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.
We learn from a very young age that showing kindness to others is good, admirable, wise. We are taught to forgive our peers their trespasses, be patient with friends and family, offer support and love and understanding to all who seek it.
And we learn from a very young age that showing kindness to ourselves is a sign of weakness. Delicious foods are reserved for special occasions, and constitute “indulgence.” Massages, long naps, yoga, facials, and other practices that restore and refresh our bodies fall under “pampering.” Celebrating our bodies through stylish clothing and expressive makeup is chalked up to “vanity.” And, above all, we are taught that the natural forms our genes have sculpted from our precious human cells merit nothing but dissatisfaction and disappointment. Just as we are driven to be competitive and successful in our achievements, we are driven to be self-critical and unkind about our appearances. Somehow, somewhere, someone decided that kindness is something that can only be bestowed on others.
Originally posted 2011-02-02 06:01:35.
In a culture that encourages women to engage in trash talk about their own bodies, in which body confidence is an act of bravery, it can be daunting to consider broadcasting pride in your own physical form. But you CAN do it, even in the face of an oppressive environment, reluctant peers, and your own hesitation. I swear! It’s true! Because broadcasting body confidence doesn’t have to mean wearing an “I Love My Body” tee shirt or responding to every compliment by say, “Oh, I know.” There are a million tiny ways that you can tell the world you love your body, just as it is. And in doing so, you may just encourage other women to follow suit.
Originally posted 2011-09-08 06:04:49.