“Ugh, I look so fat in this picture,” said every woman in the world at some point or another. No matter our actual size, pretty much every woman has experienced body image issues at times, whether they began during adolescence or didn’t crop up until well into our adult years. In none of these cases is anything ever actually wrong with us, but for some reason, we’re convinced we could always be prettier, thinner, and overall better looking.
Not only is that thought process draining and a complete waste of energy, but it’s not even true. Even if you improved one area of your body you felt was problematic, you’d find another thing to bash about yourself in the end, anyway. So instead of thinking about how your thighs touch or if wondering if your arms are jiggling enough to stop waving in public, here are 10 reasons why you’re not as fat as you think you are.
- Your weight hasn’t actually changed. Go ahead and weigh yourself. I know I’ve had severe moments of fat panic, only to see that I was exactly the same size once I got on the scale — or that I gained a pound, rather than the 500 pounds I felt I gained. Even though it’s scary, the scale can bring salvation.
- It probably is just water weight. This one may not always be true, but is often the culprit for your heavier moments. You can honestly gain up to 5 pounds around your period, that you honestly lose when your monthly friend vacates the premises. It’s worse for some, but it happens to every girl. So put on those stretch pants for a day and know you still look great.
- Dressing rooms have the lighting from hell. There are rooms apparently designed to make everyone look terrible, ie dressing rooms. Anyplace with overhead fluorescents will make you look not only five pounds bigger, but like a member of the undead.
- You could be wearing the wrong clothes for your body type. How clothes fit makes a huge difference in how you look. Even Halle Berry had to have her costume changed in Catwoman because the original cut made her look too big. Why the whole film wasn’t cut is a mystery, but that’s an issue for another time.
- You need to stop comparing yourself to others. Most of the time, our low self-esteem comes from comparing ourselves to others. We don’t do this with only models and celebs, but friends and even strangers. Why? It doesn’t matter what anyone else looks like because they’re not you – and I guarantee those girls are worried about how they compare to everyone else, too. Which leads me to…
- No one is perfect. Literally no one. Although this is obvious, it’s something I always forget, but it’s true. Nobody always looks as good as their best Instagram picture and even Scarlett Johansson has cellulite. That doesn’t mean she’s not still hot, so why aren’t you?
- Nobody notices or cares. – Sure, if you gained or lost a bunch of weight in a short period of time, people would notice. But how often have you thought to yourself, “Hey, I think Carly’s jeans are slightly tighter than normal. Not enough to go up a size, but they’re certainly a less comfortable fit!”? Probably never, because you don’t care. No one cares about the tiny things we obsess about. No one cares, in the best possible way.
- Anyone who does notice or care is just a douchebag. You might think to yourself, “People do notice – look at all rude comments and tweets about celebrity bodies.” One, you’re probably not a celebrity and people are not being paid to pick you apart. Two, yes there are people who say Christina Hendricks is fat, but those people are jerks. There will always be jerks online that live to say mean things. Hey, they may say a mean thing about you. But it doesn’t matter because they’re jerks, and their opinions are rendered invalid.
- You’ll look back years from now and wonder why you were so hard on yourself. Look back at your old photos – photos more than three or four years old. You always look thin and really beautiful, too (and not nearly as fat or ugly as you felt at the time the picture was taken). Try to see your current pictures with “fiive years in the future” eyes, because you’ll definitely look back on your worst pic from today and think, “Oh God, look how cute I was.”
- Because you’re not actually fat. This is the real truth. You aren’t as fat as you think you are because you’re not fat. Obsessing about it doesn’t change your weight and your weight probably doesn’t need to be changed. You don’t need to be thin to get a man. Guys in real life are far less picky than women’s magazines portray. Typically, if you own a vagina, a man is interested. More importantly, you don’t need to be thin to feel good about yourself. As long as you’re healthy, be a size 2 or a size 22, it’s all good. Being a good person is better than being a thin one, so feel good about yourself and that happiness will make you more beautiful than any diet ever could.