25 July 2014

Beat Body Bullying...

I was probably about ten years old when I remember opening the wrapper of a Twinkie and looking longingly at that sweet piece of goodness. I held it cautiously in my hand-fearing just looking at it would change the shape of my body. So, I did the only logical thing a ten year old girl could do. I ran around the house while I was eating my Twinkie, in hopes of counteracting the calories by chaotically bouncing around. How I wish I could meet my ten-year-old-self in person, and tell her just how beautiful she really was. 

The other night I came across this story online, and it re-confirmed to me, again, why my ten-year-old self felt that pressure, even then. Our society is all kinds of messed up, and coming from someone who has been on the other end of the criticism, I'm going to do something about it.

People weren’t born this way. Girls weren’t born with an image-complex. We weren’t born wishing we were thinner, or taller, or more symmetrical than the girls in the magazine. We weren’t born unsatisfied with our blemished skin or our unevenly shaped nose. We weren’t disappointed in the thickness of our hair, or the chubbiness of our legs. In fact, it was quite the opposite. We looked at ourselves like the divinely beautiful creatures that we were. As a baby we looked down at our hands in wonder; we saw ourselves with brand new eyes just brought to life. As a toddler we felt confident in the fact that we were indeed princesses, and nobody else could have told us otherwise. 

We were beautiful. 

Twenty years ago the thought of getting in a swimsuit simply prefaced exhilarating adventures, and if I had the choice, I would have lived in my swimsuit for all the world to see. Now, swimsuit shopping is nothing but a self-destructive, comparison-driven, disheartening experience. 

Last night while I was in the car, a commercial came on, and it went something like this: “Not ready for summer? Still haven’t achieved your bikini body? Feel beautiful this year and get laser liposuction.”

It was in that moment I became angry. The world is telling us, over and over again, that we will finally be beautiful when we have achieved that bikini body. We will be satisfied only when the pounds come off, only when the inches fall away, and only when we meet specific criteria. And let me tell you—in the world we live in, perfect is never—and will never be—good enough.

It was then I decided I would come up with my own commercial. I kept the same theme but made a few changes. “Not ready for summer? Still haven’t achieved your bikini body? Feel beautiful this year and beat body bullying.”

So, that’s exactly what I plan to do. 

Week by week.
One step at a time.