Friday, July 9, 2021

Valerie Bertinelli's response to body-shaming resonates with those trying to lose weight (and everyone else!)

Found on Youtube, Valerie Bertinelli responding to a critic who told her she needs to lose weight. And boy do I empathize with Ms. Bertinelli's emotional response. Like her, I've had weight loss challenges for awhile. I've lost weight and regained some. I've been underweight, obese, overweight and normal weight. I've struggled with body image dysmorphia and anorexia. 

I'm certainly no celebrity but I  have written for Yahoo and well remember the nasty comments on articles, that had nothing to do with the content, pointing out that I was overweight. I remember the fat jokes from elementary and middle school. When I lost a bunch of weight and got too skinny, they were still body-shaming about how I was too thin. And then I bounced up again, lather, rinse repeat. 

I especially feel Valerie's frustration about how at 61, she's still dealing with it. And I just have to shake my head. She's so beautiful. You wonder how she could have body image issues and even more, how anyone could find anything negative to say.  But I know firsthand how body image dysmorphia can haunt you, especially when someone makes uncalled for comments. 

But therein lies the rub. The chicken came before the egg. I doubt we'd worry so much about weight if there weren't people to tell us to. The point of nasty comments is to undermine self-worth. Because what are body image issues but low self-esteem unclothed? That commenter knew exactly what she was doing. You don't accidentally tell someone to lose weight. She wasn't misunderstood. You have to go out of your way to be that rude. 

As for feeling bad, neither age nor experience nor maturity have anything to do with it. We can be as attractive as, well, Valerie. We can lose all the weight we want and get to a happy place, or if not, a better one. But all it takes is one low-blow slam and we're right back in the middle school locker room. 

And to those who say just ignore, rise above, shake it off, etc, also not helpful.  We're already angry with ourselves for letting it bother us. And easier said than done. We know we should ignore it and are trying to. And also, not the point. We're not incapable of rising above. We're just sick of  having to. It's not about shutting out negativity but shutting it up! 

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