Okay, so here's a guilty pleasure--I like watching the Miss America pageant. Yes, I know, the expectation for these women's bodies is completely unrealistic. Yes, I know, it objectifies women and is demeaning to women who are being stared at like meat. Okay, sure, I'm a bad person for enjoying watching. But it's fascinating at the same time. The dresses, the glamor, the bling. These women are beautiful.
But so are everyday women. I find it fascinating too that so many women I know have mentioned feeling bad about their bodies, and yet they are so beautiful. I see my struggle to accept myself echoed in other women and vice versa. Why is this? Over the years as I have seen my weight vacillate up and down and I have received so many words of encouragement, full of positivity. I have greatly appreciated it because I have a hard time seeing myself in a positive light. It's crazy. My body is not who I am. Not really. But even if it was, who cares? Who set the ideal? Why do we buy into it?
Sometimes others reinforce this negative perception of ourselves though, and the results seem to carry on forever. I remember being at a mall a few years ago. Stepping into an elevator with my husband, two young women stepped in after us. Turning around, one woman looked me up and down. She turned to her friend and said, "I hope the elevator doesn't break. Fat cow." I was shocked. Stunned. Instantly mortified. Tearful. I have never forgotten that moment. What I wouldn't give to have a time machine to take me back to that moment to confront her. To let her know how hurtful and unnecessary her words were. But the point is, I felt so hurt because I believed what that woman said; I agreed. I just knew I was horrible. But why? Why does being thin equate with being worthy? So....this time around, I am shooting for healthy. I don't need thin, just healthy. And I don't need to be thin to be beautiful or to have people love me. I am a worthy person just as I am---and if I say it a few thousand more times, maybe I'll believe it.
Ladies out there, you are beautiful. I truly believe that. You are amazing.