Canadian fitness coach Scott Abel on the Catch-22 of the beauty doctrine myth:
When you diet to gain “acceptance” for becoming closer to an ideal standard of female size and beauty, you are already buying into a system that says you are unacceptable the way you are. Hence, the acceptance you seek by losing weight etc never ever really “feels” like true “acceptance,” because it’s not. What it really is, is “approval” for NOT being yourself. And then you gain the weight back and look for acceptance in all the wrong places all over again. SELF-acceptance is the answer – AND it’s the process – AND it’s the solution. Anything less, will feel like you are motivated by a fraud – because you will be. “approval” and “acceptance” are not even close to being the same thing.
This is one of the reasons I’m worried about things getting worse before they get better. When you get to my age (an old lady wearing purple), this pressure lessons considerably. But that’s a long time to wait for my nieces, my cousins’ kids, and so many others, where the need to be accepted results in some scary activities, like paying attention to things like thigh gap.
OTOH, I’m encouraged by pockets of acceptance like Go Kaleo’s Eating the Food. The 3K+ members of the ETF Facebook group still struggle with ingrained ‘approval’ needs, but the community is there to help.
Now how to scale this … hmmm.