There is no way of going around it: breakups are undeniably difficult, even if they are handled with the utmost compassion. They can tear you to your core, causing you to question your confidence and faith in the idea of love itself. No matter who broke up with who, both parties feel that swirl of emotions: an entanglement of sadness, rejection and guilt for what once was. Even in the most amiable of situations, a breakup is an ending, and in a culture that emphasizes “forever” as a relationship objective, you might feel like a failure in the wake of a split.
Thus, your brain looks for any answer to make the painful failure feeling dissipate. How?
Well, you may begin by trying to make that rejection go away. You want that person to either want you back or look at you and wish they could have you back.
Now, how do you do that? If you have scrolled through TikTok recently, then you would find a surge of “Revenge Body” eating habits and workouts to improve your physical appearance. Sadly, we live in a society that emphasizes physical “attractiveness” as desirable, and in our Western culture, that “attractiveness” often means being thin. This concept is idolized, glorified and perceived as the best thing a person can achieve, especially post-breakup and especially among women.
A revenge body usually refers to a person’s weight loss following a break-up in order to make their ex jealous, enacting revenge via the way their body looks. Media uses this phrase in positive and self-improving manner, praising celebrities for their post-break up bodies and dissing those who took time for their mental well-being rather than physical. The term has especially been used when mentioning Khloe Kardashian after Tristan Thompson, her on and off again boyfriend and father to her daughter True, openly admitted to fathering a child with another woman while they were dating.
Since then, the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star has noticeably lost a lot of weight, and news outlets were quick to applaud Khloe for her “revenge body.” She even began a television show, “Revenge Body,” putting participants through intense workouts, diet regimes and makeovers to enact that revenge on their exes.
By emphasizing weight loss, this show and idea promotes a singular body type: thin. This implies that this body, skinny, flat-stomached, big boobs and butt, is the only one to be considered desirable, leading to dangerous workout, eating and mental habits, as well as perpetuating eating disorders in our society.
A solid healthy relationship is not one that is built on appearance. If losing weight means that they suddenly want you back, then that is not a relationship that you should pursue.
Though the tabloids push this positive narrative forward, getting that revenge body without a mindset transformation does nothing but further the pain of a breakup.
Like VALLEY mentioned earlier, breakups are tough. The best thing to do for yourself if you find yourself in the midst of a messy breakup is turn to compassion. Your mind and your body deserve kindness, not strict regimes to fix what isn’t good enough. You are already good enough. Telling yourself that your physical appearance isn’t good enough, and forcing yourself to change your body for the sake of revenge, is not demonstrating respect or compassion.
If someone doesn’t want you for you, don’t waste your time and energy on winning them back. Revenge is an act of punishment. If you feel the need to enact revenge, you are willingly handing someone else your power. Keep that power and put it into something that is solely for you.
Breakups are the preamble to a new and improved way of life. Show yourself compassion and, in time, you will move upward and onward. Going through a breakup?
Tweet us @VALLEYmag with photos of how you are showing your mind and body kindness, not revenge.