There has been a lot of celebrities in the news lately who have been talking about positive body images and I couldn’t be more pleased….in fact I’m Pleased as Punch.
One celebrity in particular has stood out to me in regard to the way women look and feel and I think most people would agree with me. Melissa McCarthy has been quoted a TON with all of her awesome view points on the weight issue for women. I have always loved McCarthy since her days playing Sookie on Gilmore Girls, then I fell even more in love with her when she played Megan in the movie Bridesmaids. She is who she is and she rocks it and she tends to play women who are the same way.
Obviously this post is not about McCarthy, or even about celebrities or media. It is about something so much more important, something that I feel passionate about and that’s having a positive body image.
I think women feel the brunt of unrealistic body ideals but we are not alone, men have unrealistic standards to live up to as well. (I don’t know about you but if I were a man, I know I wouldn’t have a six pack and buns of steal like a lot of male celebrities). So, while most of my thoughts are geared toward women in the post, because let’s face it, I am a woman so I tend to speak of myself in such a way, but I want any of my man readers to understand that I don’t feel like women are the only people who struggle with the issue of body image.
It’s not a fat or skinny issue….
I am not ‘overweight’ according to those handy little BMI charts provided by our doctor, you know the ones where you find your height and connect it to your weight where you find that magic window of ‘healthy weight’. But, that does not mean that I don’t feel unattractive sometimes; especially since being pregnant and giving birth, but that is an issue for another time – trust me….
I think the media portrays women in a magic window of what beautiful should be, too. Although, it’s not the same as having a healthy BMI which provides a variance of a few pounds to fit in to. Rather, the media gives us one body type to be and if you’re not that, you’re not ‘hot’ or ‘sexy’ or ‘beautiful’.
Girl, let me tell you even though I fit into that ‘healthy window’ given by my doctor….I certainly do NOT fit in that ‘beauty window’ given by the media. I think most people you meet probably don’t. But, some people do; everyone is different and THAT is what makes you beautiful. The fact that you are not the same as the next person, that’s what makes you beautiful. Heck, if we all looked the same it would be really hard to get a date (am I right? What would make us stand out to that one special person?) God created us all different for a reason.
That’s why I am saying body image is not about being ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’ it’s about being comfortable in your own skin. To some people I might be considered ‘skinny’ and to others I might be considered ‘pudgy’ or ‘unfit’ because I don’t have a flat tummy. Well, you know what, I can make my stomach look like a butt and I am proud of that.
I have known girls who are considered ‘skinny’ and are ridiculed for that and I have known women who are considered ‘fat’ and they are bullied for that, too. How are we ever going to win when things like that are going on?
We need to change society’s way of thinking…
…and it starts with YOU. Whether you are a girl on a playground watching someone else get teased for the way they look, or you are a teenager in the mall comparing yourself to other girls, or a woman who feels like they will never look good enough. The change starts with us!
I have times where I look in the mirror and think, I could look better. Or I flip through a magazine and think, “I wish I looked as good as Jennifer Aniston in a bikini.” But, for the most part I am okay with the way I look.
Honestly, I am my own worst critic. When I go to the mall I don’t sit there and think ‘Wow that women is fat,’ or ‘Oh, she is just too skinny.’ So I have to remind myself that people probably aren’t doing the same to me.
We need to be there to support each other rather than participating in this competition that has women pitted against each other – we are on the same team here, ladies.
When you are a girl in school seeing another girl being picked on for the way they look or dress stand up for her, or if you are maybe a little shy go up to the girl later and boost her confidence with a compliment. Rather than comparing yourself to other girls in the mall, spend that time reminding yourself of your positive features.
But, most importantly how about instead of defining or labeling one another by our body types or the way we dress, we define each other by our spirits, our hearts and our personalities. Wouldn’t that be a lot more rewarding for everyone?
Health and healthy body image….
So when it all boils down to the bare bones, it should be about how we live our lives and how we treat others rather than how we look to each other. There are ‘skinny’ girls our there who might be looking in the mirror wishing they were curvier, there might be ‘pudgy’ girls looking at skinny girls hoping to be more like them and there might be ‘fat’ girls hoping to be ‘pudgy’. Whatever it might be, it’s not a healthy way to live our lives.
I am all for trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. Lose a few pounds to feel better. Eat healthier if you need to. Go for a run to get those endorphins pumping. Health, fitness, etc…this is all good stuff. But losing weight to try to fit an unrealistic standard, that is so not okay.
You are perfect just the way you are! Because it’s the person you are, not the way you look, that matters at the end of the day.
Keep that in mind each morning when you look in the mirror.
Be your own cheerleader….
The most important thing is that you don’t beat yourself up. You are the one person who should always be on your own side (What? Does that even make sense? Whateve.)
Let’s talk about this!
What makes you feel beautiful? What is your favorite part about yourself? What do you do when you start to feel your self-confidence waning?