“There is NOTHING wrong with your body, but there is a lot wrong with the messages which try to CONVINCE you otherwise” – Rae Smith
A few months ago, the kids wanted me to try on my wedding dress. It didn’t fit. Not even close. I haven’t lost sleep over it, but I would be lying if I said that there wasn’t a part of me that was really hoping that it would.
Fast forward to my first time at the beach last week with the kids and another family that we met there. I had fun playing with the kids and taking photos but there was also a part of me that thought “if I was 10 pounds lighter, I would look better in this swim suit”. Sigh.
I am writing this because I KNOW that I am not the only woman out there that feels this way. How could we not? There is media messaging everywhere.
Beach body. Body shred. Abs of steel. Buns of steel. Perky tits. Nip, tuck, laser, suction and sculpt. None of these things message loving your body. I don’t want to “shred” my body.
Can I just be enough to show up at the beach in my bathing suit?
The messaging about what my body was suppose to look like started young. I can remember weighing more than my friends in elementary school and as a girl “smaller” was always better. Unless it was your boobs.
Thankfully, I have never struggled with an eating disorder. I like food. I like to eat food. But am I eating the right food? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Sometimes the Big Mac attack happens. There was however short periods of disordered eating.
I remember the first time I tried restrictive eating in Grade 8. Lettuce and mustard sandwiches. Those didn’t last long because they were gross.
In college it was the cabbage soup diet (remember that?!) and soda crackers. And obsessive exercising. I did lose weight. And people always comment when you lose weight and how “great” you look.
These things never lasted long for me because they weren’t sustainable. Cabbage soup is okay. But not everyday all day. And I didn’t do it for the right reasons.
I admire the folks who identify with being fat and put themselves out there with no shame.
I also admire the folks who exercise frequently.
But the standards of what MY body needs to look like need to stop.
2 c-sections later and trying to raise kids. Yep, my stomach never “bounced” back. (Although if you asked me to skip, it would bounce). lol.
What if we taught girls and boys this crazy idea that they are enough just as they are and that it was healthy and good for their bodies to move? And that food can nourish your body and help you to feel better. But also, sometimes popcorn and ice cream can be enjoyed too. You’re not “bad” if you eat these things.
Because it’s confusing as fuck to to say “love yourself” and then be blasted with images of impossible beauty and body standards. Just sayin.
I hope I see you all at the beach this summer in your best bathing suits.