I want to talk to our world -- the world of the teen and 20-something females -- about bodies. Our bodies.
This isn't another post spewing anti-Victoria's Secret propaganda and patting you on the back, asserting in soothing tones that "it doesn't matter if you're 60 pounds overweight! You're perfect however you are!"
And it's not a post condoning the severely fallacious images presented to us by the media.
I intend for this post to address what I perceive to be a loss of balance.
It's a big part of our reality, body image. Whether we openly acknowledge that or not, physical appearance is important. But not just for appearance -- not only for the concoction of attributes we piece together to form us, in order to have us to present to others. It's important for health and being wholly happy. For looking, but more importantly feeling, our best.
I find myself disheartened -- and frankly, annoyed -- by the amount of what I can only call backlash.... I suppose what I call the anti-skin-and-bones campaign. In no way do I excuse the media for their objectification and exaggeration of women's bodies. That should indeed be fought against.
But I can't help feeling that there's a proper way to do it.
There seems to be no middle ground anymore (at least in words and outward attitudes -- I don't claim to speak for anybody else's thought process). We seem to be so anxious about calories that we can't enjoy eating at all, or so obsessed with fighting the unachievable standards and standing as symbols of reality that everything becomes exaggerated. We tell ourselves it's really okay to constantly indulge, because we're showing the man! Let's stick it to him! Queen's fat-bottomed girls unite! We try to one-up each other with how many pieces of pizza we ate, and tease anyone turning down sweets about being "anorexic." We joke that the only way we work out is lifting our fingers from the Cheeto bag to our mouths. We satirically brag about sitting on the couch all day.
Forget about calories and fat. What about the sugar and the chemicals that our body can't break down? In my opinion, the eating disorder counter-culture can be damaging too. It promotes a lifestyle that isn't good for our bodies.... and wasn't the whole point of the movement to be good to ourselves?
There's a way to promote a balanced lifestyle. Let's promote healthy, not anti-skinny.
My stunning mother is 48 (sorry, mom) and has a rockin' body. Do you know why? Because she works so. incredibly. hard for it. She runs. She bikes. She cooks vegan a few nights a week. She forgoes dessert and orders kale salads at birthday celebrations. And you know what? She does it (mostly) to feel good, not to look good. Her way of life isn't for everyone, but find what makes your body feel good and DO IT.
Work out. It doesn't matter what -- get moving. Dance. Walk.
Pass on the soda when you're out at dinner, and then say yes to a cookie after school.
No more body-bashing because we don't look like airbrushed models.
And no more out-eating each other just to prove a point.
meg fee writes a lot on body image and health.
I like this post by this brilliant girl.