It's time to stop body-shaming and focus on celebrating fit and healthy bodies

A revolutionary step has been taken by Women’s Health Magazine in the fight against body-shaming. They have promised to ditch body-shaming language in their magazine. No-longer will they brandish headlines such as ‘Are you beach-body ready?’ ‘How to drop two dress sizes’, instead they will focus on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Contrary to society’s belief, a healthy lifestyle is not denoted by size, being healthy will mean something different for each and every one of us. Women’s Health’s ban on body-shaming headlines has come at a time when we are beginning to see a shift in our society.

Improve your fitness not your dress size
Focus on improving your lifestyle, not your dress size. Being healthy is far more empowering than reaching a specific size. Image via Instagram @ukwomenshealth

Shift from focus on weight-loss to fitness

Though we have all been brainwashed by the media into thinking that one size equals beauty, we are beginning to see a cultural shift in how society celebrates physical appearance. For years, we have focused on our weight and size, but now the realisation that you can be fit and toned at so many different sizes is starting to gain traction.

Promoting health to boost body image
Each and every one of us is different. Embrace your differences and aim for health. Image via Instagram @ukwomenshealth

This movement is recognised and promoted by significant figures in our society. Sadiq Khan, London’s Mayor, took a stance against this negative body talk by banning body-shaming adverts from London’s Public Transport network. Jennifer Anniston has also spoken out, via the Huffington Post, about the scrutiny we put women through calling it, ‘absurd and distrubring.’ She also described the stereotypical standard of beauty as warped and urged us all to make our own decisions about what makes us happy and beautiful.

It is reassuring to see that slowly but surely, the media are taking some responsibility for and action against body-shaming. Women’s Health Magazine is leading the charge with their ban on body-shaming headlines, closely followed by Sport’s Illustrated Magazine who featured Ashley Graham, a 'plus-size' model, on their latest swimwear edition.

Together, we are making small steps in celebrating the female physical power, focusing on strength and fitness not size. Being fit and healthy is becoming easier with the introduction of apps such as FitBit, which are there to support us in maintaining our health and fitness. We are becoming a health conscious society, which coupled with a shift in mindset, will empower us to become more body confident.

Aim for strength and fitness not a size 8
We should all aim to be our optimum strength and fitness, not a specific dress size. Image via Instagram @ukwomenshealth

It seems that as a nation we no longer associate skinny with being healthy or beautiful. We are valuing the strength and power of our own bodies and the benefit of having a strong and fit body over reaching a certain size. Working with our bodies to achieve our optimum fitness is far more empowering than striving for unrealistic weight-loss goals.

Promoting change

If we are to truly revolutionise the way we see our bodies and develop a nation of body confident people, judgement of people's choices to change their bodies, to improve their lifestyle, should be eradicated. Body-shaming whether it is for those gaining or loosing weight is unacceptable and creates massive pressure on society to conform. In order to feel confident about how we look, we all need to stop commenting on the choices others make to improve their health and fitness. Body confidence should not come at the price of being judged, we should be free to make the changes we desire to maintain our fitness.

Do you think focusing on our fitness instead of size is the way to improve our body confidence?

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