As we go into the third lockdown since March 2020, it has already become apparent that we don’t move around as much as we used to, despite the rules of being able to exercise once a day. Even so, it’s reported that 1.3 million Brits bought a bike during the first lockdown – in part also due to commuters wanting to use less public transport over the summer.
Lockdown has been a way for many to assess their own health and get active. Exercising outdoors has been a great way to keep fit and get fresh air, but with the negative impact of the virus and the message to stay indoors, it has also been a difficult time to stay motivated.
The phrase ‘lockdown weight’ has been used during the past ten months, in turn making those who have put on weight feel guilty, but also as a way to brush off the negative feelings associated with weight gain. Not able to fit in those same jeans you wore this time last year? We here ya.
Lockdown has been a way for many to assess their own health and get active
Whilst many of us have struggled with those inches being added to our waistline, the media has been applauding celebrities for losing the pounds. 40-year-old Rebel Wilson, an American actress, has lost around 61 pounds over the summer. Whilst this is great news in itself, because staying healthy is always positive, the media now posts about her wearing ‘tiny leather leggings’ and a ‘bikini’. Does losing weight automatically make you sexier, or at least give the media the right to objectify a woman’s sex appeal by her body shape?
Singer Adele has also been another celebrity to lose weight in 2020, with her 7 stone weight loss causing social media (and the media) to go wild. Before and after photos were circulated online as everyone gasped with how much weight she had lost, and the speculation of what diet plan she used was widely shared. Whereas losing weight isn’t the problem, in fact, well done to them for achieving their own personal weight goals, it’s the reaction of the media and how that makes those consuming it feel.
“I have never really put on weight until lockdown,” Clara, 28, London said. “But I have put on enough that I have gone up a couple of sizes in my clothes. Seeing the reaction to the likes of Rebel Wilson becoming this ‘sexy woman’ because she has lost weight is absurd. She was beautiful anyway! But it also makes me feel unfit and guilty for going in the opposite direction.”
Even without lockdown, weight is a tricky issue. With ‘plus size’ and ‘curvy’ now the norm, and slogans such as ‘big is beautiful’ having an impact in wider society, we are becoming accustomed to the fact that thin is not the only way to feel confident, and nor should it be.
“Even though I am exercising again, I’ve realised that I am happy with the body I am in, and being sexy shouldn’t be the thing that makes me a woman. I am more than a body.”
Being sexy shouldn’t be the thing that makes me a woman. I am more than a body
Weight is a personal issue, and whatever clothes size a person is, they should have the right to feel confident with who they are. Well done to anyone who has spent this pandemic shedding the pounds, it isn’t always easy, but also don’t feel ashamed if you have put extra weight on. The media might be re-sharing celebrities Instagram pictures as they sweat in next-to-nothing alongside their PT, but it doesn’t mean you have to order a new pair of running shoes. If you are inspired to get fit, then that’s cool too.
At the end of the day, confidence comes from within, as cheesy as it sounds, but do what makes you happy, and if that means getting up off the sofa for a long walk to move those legs, then happy days.
You be you.
Photography by Myriam’s Fotos