During the Super Bowl halftime show this past weekend Lady Gaga leapt off the top of a building, performed a 10-minute-long dance number while singing and then caught a football in mid-air. And all some people were able to talk about was her belly fat.
The fact some individuals felt the need to say anything about Lady Gaga’s belly after her jaw-dropping halftime performance simultaneously blows my mind and leaves me unsurprised. That a woman of Gaga’s talent, courage, presence and beauty can be criticized for the amount of fat she has on her abdomen highlights the deeply-rooted beauty standards that have taken hold and can have people criticizing parts of women’s bodies that are 100% normal.
But just because society’s beauty standards would have us believe there’s something wrong with our bellies… our thighs… our faces… or pretty much every other part of us… it doesn’t mean we have to buy into it. We can call bullsh*t. And that was some foul-smelling sh*t some folks were flinging around during the Super Bowl.
But although there was some terrible negativity circling around, there were also other voices in the mix. Voices calling out that bullsh*t. People saying that kind of body-shaming is unnecessary and ridiculous. As frustrating as the negative comments can be, this situation also shines a light on the fact the conversation is changing and body positivity is growing which is incredible.
There is nothing wrong with Lady Gaga’s belly. There is nothing wrong with my belly. There is nothing wrong with your belly. They’re just bellies. And the fat that’s there is there to keep you warm and to protect all the insane processes your internal organs are doing every second of every damn day. Today’s beauty standards would have you believe your belly is only perfect if it looks a certain way. But given all that your belly does for you, it truly is perfect just as it is.
Some bellies have rolls. Some bellies have cellulite. Some bellies have scars. Some bellies have carried a baby. Some bellies are firm, some are squishy, some are round, some are bumpy. And there is not a single thing wrong with any one of them.
Let’s not let negative comments or the media and companies’ financial interests in making us feel badly about our bodies continue to drag us down. It can be so hard sometimes, I know. But every moment you’re able to recognize the twisted, unhelpful voice of diet-culture and call bullsh*t on it is a huge victory. Every time you look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re okay just as you are is amazing. Just keep at it. Because making peace with your body will bring you so much more happiness than hating it ever will. And now I leave you with Lady Gaga’s wise words in response to all the hoopla over her belly:
“I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions.”