We live in a world obsessed with dieting, losing weight, and shrinking yourself. In today's society, when it comes to body types there is the idea that smaller is better. However, is being smaller really worth your health and happiness? A weight gain hashtag started on Instagram and Twitter by the inspiring Arianna Dantone who plays a large role in the fitness community. It's called #GainingWeightIsCool, and it's changing the stereotype of smaller is better and advocating self-love. 

What begin as a simple hashtag turned into a self-love movement and currently has almost 10,000 posts supporting it.  As someone who has fallen into the dieting traps and experienced both restrictive eating and over-excercising, this hashtag has not only been helpful to myself, but also thousands of others—physically and mentally. Extreme dieting and exercise may seem like a quick-fix to your problems, but in the long run it causes more harm than good, and it's not a maintainable lifestyle. 

Social media, TV, and magazines all contribute to society's expectations regarding our bodies. We have been shaped to believe that smaller is better. We are surrounded by headlines of how to get skinny or "drop a jean size" and are told that 1,200 calories is a magical number that will help you lose weight.

These topics often focused on in magazines are not only unrealistic, but often unmaintainable and unhealthy. These expectations often times can lead to eating disorders, over-excercising, and lack of self-confidence.

With the hashtag #gainingweightiscool, people all over the world are given the chance to see that health and happiness should be prioritized and proves that you are worth more than the number on the scale. It illustrates overcoming hardships and embracing who you are and accepting yourself for that.

Seeing so many people contribute to this is inspiring and proves that health and fitness is different for everyone. Some may enjoy running, while others love to lift. Some may prefer a salad, while others prefer a burger. However, no matter what you prefer, you should be happy doing it.

As this hashtag continues to gain traction, people are learning to love themselves for more than their weight. If eating a salad and grilled chicken makes you happy, then you should do so. If going to IHOP with your friends at 2AM makes you happy then keep doing you.

Everyone has their own story and this hashtag means something different for each person, but it continues to inspire self-love and a life of happiness and health. To see more posts and inspiring stories, check out the hashtag on Instagram.

Disclaimer: Although this topic promotes self-acceptance and confidence in a culture where obesity/being overweight is a large issue and continues to grow, help should be sought in order to regain your health. It is important to eat a well balanced diet and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy lifestyle.