The language of weight-loss perpetuates a whole bunch of problematic ideals. Because we’re so used to seeing some of these phrases, we often don’t realise what they are truly saying. This can cause people to let their guard down and absorb these harmful ideas without even realising it. In this post, I’m going to talk about the phrase “new you”, and why you should be wary of it.
The weight-loss industry associates losing weight with becoming a completely different person, and they thrive on this concept. They love that the media portrays unattainable ‘beauty’ that ruins people’s self-esteem, because it causes people to hate themselves, and self-loathing makes people want to change. If companies market their products as having the potential to fundamentally change who you are, people will come running. These companies know how to make money, and they don’t care if they trample people’s self-esteem along the way.
The language and ideals of the weight-loss industry bleed into day-to-day life, like tumblr posts and conversations between friends. This can cause some people to think that losing weight will change who they are, and therefore solve their problems. This is so ingrained into our culture that we often don’t realise how problematic it can be to think this way.
The phrase “new you” implies that you’re changing into something fundamentally different, and that your identity is somehow tied in with your health and appearance. Let me tell you something:
Sure, with any new lifestyle you can certainly expect a change in behaviour and mindset. And there may be problems associated with being fat or unhealthy that can be reduced if you lose weight (even this isn’t always the case). But you are so much more than your size, weight or health. You are a fully-formed human being with unique thoughts and ideas and dreams, and your body is just a vessel for that.
YOU ARE AWESOME. Seriously, you’re great.
There’s nothing wrong with the desire to change, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to reinvent yourself. But don’t believe that simply losing weight will be the answer, and don’t ever feel like you need to become the “new you”. The “current you” is perfect.