Recently, I discovered the popular website Thought Catalog published an older article of mine last month on the topic of dating and body image. The post was re-named for something to grab clicks.
And it worked. It had over 10K shares and a couple hundred comments.
Those comments? 95% of them were personal attacks on me, my relationship, health – all grounded in an idea that how dare a larger person think they deserve love. The issue here isn’t about the comments of those people, but the reality of the people themselves.
See, I’ve been sharing my work, body and life online for a few years. The first time I got a “hater” comment on my Huffington Post breakout article I cried. The 1000th time I got a nasty comment on articles since, I shrug.
Because this is what I know to be true: I’ve put my name, face, image, thoughts, life, ideas, and love openly into the world. My work is straightforward: I teach people how to love their bodies. I am one-hundred percent devoted to self-love and body acceptance for whomever feels they could use it. There is no mistaking Rachel Estapa runs and promotes More To Love, stands by the message and lives it daily.
So when someone online shares a nasty comment using a fake screen name, I know right away we’re not even playing the same game. Their words do not come from a place of sincerity or honesty. They are hiding. They’ve got their own stuff going on. My energy is focused on the people who get and want my work - they deserve my attention, not the trolls.
Do the comments hurt? Of course. Does it stop me? No. Because the thing I’ve learned through body acceptance work and my own personal practice is the negative thoughts are part of the deal. And they are no big deal in the grand scheme. You work through them whether they are the negative ones in your head or from the words of others.
I’m not afraid of someone thinking I’m ugly, too fat, unhealthy, unlovable because I know it’s not true and I’ve got a lot of examples to back that up. Confidence is key, but being true to yourself and sharing it with others, that’s the real gem.