The way we feel in and about our bodies is incredibly subjective, as is our body image. Oft times we don’t get why or how others can feel the way they feel about themselves. Not only that, but we often in those moments we a have need to express our personal feelings about their bodies-that are opposing theirs. For me, (depending on who it’s coming from) it can feel like a negation. Sometimes when you are commenting on yourself, others will project that opinion onto themselves in the form of their perceived idea of judgement you have of them. “If you think you’re fat, then what do you think of ME!?” and it kinda doesn’t work that way. I talked about it in Not Fat Not Thin: The Murky Middle Ground of the Body Image Issue.
Nell Carter a reader commented:
his is an excellent article. As I was reading it, I questioned whether I had responded to anyone describing issues with their body by saying, ‘you look great’ –essentially saying you have nothing to complain about. When people who are either middle ground or thin complain about their body image, it feels incredibly awkward for the onlooker (regardless of the onlookers body type). There is this human urge you get to rescue so to speak. You don’t want this other person (friend or stranger) to feel flawed. Without thinking, you jump to the rescue saying what seems good and correct. Now to think you are stifling those emotions doesn’t cross your mind. How many times do we ‘rescue’ others? What is the best thing to say and do when someone is describing dislike towards their body? Obviously listening is best, but if you don’t respond beyond listening, it could be portrayed as you think the person is flawed.
This perspective is a much more compassionate place, and quite real as well… I like it and because I have not felt that way in those moments, should it come up I will try to shift to that concept!!!
check out the video
3 thoughts on “It’s not about what YOU think but what I FEEL”
My reaction to this was…”you can’t tell someone HOW to feel!” That older lady was basically saying that your issue with your weight did not matter because she was much more overweight which are 2 separate cases. Something I think it is very important and I have passed this on to others is that it can be very harmful to dismiss or disagree too strongly with someone’s feelings about themselves when you don’t agree with them. Obviously if someone is saying they are not happy about something that is THEIR feeling. Everyone’s entitled to their own! What if that lady was to go on and say that you looked great but you had an eating disorder. It can be very dangerous to tell a person with an eating disorder that they their feelings are wrong they look good because it just confirms that their lack of eating/purging is working. People need to take this very seriously in any case you should never dismiss someone’s feelings. Thanks for sharing your story!
Totally. I knew what she was saying, actually she SAID what she meant, but my personal standard for myself, which has nothing to do with how I feel about anyone else or what anyone thinks of me. MY extra 5 pounds could be the equivalent to her 20. If she had said “Well I think you look good.” Period that would have been one thing, but the “Shut the hell up you skinny B#$%&” tone was what bothered me. My relationship with my extra 5lbs might run deeper or AS deep as hers to her 20lbs. In the dance world 5lbs might as well be 20! This was this discussion that I couldn’t get into with her then. After that incident I began to watch women listening to other woman when they are talking about their weight or beauty. Their mirco-expressions are telling. I find it interesting that people so quickly personalize these sorts of conversations. From the other side, I know, it DOES FEEL personal but is it really? Either way everyone should have the right to express their feelings without being made to feel frivolous no matter what their size. Body Issues are the MINDS reflection of the physical form. If you’ve got a body you’ve got some issues!!! We have to start to respect for that- You can think what you want but respect peoples feelings. And just one last note-Negating them is not support!!
THIS IS HIGH-STERICAL.
So I go to Yoga today and am in the dressing room and a young lady comes up to me and says “Hey I checked out your blog” I say thanks. Then she goes “You’re Crazy, you have a beautiful body!” To which I replied “Go back and check out It’s not about what you think but what I feel” We had a chat about out it, it was all good but the irony I had to share with you all. You know the people who don’t fit into the status quo do not have a lock on having issues– don’t worry there are enough issues to go around lol!!
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