The "F" word is one of the most hurtful things you can call somebody. I'm talking about the word "fat." On tonight's episode of "Real World Portland," Johnny dropped an "F" bomb during an argument with Jessica.
While Jessica is anything but fat, she was obviously shaken by the insult. Body image is something that people of all shapes and sizes struggle with, so we called Jess up to have a discussion about why the "F" word is so powerful, and how we can all work to take its power away.
ACT: How did you feel when Johnny made those comments about your weight?
JESSICA: When Johnny called me fat, I was heartbroken. I was already insecure about my weight due to a past unhealthy relationship, so Johnny's comments reminded me of that and shattered the confidence I was trying to rebuild.
ACT: What do you have to say to people who make negative remarks about other people's bodies?
JESSICA: Shame on you! Whether or not they are justified, everyone has their insecurities. We are all learning to love ourselves more, and pouring salt into other people's wounds can slow their physical or mental progress.
ACT: What advice do you have for people who are striving to have a more positive body image?
JESSICA: You only get one body in this life, so feed, nourish, and love it. Beauty doesn't have one specific size; we are all built differently and shouldn't let others' or the media's opinions affect how we feel about ourselves. True beauty is on the inside, but if you're working on the outside, a balanced and healthy diet and regular workout regimen are major parts of feeling fabulous. I also like to write positive words of encouragement on my mirror. Right now, it's "I Am Beautiful," and I read it to myself every day.
ACT: How much do you think the media plays into women's misconceptions about what is beautiful?
JESSICA: I believe that the media can be the demise of every woman's confidence in her own body. How can you be comfortable with your body when, splashed across every page of every magazine, are overly airbrushed photos of "perfect"-bodied celebs? Or, on the flip side, when the media points out every small weight gain, and calls beautiful women fat. The media is so harsh on people today, and we need to stop listening to what they say is beautiful. Beauty comes in all shapes, forms, sizes and colors.
ACT: What is beautiful to you?
JESSICA: Beautiful to me is a person who is faithful, driven, happy, successful, considerate, sweet, kind, patient, caring, adventurous and full of life! Someone who has a good, warm heart and cares about the needs of others. Because when you are beautiful on the inside it radiates on the outside.
With over 20 million women and 10 million men suffering from an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime, it is likely that you know someone who is seriously struggling to love his or her body. Let's all strive to love ourselves and others more so — take below to be connected with resources.