This comment has been rolling around in my brain since the moment I read it:
It’s much less socially acceptable for those of us who love our bodies to express it than it is for women with body image issues to do so. It’s easy for female friends to commiserate about their body image issues. If a girl wants to diet, though she probably doesn’t need to, her friends will sympathize and support her. If a girl genuinely loves herself the way she is, she is probably viewed with spite, derision, or at least suspicion. I guarantee there are more body-loving women around you than you realize, and they keep it to themselves because they feel the negative body image crowd will view it as bragging or doesn’t want to hear it.
Originally posted 2009-04-22 06:08:00.
When I was in high school, my dear friend Emily would address me by saying, “Hey, beautiful!” It always unnerved me back then, though I would never have been able to articulate why. With my 20-20 hindsight, however, I can quite easily tell you why: I didn’t believe I was beautiful.
I never mentioned this to Emily, of course, because sheesh, how rude would THAT be. And so she kept doing it. And so I kept cringing. But eventually the cringing lessened, and then subsided completely. And I still don’t quite believe that I’m beautiful. Not most days. But what I DO believe is that Emily thinks I’m beautiful. I believe that every day, and it is meaningful and helpful and a generous gift for her to have given me.
Originally posted 2008-08-22 06:25:00.
I have always suspected that there are tens of thousands of women in the world who hate their bodies. Writing this blog has confirmed my belief, if not my estimate of numbers, and I want to do everything in my power to help those women embrace their gorgeous bodies.
But when conversations arise about truly changing the tide, the focus often turns to girls and young women – the generations that are just LEARNING to hate their bodies, the girls who are sensitive and malleable, the young women who may be able to not-learn or un-learn before those negative messages get ingrained. And I’ll admit that I feel less equipped to advise and help tweens and pre-teens.
Originally posted 2011-04-19 06:18:05.