I wrote this for the Daily Hiit, but it’s something I needed to share.
In the world today it is almost impossible to go through life without having the unattainable standards of the media and Hollywood having an affect on your psyche. Multiple times a day advertisements, T.V. shows, movies, and clothing labels are barraging the public with their own standards of beauty. Not even promoting anything resembling health. It is a media storm that is driven by the belief that beautiful people sell beautiful things. The belief that if you buy this product you too can resemble those who grace the ads, big screens, and airwaves.
Body image issues have become the prime issue facing everyone from fashion houses to Hollywood to magazines. The idea of the “real woman” made its heyday attacking the super slim figures walking down the runways. Beneath the exterior of the “real woman” campaign is much more than the desire to see different body types and sizes modeling clothing. At its heart the drive is much more individually based. When confronted with images of women who seemingly have no flaws, the flawed woman who is watching is confronted with her own body and sees it right on the page or the screen and does a comparison. Down to the minutia. Women hate not only being confronted with the idea that there is only one female body type that is considered beautiful but also they hate being confronted with their own body image issues as if those imperfections hold more sway in their mind then their college degrees or children or personality.
There is not just one beautiful female body as there is not one ‘perfect’ mother, wife, sister, daughter, or friend. Changing a negative body image starts and ends with one thing. Perception. What you see in the mirror is determined by your outlook on life, your goals, your triumphs and setbacks, and pain. It is no different than how you view a painting. What a woman sees in the Mona Lisa varies drastically from what a man sees. Body hatred exists because it is negatively perceived and negatively categorized.
The little rolls of fat deposits around your waist and hips? Those aren’t your most hated stumbling block. They exist because you are a woman and genetically pre-disposed to more fat than men. They are also a way of keeping you alive should famine or loss or starvation hit you. It’s your body’s insurance policy on itself.
The thighs? The thunder thighs you call them? They happen to be the largest group of muscles on your body. The largest fat burning grouping of muscles on your body. They are strong because you need them to be. They make it possible to run miles or pick up your children from the floor countless times a day.
There is nothing on or in your body that you hate. Nothing at all. From personal experience, what you really hate are your choices. Choices that may be personal, dietary, or those skipped workouts. It’s not about the fat on your body. Are you putting in the effort into changing your body that you put into hating it? Strangely enough your body is whats going to change you. If it is fueled by positive thoughts, love, proper diet, and exercise it will reward you. Your body is not the problem. The way you think is.
Everyone comes in different sizes. They face trials and setbacks no one knows about. Perhaps one is at risk for diabetes or another for breast cancer or another for MS. At the end of the day what others look like or how much they weigh is not the issue, the issue is whether we approach our own situation positively. Change if you want to change or don’t change. But become comfortable in your body and love who you are.
You are who you choose to be.