I think the most troubling notion that people have in our society today is the idea that women are never thin enough, never perfect enough. We are made to believe that we all must be a size zero and if we eat anything for the pure flavor and enjoyment of it, then our thighs will explode. Having struggled with weight issues my whole life, which included having horrible things said to me time after time by complete strangers, I find it incredibly disturbing when I see little girls already dieting. We should not be so critical of each other, especially over body image. Those of us battling weight issues or anything of the sort already beat ourselves up plenty without the added insults to our injuries. Personally, I have met plenty of girls who on the exterior fit this broad image displayed by magazines and television/movies as to what the “perfect woman” should be and let me tell you, many of these ladies are so ugly on the inside that it completely negates the outside image we see. I’m not saying that everyone who is thin has a horrid personality, on the contrary. One of my closest friends was born naturally thin and is one of the most beautiful souls I know. However, she has also battled image issues her whole life with things like feeling boyish because she never developed breasts, for example. We all suffer the worst scrutiny under our very own glares in the mirror, so wouldn’t you think that it’d be smarter for these huge publications and other forms of media to promote a healthy image for women? These publications and etc. should take cues from things like what Dove is doing with their campaigns. They show average women, who are all beautiful, but they have soft edges and perhaps doughy middles, which I think is beautiful! However, what constitutes beauty in our world is vastly different than these curvy ladies. Think about this, when you see a turkey on Thanksgiving, aren’t you glad that it is big and plump, full of moist delicious meat? Or would you prefer to eat the carcass after the meat and fat is removed? Usually we throw away the bones when we’re done, so why strive to be a pile of bones to throw into the garbage? Eat something! Enjoy your food and make smart decisions, but most of all, enjoy your life and embrace your YOU-NESS! It is not about being fat, skinny, obese, anorexic, bulimic, pudgy, thin, tiny, petite, heavy, plump, big boned, etc. It is about self love and being healthy. Being happy with yourself and knowing that you are beautiful inside and out. As a society, it is far more important to teach self love and how to treat others as the new generations are being raised, than to continue with the hatred and abusive ideals of the media propaganda. I mean, having an 8 year old counting calories instead of focusing on her youth, just because she wants to be skinny like her tv idols is just insane! It is pure madness!
Recently I came across a wonderful website called Operation Beautiful and their mission is to change the way girls, teens, and women see themselves. They are creating a worldwide movement to let our fellow females know that beauty is not just on the surface, but inside as well. It is not just a stick figure on the cover of some glossy magazine, but more about the people we know and especially the beautiful girls we see when looking at our own reflections in the mirror. It is helping girls who feel alone in their struggles and empowering them to make healthy choices, which begins with our perceptions of ourselves. From now on I am vowing to carry post-its and pens in my purse at all times so that I can spread the love around the world too. If there were ever a cause to support, this one tops the list for me. It’s free and it is inspiring and if I can help even one person who has struggled like I have, it is worth all the effort put out.
Seriously, wouldn’t it be great to walk into a public restroom or changing room on a day you’re not feeling too great and see a note on the mirror telling you that you’re beautiful? Or opening a book at the bookstore that has a similar sentiment? Or perhaps even at a store in the diet supplements section, seeing post-its reminding you that beauty is not a number? Hopefully enough women will be moved by this mission and we can turn this world around for the better. Hate is just not beautiful. Love is.
Another helpful site to check out to improve the way women of all ages, shapes, and races see one another and themselves: Confidence Coalition