All Bodies Should Be Celebrated—Period

12.14.2020 — Ashley

Body shaming is a real thing.

Our bodies are meant to be different. I repeat—our bodies are meant to be different. Where did the “one size fits all” narrative that the world is obsessed with begin? We constantly compare our bodies to each other without even knowing it.

Seriously, I want you to take a moment right now and think to yourself about how many times you’ve had a thought like “If only I could just lose a little bit of weight, I’d be happy”. I bet it’s more times than you’d like to admit, and we’re ALL guilty of doing this and beating ourselves up this way. But is it our fault? No, it’s the way society has shaped us to think, especially women.

For myself, in particular, I would find myself looking back at pictures when I was in my 20’s and thinking “If I could just lose a little more body fat, I would be that toned again”. The funny thing is that when I was the “most fit” in my life, I was still thinking that same way. Now that I think of it, it was also the time in my life where I was the most unhappy. So, what was I really chasing?

I remember when I was on Hellcats I dieted so hard because on camera I couldn’t cover up whenever I was bloated from my period. Now, when it comes to roles, you only diet that seriously because it’s for a short period of time and it’s temporary. Trying to keep that up in the long-run isn’t only unrealistic, it’s dangerous and unhealthy. I’ve had some of the best trainers in the business tell me they’ve helped actors get to a certain body fat percentage for a role but after the movie or TV show, they bring them back up because it’s not sustainable.

The real problem is that we as a society see images on TV and in movies and think that’s what we should look like—it’s not. Like I said at the very beginning, all bodies are meant to be DIFFERENT.

“The real problem is that we as a society see images on TV and in movies and think that’s what we should look like—it’s not.”

And then there’s the other side of things when actors and public figures put on weight. The negative comments, especially for women, are always along the lines of “she must be pregnant”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen comments like that about myself BEFORE I was ever pregnant—I’m talking years ago. And then, there’s an even crazier part about how societal pressure plays into this. When you’re pregnant, you start comparing yourself to other friends that are pregnant because I’ve received comments like: “Are you sure you don’t have twins in there?” and “Girl, you have popped so early”. I started to think something was wrong with me or that my baby was large, but after finding out the baby is the exact size they should be I started to realize—WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT SHAPES AND SIZES.

Not only are we built differently, but we hold babies differently. As much as people would like to, they can’t just put us all into one shape category and expect us to fit in that mold. I want to start celebrating our differences and stop judging them! I’m very lucky because I’ve never taken these types of comments to heart, and I’m pretty strong based on being in the spotlight. However, we need to start giving LOVE to our bodies.

I want you to wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and tell your body that you love it! Look at what our bodies can do—they should be praised! It’s amazing we can literally grow life inside of us. I think it’s time for a lot of people to put down the FaceTune and start showing our bodies the love they deserve. We are all perfect and whole exactly as we are. As long as you start from a place of love, you can begin to set goals that fit what you truly want for yourself.

As they always say—in order to love someone else we need to love ourselves first. So maybe if we love our bodies just as they are we can then appreciate another!