So, any of you who haven’t heard the expression, “Too Many Chefs Spoil the Broth”, before you will probably be thinking that I’m talking about food. I’m not. Just in case you didn’t know, the expression is typically used to say that if too many people are involved in a task, it won’t go very well. The conflicting opinions and different ways of doing things mixed with the various view points simply over complicate the whole matter.
This brings me to the idea I had for this post; hearing too many opinions on your body isn’t a good thing, it just makes everything harder. I mean sure, listen to your best friend/partner/mother/etc when they say you’re looking lovely/sexy/hansom/bla bla bla but what I mean is that you shouldn’t absorb all of the opinions on how you should look. It’s an almost daily struggle with phrases such as, “real men/women look like X“, conflicting with, “love the skin you’re in”, where ultimately, there are so many opinions on what you should do with your body, how it should look, and even how you should feel about it that it’s becoming harder to actually like yourself, let alone love yourself.
Say for example, you pick up a magazine, on one page, you’re told that you should love your body, a few pages over, there’s an article on how to loose weight, and then another few pages over, there’s a recipe for how to make a cake that they recon is 367 calories per serving. This is just one example of an ironic and never ending spiral of opinions that in one way or another ends up lowering your self-esteem.
The barrage continues with TV adds, online articles, and the various campaigns that haunt all types of entertainment platform. But it doesn’t stop there sadly. After all, everyone has an opinion. There are family members who’ll criticise most things about you and your appearance. Friends and colleagues who will greet you with the, almost back handed, “you’re looking good, have you lost weight?”. And what’s even worse is that those opinions, no matter who they’re from, will shape what and how you think of yourself.
If we all woke up one morning and decided we weren’t going to listen to anyone else’s opinion when it comes to our bodies, we’d all be so much happier, content and at peace with ourselves. A large portion of the magazine industry would go bust, that’s for sure. But sadly that won’t happen for one simple reason: we care. Superficial but true, even on the lowest level people typically want to fit in, to please others, and we’re consistently lead to believe that one of the main ways we can do this is by looking a specific, ‘perfect’ way.
This is a rubbish but horrifically common view which then creates inner turmoil about what to think or believe about ourselves, “maybe I am fat”, “maybe my nose is too big”, “maybe I do need to be more muscular”, “maybe my bum is flat”. Or maybe, there’s nothing wrong with you in the first place. Maybe, you’re just you, just human. I know it’s hard to love yourself, trust me I’ve been there, still trying to get there in fact. But I promise you, it’d be worth it in the end.
The long of the short of it is that there’s no such thing as ‘perfect’, and the only person you should really listen to about your body is you (and maybe a Dr but even they can be biased and judgemental sometimes; I once had one basically mock me for being vegan). If it makes you happy and feel comfortable within yourself, do it. Anyway, you’re never, ever going to please everyone so we should all just damn well stop trying to. Otherwise, where does it stop?