This whole scenario, and the way it played out, reminded me of something I have been grappling with myself lately. I feel like every time I post a photo or video of myself, the first thing people comment on is my body. I understand that I’m modeling swimwear a lot of the time. I understand, and appreciate, that people see themselves in my shape and that it brings them comfort. That said, it’s challenging to be so conscious of my body. When I say conscious, I don’t just mean the traditional ideal of trying to conform to a certain size, or working out, or how I look in photos. I mean having to think about my physical form at all. We as women are forced to be aware of our bodies, because of how often they are a topic of conversation. Whether you look good, bad, or somewhere in between, someone has something to say. We cannot escape it. It’s constant, this analysis of our bodies as if they are the forefront of conversation. I can’t tell you how many comments I see made by other people about MY BODY – too fat, too short, too thin, too big of thighs. It is truly exhausting.
Beyond that exhaustion, we then have the body positivity movement, which is, in my opinion, sometimes toxically positive. I don’t feel good about my physical form everyday—and sometimes it has nothing to do with how it looks. Sometimes I feel sluggish, heavy, or just flat out icky. It’s harder to love myself on those days when “self love” is pitched to me as an exuberant, celebratory, feeling-myself-always sort of attitude. I’m learning that self love looks different each day; and most times it’s really just allowing myself to feel whatever comes naturally, and not feeling badly about it.
I’m tired of our bodies being a topic of conversation, of them having to be a movement, of them having to be anything other than our bodies. More than that, I’m tired of people thinking their opinion holds weight just because they have a keyboard and audacity.
People are so much more than their bodies. It’s great to embrace them as they are, but I think it’s time we stop commenting on each other’s physical forms–especially when we don’t have anything nice to say. Ashley is a business woman, a style icon, an entrepreneur, a mother to three beautiful little people, a wife, a friend, and an absolutely stunning human being. I think it’s time we just let beautiful women be beautiful without picking them apart.