5 Things That Are More Important Than What Someone Thinks About Your Body


We live in a society that puts a premium on image. This is not news—and if it is, please go to a newsstand and count how many magazine covers are fixated on the ideas of getting your ‘best body ever!’ and decrying bodies that are deemed somehow less than ‘perfect.’ Of course, perfect is completely arbitrary, which leads to the question of what perfect is, but that’s a whole different can of worms. The fact of the matter is, we spend a lot of the time being both inwardly and outwardly mean-spirited to the human body, which isn’t fair to ourselves or to the people we love. Is it true that leaner people are typically healthier than those who aren’t as lean? Sometimes, yes, but that’s something best left between you and your doctor if you and your doctor decide it’s an issue. It’s not for other people to police you, even if they’re doing it from what they think is a state of concern, much less open mockery.

How good of a person you are.

You don’t have to spend every last waking moment of your life volunteering at every different shelter, but as long as you’re actively doing something to try to make your life and the lives of the people you know a little brighter without tearing down anyone else, I think that’s what constitutes a good person. We all have moments in which we’re not so good—in which we tell little white lies and cut corners at work—but if you actively try to be a decent human being every once in a while, chances are really good that you’re going to be a decent human being. And that’s all anyone could really ask of you to do.

If you have a good sense of humor.

You don’t have to be cracking jokes that leave everyone’s stomach muscles in a knot, but having a good sense of humor is essential to getting through life in one piece. It means you can laugh at yourself when you do something silly, you can laugh with other people when things are genuinely funny, and you can keep perspective that even the worst things will pass. Being able to laugh is one of the greatest things we can do as humans, and we should do it more often (but less at the expense of other people).

If you’re kind.

This sort of ties into being a good person, but it also goes so far beyond that. Kindness is one of the easiest things we can extend to people. Kindness is what enables us to say no without being mean or malicious. You don’t have to date someone you don’t think is attractive (after all, whether or not you’re attracted to someone is a very real factor in forming a relationship with them) but at the very minimum, they deserve your kindness when you turn them down. They deserve your kindness for even existing as real humans with feelings. You’re not any less of a person because of how someone else thinks you look.


They taste good for a reason.*

*But at the very same token, if your tastebuds are telling you to massage some kale, listen to that. Honor what your body wants when it wants it. Being able to tune into what your body is telling you in a world full of overstimulation is one of the best ways to center ourselves and remember what’s important. And sometimes, your body is going to tell you it wants a donut, and no one’s look of scorn should make you think that isn’t okay.

How you feel about your body.

If you want to lose weight or gain weight or tone up or gain muscle or get plastic surgery or cover your body in tattoos, that’s for you to decide. It’s your body. No one else’s. You deserve that say, and only when you’re taking action for yourself are you going to be happy with the results. Other people policing you may shame you into taking action momentarily, but that’s fleeing and you’ll end up unhappier than you were to begin with. It may take you years to decide that you want to change, but one of the first steps toward getting there involves accepting yourself for who you are. It’s accepting your flaws and knowing that you can live with them, because you’re so much more than the sum of things that other people think are imperfect about you. Their opinion is a weight you shouldn’t have to carry if you don’t want to. And it’s easier said than done, but at least consciously asking yourself about how you feel is much more proactive than worrying about how they feel. You can change how you feel, and that’s a tool that will take you so far beyond anyone’s put downs.