Introducing: the 3-second rule – body acceptance edition

Body acceptance is lost on some people. Has anyone ever mentioned something about your body and you’ve immediately felt the need to tug at the corners of your shirt, wanted to blend in and disappear?

Whether they’ve pointed out a birthmark, a skin problem, your weight, cellulite – anything, just know this: they are the ones who should be embarrassed. To point out something on your body that you cannot immediately change (and who the fuck says you need to?) makes them not only insensitive and rude but shows that they do not stop to think about body confidence, body acceptance and the power of their words.

Here’s an idea: never point out something in a negative way on another person’s body unless it is something they can change in 3 seconds (if they wanted to). 

What do I mean?

Well. Chocolate in the corner of their mouth? Ok, go ahead – you’re saving them personal embarrassment. Wipe it away and they’re all good to go; a quick thank you and an embarrassed half-smile. But pointing out the eczema patches on their wrists that they already can’t stop thinking about? Mentioning the fact they’ve put on weight? Asking them if they’ve tried “xyz” for their cellulite because you know, so-and-so did it and it’s all “better” now? It’s unnecessary and does nothing for anyone’s body acceptance.

I’m not even just referring to outright negative comments or criticism passed on someone’s body. I’m saying this: do not even MENTION or point out something on their body that is a permanent or long-term part of them. When you point out the skin someone is in, you make that person question you, question what others are thinking of them, question themselves. Pointing out someone’s weight gain, for example, can trigger an unhealthy relationship with food and even eating disorders.

Everyone has things that they are self-conscious about, and you likely just unwittingly made them want to crawl into a ball and disappear by pointing it out and making them achingly aware of it. 

Next time you’re about to comment on someone’s appearance, think about whether it’s really necessary, or whether you’re just feeding off the insecurities of others, whether that is wittingly or unwittingly.

Image: Winnie Harlow; Vogue Arabia

Amy Smith

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Home » Mental Health & Wellbeing » Introducing: the 3-second rule – body acceptance edition

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