Body Image Struggles
As girls, we are taught that we are only as valuable as our looks. Even if we know this to be a lie, we are inundated with images of the perfect female form, hair, brows, etc. Many times, these “ideals” are completely ridiculous and unattainable because of our God given physical traits. Like, I have hips and a butt, so I probably won’t ever get away with wearing high wasted stuff. And, that’s ok. Yet, we all still strive to fit in and look like everyone else. We jump on the band wagon of what we think is beautiful or “right”. We compare ourselves CONSTANTLY to some ideal that was passed down and shifted and morphed. But have you ever noticed something? Even if you happen to fulfill that ideal for a moment, it is fleeting because the next fad comes along so quickly. See, we’re not meant to ever attain what we are searching for, because then the beauty industry would cease to exist. If every woman woke up tomorrow and decided to love herself as is, the beauty industry would take A HUGE cut in its profits. And let’s face it, it’s mostly about profits.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t love ourselves and want to use makeup and products to enhance our selfcare but honestly, we’re being used more by the industry than we even realize. Take an honest look at how much money, time and energy you spend on trying to look a certain way. How much in your head or out loud, verbally to your friends and anyone who will listen are you bitching about your body, hair, etc. It's a constant litany of, "my hair is to think, thin, curly, straight. My wrinkles are too pronounced, my butt is too big or small, my hips are too big, or small, my arms are flabby, my neck is wrinkly." The list goes on and on.
I am 43 years old, 5'5" and about 135 pounds. I have some wrinkles and I perhaps a few extra pounds depending on what metric we're going by. What’s funny is that for a large part of my life, I have believed my body would be mostly acceptable if I could just lose this “extra” five pounds that seems to hang around my lower tummy. But when I look back at pictures of myself, even when I had perfected the lower tummy area (my supposed problem spot), I still was insecure as fuck thinking I was fat. Literally, I have been a size 4 for probably 20 years, and the “extra” five pounds on my body lead me to believe I am fat. The fear that when a man touches my body and does not find some made-up ideal, that he’ll run screaming from the bedroom. The funny thing is, it’s never happened. Because for the most part, men are far less worried about how our bodies look and if they are “perfect” than if they are going to get some lovings. And I’m sure that men have their own shit they are dealing with. But i'm not a dude, so I'll stick to what I know.
So, why is all of this happening in our society? Why did the industry gain such a strong hold on us?
Plain and simple. A woman in her power, loving herself, how she looks, who she is, without apology is dangerous. See, what we are doing externally is only a reflection of the shit we have going on internally. If I really loved myself and everything about me, do you think I would give a rat’s ass about 5 pounds that I have made up to be the end all and be all of my existence? I’ll answer that for you. No, I would not. So, here I am healing this wound at a deeper level for myself. To do so, I need to ask myself some serious questions. I need to look at how I got to where I am today. I need to shift and transform. I need to take a really hard look at why I am so obsessed with being someone other than the person I am. Why am I obsessed with trying to obtain some body ideal that even if I did, I would 110% then come up with some other shit to obsess about.
Confident is Sexy
Ladies, ask any man that you know what is sexier. A woman who has a “perfect” body but is insecure AF? Or a larger woman who is owning and loving her curves? Even if a man prefers a small figure on a woman, I can almost guarantee you he would prefer the woman with the confidence. But right, traditionally we believe the smaller woman is more beautiful. What if both were beautiful in their own way? What if neither of them were wrong or had to change how they looked? What if the only thing missing was that internal light shining to the world, saying “here I am, take me as I am or don’t take me at all.” How would the world shift? Our girls wouldn’t develop eating disorders during puberty. We could shift the priceless lifeforce energy from trying to change what is (our body), to making a true difference in the world.
When we shed light on our beliefs and patterns, that is most of the battle. I’ve heard that identifying the belief is 60-80% of the spiritual work. And tbh, I’m not sure if that’s accurate but what I do know is two things. 1) Yes, awareness does create choice which leads to change and 2) it feels good to believe that 60-80% of the work is done for me just by acknowledging my shit. LOL, it’s all about choice ya’ll. Choose what makes you feel better. We cannot begin to change something until we recognize it for what it is. So, first recognizing and identifying the shitty programing in our little brains is the key to uncovering and shifting all of this jazz.