. Blessings & love, Hxx

  4. Well stated as usual….and you are right as usual….seems to me that the
    world is in a negative state and most all people complain about everything….not just your pictures….i would bet money that they are negative about most of their day, and the nasty spirit spill over into what ever they do. You are a light in a dark place and I for one greatly appreciate it….so post on Hayley!!

  5. Amen.
    Hayley, truly, in a world of such negativity and dark energy, when complaining and demanding seems to be the order of the day, you are a true ray of sunshine every time I read you or see one of your stunning pictures. I wish I could have you here with me instilling so much of your goodness in my patients who so deserve an Angel like you. I send you warm hugs from sunny FL and look forward to reading many more of your uplifting words. Sue x

    • Ahh! Thank YOU gorgeous girl, that’s such a darling message, I wish we could work together again, in our new roles, we’d be an amazing team : )) Sending love and hugs right back to you from dear old Blighty. Mwah! Hxx

  6. i am 5’11 and a size 5. i have had 4 children and am 42 years old. I weight train because i want to be STRONG-not skinny. I eat more than most people in my life. I am not “thin” because i have an eating disorder and it’s insulting to me when someone implies that.

    In school, I was always the skinny girl who was made fun of on a daily basis. I still can recite the nasty names I was called in school. I remember being in my first year of high school and meeting a clinically obese classmate. We became friends straight away as we realized that others were judging her for her weight just as they were judging me. We laughed at the thought that “you can’t win!”. You are either too “fat” or too “skinny”. I still think of the ridiculousness of that, now 25 years later.

    I often wonder if we, as women, are our worst enemy. We cry out at society (media, men) for focusing on what someone looks like but do we bring it on ourselves? Do men witness us judging each other this way so they think it’s okay to do so as well? Or, if we immediately started to ignore the way someone looks, would we be training men and the media that this isn’t important? Just a few thoughts I have had recently on this subject.

    Thanks for your lovely writing! 🙂 xoxo

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