Body shaming is toxic and harmful. It comes in a plethora of forms; you might call someone too fat, or too skinny, comment on how their skin looks, how their muscles look, their eating habits, or any number of other things. There are a plethora of articles that explain what’s wrong with fat shaming, and you can find articles about almost all the other forms of body shaming that are harmful. Some folks do this under the guise of being “helpful”, but it’s important to remember that it’s never up to you to tell someone how they should think about their body, unless you’re a trained medical professional who is aware of health risks associated with certain states or behaviors. Healthy and self-confident should always be the goal, not some picture in a magazine. The body shaming I want to address today, though, is quite the opposite of what we usually think of when we think of body shaming; it’s shaming people for making decisions that change the way they look.
Here’s a classic example; men who say “Makeup is a lie” or “Why do you wear makeup, I like girls who look natural”. When you’re thinking these thoughts, step back for a moment and ask yourself why. What is it about someone wearing makeup that bothers you? Are you bothered when someone wears a fitted set of clothes? Are you bothered when someone puts product in their hair? Humans have an innate desire to express their inner sensibilities outwardly, and when we do so we feel like we understand ourselves better. Makeup is artistic, it develops a plethora of skills including self-love, understanding, dexterity, color theory and more, and, most of all, it’s none of your business whether or not makeup is being worn, by a girl or a guy! Remember the only two keys: self-love and health. When someone loves the way they look, and they feel healthy, your comments aren’t necessary.
The same notions that are true of makeup are true of cosmetic procedures. You know the mantra: health and self-love. The first part, health, is something that we’re assured of when cosmetic procedures are undergone under the supervision and care of a licensed dermatologist. Dermatologists are doctors; not just doctors, but medical specialists who have gone through more schooling that general practitioners. They are primarily concerned with what is healthy, so saying that cosmetic surgery is “unsafe” is likely untrue; cosmetic procedures that are unsafe would not be conducted. The second part, the self-love, is another pressing concern for some folks. Self-love, though, comes from many things, and it is very possible to love yourself and want to modify a part of your look. People do it constantly with things ranging from hair dyes to tattoos to body modifications, many of these performed by people with much less training and skill than a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon or nurse. Changing how you look can be a huge piece of self-love, because you want the outside to reflect the inside. So the next time you see someone who had a Beverly Hills lip fillers procedure done, don’t think “how fake”, think “how real”; real self-love, the kind that knows how it wants to look.