Rozelotte's story is a prime example of how the media and brands can influence us to think and do insane things from an extremely young age already. That's why it is so important to show diversity in body shapes and sizes.
In primary school I was one of the tallest kids and not much later I was also one of the biggest. I remember always trying to make myself look smaller and I think I was about 10 years old when I already thought I had to lose weight. Whenever we went shopping for pants, I would never fit into them and it always made me cry. I never really saw anyone that I could identify with. I thought you had to be skinny, slim and slender to fit into society. I believed I had to adapt my body to be accepted.
Two years ago, I was so tired and frustrated of dieting and then gaining back that weight again, so I stopped. It simply didn't work. A friend of mine then recommended someone's Instagram account to me, which was focused on intuitive eating. It's like what you did when you were a baby, just eat when you are hungry. Recently I started following a course about self-acceptation by an anti-diet dietician, which has helped me immensely already. Basically I have started to build a healthy relationship with food again, instead of solely focusing on loosing weight.
The course consists of video calls with a group of mostly women. According to a couple of principles we learn all about today's omnipresent diet culture and how we can move past it. Concretely this means that we learn to distinguish between voices in our head and to properly feel when we're simply craving something and when we're actually hungry. We give ourselves unconditional permission to eat, because restricting ourselves and saying no to one piece of chocolate in the afternoon could easily backfire and mean you'll end up eating the entire bar at night. The thing that stood out to me the most is that even though I knew I had gained some weight lately and I hadn't weighted myself for quite a while, I could step on the scale, look at the number (which was a lot higher than I expected) and just go "oh well" and move on. In the past, I would have panicked and immediately felt an urge to start dieting again, whereas now I simply noted that I just felt good and didn't worry about it. I have a bigger body and that is totally okay. It was a very freeing experience. That number on the scale doesn't say anything about who I am, it's just a number that reports my weight and nothing else.
I think other women should know that learning to accept yourself is a long process and can be very hard, it will cost a lot of energy and there will be setbacks. However, if you start seeing people with bodies other than those the media is showing you, like people with a bigger body, more full-figured women, slowly but surely you will be able to accept yourself. So unfollow people who make you feel uncomfortable and start following new role models. Don't compare yourself to what you'll never be simply because of the build of your body, but accept your beautiful self. Every body is a beautiful body and a good body.
We are very grateful for Rozelotte sharing her story with us. Check her Instagram @rozelottes to connect and follow her journey. Have you read our previous blog post about our perfectly normal beauty campaign yet?