Your Body is NOT a Project to Be Fixed
Ladies, I’d like to ask a few questions:
How many of you have been on a diet?
How many of you have wished for smaller thighs, smaller waists, fuller lips, smaller noses, bigger/smaller boobs?
How many of you have seen commercials, TV shows, movies, music videos, and magazines that show us what the “ideal” woman should look like?
I’m going to guarantee that there is not a single woman reading this that has not answered yes to at least one of those questions.
I can answer yes to all three…
At some point or another, I have been on a diet.
I have wished for smaller thighs, calves, and a waist.
I have wished for smaller boobs. And even considered surgical reduction more than once.
I have been bombarded with the media’s portrayal and objectification of women and have been impacted mentally and physically by it. All without me realizing that I was being impacted…which is what is so scary.
But now, I am on a mission to put a stop to all this and I want to start by stating:
Your body is NOT a project and it is NOT something that needs to be fixed.
My Personal Body Struggles
Some of you know that I have had struggles with body image, and eating disorder, and depression. I spent many, many, MANY years in the darkness and it saddens me to think of how much life I missed out on. I talk quite a bit about what I went through on my About page here.
I had an epiphany in the Fall of 2015 that left my head spinning and my heart seeking answers for my struggles. It has developed into a full-blown desire to help other women who may be struggling with the same things I have and am. Healing is a journey, not a destination, but that is another blog post.
I saw a video in my Facebook feed and it literally broke my heart. I immediately had to write about it because I got pretty darn fired up. I had originally included the video in this post, but it has since been removed from all social media and I can’t find it anywhere. It was essentially a video about the objectification of women in our media and how it perpetuates body shame and hate from a very early age.
“The harm caused by the objectification of women in popular culture is not just theoretical.” ~ Psychology Today
I feel like I grew up relatively well-adjusted with parents who loved me and supported me. My home was safe and there was very little drama. I had very little access to the media (no TV and selective viewing of movies and magazines).
Yet, I ended up with full-blown body image issues and a history of disordered eating patterns.
Better Late Than Never…
It’s only now, in my late 30s (with 40 looming around the corner) that I am finally starting to get a better understanding on the things that have plagued me for upwards of 20+ years. And from there, true healing can take place.
In reflecting back, I know exactly when my body images issues started. I was 8 years old and there was an event that took place that forever changed the way I saw myself. From that point on, there was always a voice lurking in the shadows letting me know that I wasn’t thin enough, pretty enough, good enough.
It’s not hard to believe, with society’s toxic influence, that we have girls in KINDERGARTEN who are unhappy with their body. We have young girls who are worrying about “getting fat” than enjoying their childhood.
And we have teenagers getting cosmetic surgery to fit some fictional ideal. (I’m sorry, but who the hell are these parents who are OK with this?)
We have young girls who put more value on the size of their clothes than the value of their intellect, their feelings, and what they can do. And we have young men who see women constantly objectified, which sets up its own cascade of nastiness.
Frankly, this makes me angry. Very, very, VERY angry. I want to do something about it and I can’t do it alone.
In addition to the fact that being in a war with yourself is exhausting (and I am tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiired), one of the main driving forces behind my own personal development, exploration, and healing of my life-long issues is because we are very close to starting our own family and I don’t want my child(ren) to be impacted by my actions and unhealthy views on self.
I really want to set a good example and ingrain in them that size, shape, weight, height, hair color, lip size, boob size, etc. does not indicate their personal value as a human.
Changing Our Own Media Influence
We can’t change the whole media world in one fell swoop. But we can take small steps to change what media we allow ourselves and our children to see. We can also stop allowing the objectification of women into our home and we can raise our girls and boys to treat each other with respect and kindness, no matter what he/she looks like.
The very first thing we should do is censor what we allow our eyes to see. I’m not big on censoring in general, but in this case, censorship needs to happen on an individual level. And the more censorship of mainstream media, the better.
In order to do that, we need to change what we are exposed to on TV, in movies, in magazines, and on social media. We can do that by choosing to unfollow mainstream media and instead follow body positive advocates who are on the same mission as myself. There are lots of us out there and there is also power in numbers.
I hope you’ll join me on this mission. More to come soon…
It’s Time for a Deeply Nourished You
I hope you enjoyed today’s post. If you are ready to start making peace with your body, the first step is to get clear about where you are and where you want to go. Without these things in place, we drift half-heartedly from goal to goal, never really accomplishing a sense of peace and the creation of a life we truly love. I can help you with that in my free “Cultivating a Deeply Nourished Life” workbook that you can download here.
If you are interested in learning more about how I can help you find peace with food, body, and chronic illness, visit this page and schedule your free 30-minute strategy session.