Disclaimer: This is a subject I am super passionate about. And as goes for most things that I find myself passionate about… it is also something I am working on. There. I said it. And now that my pride is down…
I had a conversation with a few friends the other day about how unfortunate it is that women are judged constantly on our size and appearance. We hear it all the time: Someone is “too fat”, “too thin”, “too toned”, “isn’t a ‘real’ woman b/c of her lack of curves”, etc. etc. etc. I don’t think anyone would argue that when we hear this talk something inside of us tenses up and recognizes it as wrong. But let’s get a little more personal… the majority of the time this is how we talk about ourselves. It’s not only accepted, it is the norm to constantly be putting ourselves down based on our appearance. Think this doesn’t apply to you?? Let me ask you a question… if you could change just one thing about yourself (your skin, your height, your nose, your butt, your weight, your legs, your boobs, your hair… you get the point) what would it be? I bet it didn’t take long for you to think of something, huh?
It seems to be in our nature to discuss the quality of ourselves and others based on physical appearance. And yet, all of this has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the person inside that skin or who they are as a person.
And for you mom’s (and dad’s for that matter) out there: Let me just be really honest with you for a second because I see this way too much in my line of work. The more that you talk about how you hate your arm fat, how big (or little!) your butt is, or how unfortunate it is that your diet is not working, etc., the more your daughter learns that it is okay to criticize and hate her appearance. We blame the media and society (which is another blog post in itself) but we seem to forget about how the way we talk about ourselves affects the little ears that are listening. To your daughter, you are not only her hero, you are also the most beautiful woman in the world. Think about it from her perspective, if the most beautiful woman in the world hates the way she looks, then what does your daughter think when she examines her own beauty?
So here is a thought and a challenge…
Why don’t we stop making ugly comments about appearance. Period. Let’s stop trying to make ourselves feel better about our own insecurities by making judgments about another person’s physical appearance. And an even bigger challenge, let’s stop talking about the things we hate about ourselves and learn to appreciate our bodies for the beautiful creations that they are. You may not like your nose, but isn’t it amazing that it can smell. You may not like your butt, but perhaps you were created with the figure you have for a reason (ouch, a little close to home). Your legs may not be the length that you would prefer, but they take you places don’t they? I could go on and on. Think about what you would tell your daughter if she complained about the very thing you complain about in yourself: you are 100% unique, you were crated by someone who knows the number of hairs on your head and designed you with purpose, you are a work of art.
Let’s stop buying into the lie of an “ideal” woman. It’s dangerous. You already are ideal.
And David, if you are reading this… I know. You’re right and you have been right. Thank you for reminding me of this constantly.
Read what inspired this post here.