I got talking with my mom about body image today, and it has been on my mind for a while now. I know this issue is constantly being talked about, but I really wanted to share some of the thoughts I have been having. If you have something to add, please comment. I would love to get your guys' input on the issue.
First, I want to share an event that contributed to this being on my mind.
I graduated from high school just over a year ago, and at the beginning of my Senior year I weighed 125 pounds. I am not by any means saying I am heavy, but as my physical activeness decreased and my eating habits worsened, I found that my jeans were getting a little big snug. I currently weigh around 140 pounds. ( i guess that freshman 15 caught up to me.. I always thought that was a joke!)
I was approached recently by an old friend that I went to high school with (I act like that was SO long ago) and we got talking. Near the end of our conversation she mentioned she could see I had gained a little weight. Now, she didn't say it quite so bluntly, and I really don't think that she meant it to be rude. I know what you are thinking, who cares what she thinks, right? Well, being who I am (maybe its a girl thing--I really tried to brush it off) and despite my efforts to ignore her comment, I took what she said to heart.
Summer always brings added pressures to look good. For me, body image comes up pretty much on a daily basis. (I am sure for most of us girls we can all say the same) This summer I have made it kind of a routine to go to Seven Peaks (its a water park in provo, if you don't know what I am talking about) a couple times a week. I cannot help but notice (and often times envy) those perfectly bronzed, stick thin girls.
I have never had issues with my body image. I cannot remember feeling over self conscious, or feeling uncomfortable with my body. To be honest, (even with my freshman 15) I don't think I have the need to worry about my size.
It was right there, at seven peaks, sitting on my beach towel watching walking twigs, that I had a revelation.
After thinking about how people look at me, and how I look at others, I still cannot understand one thing.
WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES?
Why do we compete with each other? Genetically, we are each build differently, and realistically, with my body type, I am never going to be one of those stick thin girls. That doesn't mean I'm fat- I'm not. But skinny, to me, brings to mind a certain image that I am certain I will never attain.
And you know what?
I am COMPLETELY alright with that.
I'm okay with having curves that clearly define me as feminine.
I think of my family, and friends. I think of all of their different sizes and shapes. They are the beautiful ones. Not the girls on the magazines or the twig at the pool.
I decided, that as long as I love and accept what I have, and who I am, I am going to be happier than the ones who find themselves unhappy with themselves for not achieving the often unrealistic goal of being "skinny".