• Jasmine Kwok

Let's Stop the Weight Gain Stigma

In this day and age, weight gain is something that many people look down upon. Diet culture and the media spread a toxic standard of body image that people feel they have to abide by to feel ‘beautiful.’ This needs to be fixed immediately.


Not only can it be healthy to gain weight, but it is also NORMAL.

COVID-19:



People react differently to certain situations. I’ve seen countless stories of what people do in quarantine- some are highly motivated and work out regularly. Others are having a more difficult time mentally, lacking the inspiration and grit they had pre-Covid.


It’s normal to feel more tired and weary.


Times are tough right now- don’t beat yourself up about not having the energy to work out every single day! If you continue to put yourself down, it will only worsen the case. Let yourself rest and relax! There’s nothing wrong with that.


Don’t be put down by what other people are doing.


This is definitely a struggle of mine as well! Whenever I’m talking to friends, it always seems that they’re studying, working, or exercising, while I’m just on my bed watching YouTube.


Remember, everyone is different. You shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Of course, peer motivation is great, but there comes the point when it can get toxic.


You may have gained weight, so what?


It’s okay to have some fluctuating weight. As long as you’re staying mentally and physically healthy for yourself, that’s what matters. Healthy does not mean losing weight every time you step on the scale - in fact, that can be very unhealthy. Being healthy is finding the right balance; don’t be afraid to take care of yourself!


No matter if you’re a serious athlete or not, weight gain shouldn’t be seen as ‘ugly.’ There is no such thing as ‘ugly.’ There are just unrealistic expectations that shouldn’t have to be upheld.

Social Media Influence:



Body positivity has gained substantial traction, especially during this time! It’s inspiring to see the social media trends and hashtags that promote loving yourself and using weight gain to spread those good vibes!


People posting pictures revealing some weight gain.


This helps normalize that- it is a common thing that almost everyone goes through! You are not alone and never will be. It should continue to be normalized because that’s precisely what it is: normal.


NOTE: Do NOT comment something along the lines of: ‘Wow, you’re so brave for showing this!’ as if the person in the picture had something to be scared of. It’s such a backhanded compliment, and they are just as toxic as spreading hate. De-stigmatize sharing #realbodies!


TikToks and Instagram posts revealing the falsities behind the ‘beach bod.’


That continues to expose how you can’t exactly trust everything you see online. There are always certain angles, sucking in the stomach, and filters, to enhance abs or accentuate a particular figure. In reality, we all have rolls (you literally can’t not have them), and they are beautiful!


Don’t let social media make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.


It’s honestly distressing to see how so many people are willing to take the time to comment something nasty on a post that doesn’t fit their perception of beauty. If you have nothing nice to say, then move on. Treat others the way you want to be treated, and treat yourself the way you treat others.



Continue to use your platforms to promote body positivity!


It should be our goal to make everyone feel good about themselves. Weight gain is not something to be ashamed of- neither is weight loss!


In the end, weight is just a number. Of course, there may be certain extents where it may be unhealthy, but that number is different for everyone!


Weight is not the sole determinant of health. As long as you’re staying active, finding a healthy balance, and giving yourself the ability to treat yourself and relax, a healthy mindset will follow suit.


There are so many healthy ways to gain or lose weight, and it is highly individualized! What is beneficial for one person can be deadly for another, so consult a trusted medical professional! As long as you’re doing it for yourself and you're mentally and physically well, then all will be well!


Don’t let a number define you. You are beautiful for who you are! It doesn’t matter if you’re heavier than you used to be or lighter than you used to be: all that matters is your happiness.