Many women believe that their value in this world and self-worth is defined by their size, weight, shape, and appearance. How much body fat they have, their bra size, or their waist circumference. I was once one of those of women. Always defining my weight and self-worth by a number. If this sounds familiar, read on while I explain why the appearance of your body does not determine your worth.
Weight and Self-Worth
We’re led to believe from a young age that a woman’s appearance is the most important thing about them. Their currency is how they look.
Futhermore, they are told their happiness, relationships and success are based on a achieiving that number, or not. Yet, there are individuals with all of these things, living in larger bodies and individuals with none of them living in smaller bodies.
Moreover, what constitutes the “worth” of an individual is subjective because we don’t all value the same characteristics in people.
Not to mention, our cultural “ideals” of beauty has fluctuated throughout human existence. Looking stunningly different from one generation to the next.
So, how do we determine what makes a person beautiful?
There was once a time where living in a larger body was valued, as it reflected an individual was wealthy enough to feed themselves well. Even today, there are many cultures that value larger bodies as more appealing.
The tropical paradise of French Polynesia is known for celebrating yet another kind of beauty – that of the well-rounded female body. The Tahitian appreciation of ample body shape goes back to the traditional practice of ha’apori. Literally meaning “to fatten,” according to this ritual, young women were made to put on weight so as to be presented to the chief for beauty and fertility inspection.
However, wanting your “ideal weight” is not like seeking the Australian Dream. Where if you just work hard enough, you’ll get it.
No. We are heavily determined by our genetics and unfortunately, we cannot change that.
We can pay for a lot of beauty products and plastic surgery to enhance, support, and beautify our looks and keep us feeling attractive in our culture, but there are limitations.
Products and surgery cannot change our hip size, height, change how our bodies use and store fat, give us genetically modified skin or change the length of our legs.
Products and surgery can enhance, not create self-esteem. But, we still keep on trying.
It’s important to be critical and ask, who decided that what we weigh determines our value?
This is something I ask my clients a lot. In order to heal and change our relationship with our bodies, we must start thinking outside the box and critcially thinking.
Asking, why do I feel this way about my body and myself?
Who said I should be a size x and weigh x amount?
Is it because we live in a thin is best and beautiful society?
Who profits from me feeling insecure about my body?
Do I feel energised, empowered and strong physically and mentally when I definine my self-worth by the size and shape of my body?
Is there really anything truly “wrong” with my body, or am I just unhappy that I can’t live up to the unrealistic standards of beauty?
Do I honestly have the genetics, time, money, resources and mental energy to devote attaining and then sustaining a certain weight and shape?
What else would be impacted in order to achieve my ideal weight?
We can decrease body dissatisfaction and harmful eating behaviours by increasing cognitive dissonance around the “ideal body.”
Weight and self-worth
There is a reason “self-worth” has the word “self” in it. It is not worth determined by your friends, your family, your partner, your schoolmates, co-workers, or significant others.
It is your worth determined by you. And, who better to determine it.
Check-in and ask yourself, “is this based on facts about myself or is there a lot of outside noise contributing to how I feel about my body?”
Bringing the “self” back into “self-worth” means that the answer to this question is entirely up to you. Ask yourself what you value in the people you love and what you believe makes a person worthy.
Self-Worth = Self-Love
It goes without saying; we love what we value. The more we value the traits and characteristics that make us unique and worthy in our own eyes, the more we love the human we are.
The same is true of our bodies, the more we value them for the incredible machines they are and the life through which they carry us, the more we love them regardless of the number on a scale.
Embarking on a journey to reject societies ideas of weight-based value and to determine what you believe makes you worthy will lead to positive and life-changing realisations, recovery from self-loathing and body hatred, and a future of self-love.
Just remember, If you do reach your goal of a lower body weight, that does not increase your value as a human. Likewise, if you fail to achieve your goal that does not decrease your value.
You are not your weight.
If this is somethin that you need support with, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me here>>