While most women have things about their bodies they wish were different, it’s important to know that you’re beautiful just the way you are. You don’t need a thigh gap or perky boobs or anything else that society—and guys—try to sell you on. If the dude you’re dating thinks you’re too heavy, drop the extra weight by getting rid of him.
- Don’t subscribe to the ridiculous double standard. As women, we’re expected to be impossibly thin with ridiculous, Barbie-like proportions and looking our hottest 24/7 for the male gaze. When do dudes have to live up to such unrealistic expectations? Unshaven, beer belly-toting guys are praised for “keeping it real” and are even seen as attractive for their physical shortcomings. Having some guy tell you how to look is a no-go, so don’t let it happen.
- Eating disorders of all kinds are more prevalent in women—guys shouldn’t be adding fuel to the fire. A staggering 80% of the risk for anorexia and bulimia is genetic, and it’s far more common in women. According to eating disorder awareness organization Mirror Mirror, only 1.5 million males are diagnosed with anorexia and/or bulimia while an insane 4.7 million cases are in women. Having a guy call you fat or suggest you should lose some weight may not trigger an eating disorder but it definitely won’t help your body confidence.
- The right guy will love your stretch marks too. Even women who are a Size 2 can have cellulite and stretch marks. It’s really no big deal, and a good guy either won’t notice them, won’t care, or will love them because they’re part of you. A guy who’s critical of your body needs to be shown the door ASAP.
- It’s possible to be healthy at any size and health is what matters most. Making smart choices in your diet and lifestyle is important for anyone, but that’s because you want to be healthy, not because you want to be some dude’s vision of the ideal woman. If you’re seriously overweight and your boyfriend is concerned for your well-being, there are gentle, caring ways to broach the topic that don’t include making you feel bad about yourself (or worse than you already do). A guy who values the number on the scale more than he does your heart just isn’t worth it.
- Guys who body shame women either directly or indirectly are a total waste of time. Your significant other should make you feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. He should cherish all the wonderful things that make you who you are and accept your flaws because you’re human and he cares about you regardless. Guys who pressure women to look a particular way or shame you for failing to live up to his unrealistic and inappropriate expectations aren’t worth your time.
- You have to appreciate the skin you’re in. At the end of the day, a guy’s opinions about your body don’t really matter. What’s important is that you work every day towards loving what you see staring back at you in the mirror. Sure, it might be a work in progress and you may feel you have a long way to go, but that doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful right now. You don’t need a guy to validate that, and if he tries to tear you down, kick him to the curb.
- You’re your #1 priority, hands down. Whether you’re a Size 2 or a Size 20, appreciate the body that carries you around every day and allows you to lead the amazing life you do. If your partner won’t prioritize your happiness by treating you with respect, dignity, and love, do yourself a favor and do it for yourself.