As I’m sure most women on the planet can relate to, our relationship with our bodies, particularly our weight, is something we struggle with since the moment we played with a Barbie doll. Bombarded with images from magazines and movies, we internalized being thin with being worthy at a very young age.
Luckily, progress has been made in recent years to celebrate the curves, bumps, divots, jiggles, wiggles, and every other part of women’s bodies that is not only natural, but as it turns out, has helped us survive.
Recently a Suggest editor stumbled across an inspiring video from the social media influencer Chelsea Hart. Hart’s Instagram page is full of stories and commentary on a plethora of social issues, and in a recent post, they encouraged us to love our curves.
According to Hart, a woman approached them to inquire about their workout routine, saying she wished her body looked like theirs and calling them “so lucky.” It should be noted that Hart is tall, thin, and has a somewhat athletic build.
“I did not like this!” said Hart in their Instagram video. “This energy where you compliment me at the expense of yourself—I rebuke it!”
Hart went on to explain that body types are mostly determined by genetics and that they personally inherited the physical traits of their biological father, a tall lanky man. Hart said their mother is “one of the healthiest eaters [they] know” yet has a “voluptuous” frame and is often “gaslit” by her doctors due to her body type.
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The video continued with Hart giving us a history lesson. “Many of your ancestors survived unimaginable famines and droughts,” they said. “And the only kind of [feature] that survive climates like those is an ability to retain fat—the very feature you are demonized for made you possible against impossible odds.”
They’re not wrong. In this 2019 study published in Cell Reports, professor and lead study author Ann Marie Schmidt said, “We discovered an anti-starvation mechanism that has become a curse in times of plenty because it sees cellular stress created by overeating as similar to stress created by starvation—and puts the brakes on our ability to burn fat.”
Basically, the trick our bodies used in times of old to keep us from starving to death can make it difficult for us to lose weight in modern times, even if we have plenty to eat. In short, Hart was right, and we should thank this bodily phenomenon for saving the lives of our ancestors, thus allowing us to live our marvelous lives today.
Hart finished her video by saying, “You are a walking, talking victory; your body is a miracle.” I think we could all use more of that kind of positivity when it comes to discussing our bodies.