THE BODY IMAGE CRISIS
You know how hard it is to look at your body and see beauty? I mean really. It's been ingrained in our minds for decades to compete and compare our bodies to other women. The effects have been deadly. Literally.
Young girls look to adults, magazines, social media, and their friends for advice and to see what is supposed to be 'normal'. Society had a very skewed idea of what 'normal' is supposed to look like. Fashion continues to splash underweight girls and women in ads, and impressionable young girls and even adults look and think, "Why don't I measure up?" "Why are my hips so wide compared to this girl?" "Why are my boobs so small compared to hers?" "Why is my skin so flawed?" "Why can't I have her body?" "Why can't I lose weight?"
The diet industry is worth tens of billions of dollars; we are driven to change our bodies, how they look, the shape and the size. When we become so obsessed with results and control over all the information being thrust into our faces, people can turn to self abuse as a way to control something in their lives. Anorexia, bulimia, self harm (cutting) addictive behaviors, self-loathing, low self -esteem, low self worth are all examples of how insidious body image and society's warped sense of 'beauty' can destroy a young person's sense of belonging and wanting to fit in.
As a young girl, I thought if my waist was bigger than my friend's, I must be fat. It didn't occur to e that we had different body shapes, and that her thighs and ass were bigger than mine. All I knew was that I couldn't do up her jeans at the waist and that meant I was 'less than'. I started to hate my body; I starved myself, drank too much alcohol to mask my insecurities, chased boys for love and acceptance...all I managed to do was drive them away.
Girl will seek ways for attention and acceptance, and this can spiral into a physical, mental and emotional roller coaster of weight loss/gain, mental illness and a lifelong battle to try and love ourselves.
When we hate our bodies, we hate who we are. That's a big deal. It changes how we interact with others, and it could close doors of opportunity because we are trying to be someone we aren't. Our true identity lies beneath all this crap, and it can take years to undo all of the bullshit we have been led to believe.
I know women who hide in the dark so their partners don't see their bodies. Women who wear clothes during sex so their imperfections can't be seen. How is this a healthy relationship? I know women who will accept any person as a partner because they think that's all they are worth, even through abuse.
Girls who become promiscuous because they just want to feel loved and pretty.
All this undoing is not easy. But it can be done!
Have you looked at your body and felt judged? How did you get past all the extraneous noise about how we are supposed to look as women?
Do you have children? If so, have they struggled with their bodies? How do you approach the subject of self love, self worth and the importance of taking care of ourselves?
What can we do to change how we feel about ourselves and each other? How do we stop the reel from playing in our heads?
I'm grateful to be in a place where I know my worth. I know I am a strong and living human being who deserves to be treated with respect and dignity; I'll accept nothing less. But the journey to get there was a feat. I want to make it easier for others to travel their authentic journey and arrive at who they are meant to be.
Sending love your way,