Why your social media comments are not as supportive as you think.....
I am writing this post because I have been very public about my weight loss journey since I started two years ago. And while I've learned a lot that have helped me be successful and overcome my struggles, there's one aspect of my journey that always makes me cringe: social media comments.
Firstly, I want to mention that I use my personal social media platforms to post my journey because I want to be proud of myself, but also, I hope to show others who might be struggling, that they too can be successful! And while I'm eternally grateful to all the people who support me, both silently and publicly, sometimes the response I get is not giving the message I know was intended.
Without fail, when I post a full-body picture after an extended time of not posting one, I get some variation of the comment "Wow, look at you, skinny!" or "Looking great, keep it up!" or "Just as beautiful as always!". And look, if I post a picture specifically stating an update about my weight loss, these comments are amazing and make me feel great. But, this is not always the case. Sometimes I want to flaunt my outfit, or makeup, or just enjoyed the picture of myself for once. Not everything is directly related to my weight loss journey.
I encountered a quote recently that resonated with me:
"When you applaud someone's weight loss, you are reinforcing the idea that skinny is better."
Read that again. This is what I want to be understood. These comments devalue my progress and takes away from my efforts to be healthier. My weight loss journey has never been about making myself skinnier or prettier. I'm doing it for myself and my health. Often times, these comments link my beauty to my weight. Which is not only incorrect, it also makes the comments more hurtful as they are ultimately backhanded.
I'm grateful to be in a place mentally where these comments do not bother me as much as they used to, however, I see them perpetuated on my posts as well as other friends of mine. Even when you have the best possible intentions, you never know how someone else will perceive it. All we can do it continue to learn and grow, and I hope this has enlightened my audience of the psychological struggles that surround weight loss.