This post is a really tough one to write. I actually started writing another post, a more feel good, kind of shallow post just recapping my week. However, none of my pictures would load, even after a billion attempts, and I had no inspiration to write it. Ergo, I ditched it.
Which brings me to this post…
Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud.
Have you ever thought about it…really deeply thought about why people are shameful of the bodies they have or certain body types are criticized. Why do we do it to ourselves? Why we do it to each other?
I’m going to be frank with you because I always, always want transparency with my readers. I really struggle with this. I judge my body for the way my thighs rub together when I walk, how my belly makes soft folds when I sit down, the stretch marks on my hips, my jiggly calves. Sometimes I shame myself for physical traits that are completely out my control, like the size of my eyes or the crookedness of my teeth.
I’m actually embarrassed to write this because when I read it a loud, it’s absurd!
So why do we still struggle with it. Why is it still so hard to break the habit of judging the incredible, strong bodies our God has given us. I don’t know all the answers to the questions (shocker). I imagine a lot of it has to do with social media and living in a culture where an “ideal” male and female body is worshiped. A body that is photoshopped and edited to make the model look flawless, I might add. I also imagine it’s the disconnection of spirit and physical body. The one factor that grounds me and allows me look beyond my physical insecurities, is knowing that it’s just flesh and blood, and my body is simply a vessel. It will fade away one day, and my soul will rest in Heaven.
I think it’s easier to look for ways to battle body shaming rather than try and be analytical about the root causes. (although that can also be very helpful) Here are a few nuggets of truth I like to remind myself when I have a bad body image day, or I feel tempted to judge someone for their physical appearance.
1. Our Bodies are Always Changing: Some days we feel bloated. Some days we feel like a supermodel. Some days we just feel meh. That’s okay. Look beyond the day to day fluctuations and recognize that they’re totally normal. Show me someone who doesn’t get at least a little bloated after eating a Thanksgiving dinner, and gosh darn it I will have discovered unicorns by then.
2. Our Bodies are More Than “Pretty” or “Ugly”: Use more descriptive words when you talk about bodies, and they don’t all have to be positive because our lives aren’t always positive. (Think: strong, resilient, determined, kind, sensitive, passionate, angry, steadfast, confused, hurt) I hope when people get to know me, they see more than just my outward appearance. I want them to see who I am, not how I look.
3. Our Bodies are Working Hard: Have you ever looked at a diagram of cellular respiration or thought about the intricacy of our twelve bodily systems? That stuff is mind boggling! Go Google “human body” and just appreciate all the INSANE functions your body carries out daily. Give it a break; it works hard for you.
4. Our Bodies are Just Bodies: Don’t give flesh and blood more power than it deserves. Your body is a vessel used to carry you through life. It can’t measure your kindness, love for people, growth(mental not physical), or passion for your career. Without our minds and souls, our bodies would be A) dead or B)robots. You pick. Neither seem like a good option.
5. Our Bodies are Unique: Last but certainly not least, EVERYBODY’S BODY IS UNIQUE. YES I’M YELLING BECAUSE I WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU HEAR ME LOUD AND CLEAR. It’s not fair to compare yourself to others because, as I always say, we are all on our own unique journey, so you have to take care of yourself in a way that best suits you.
That was a wordy one friends. Thanks for sticking close and making it all the way to the end. Be encouraged to know that body shaming happens to everyone, and by that I mean you’re not alone if you struggle with it.
You’re unique. You’re loved. You’re more than just your outward appearance.
Bye loves ❤
So tell me…
Have you ever struggled with body shaming/image?
What is one thing you remind yourself when you have a bad body image day?