Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On Body-Image

I was recently out spending money on a pile of neutral toned clothes (neutrals just make sense, okay?) and Rachel said something that stuck with me. I've stopped paying attention to sizes, it really doesn't matter. 

Stop. Wait a minute. 

Disclaimer: I am currently writing this post while consuming the last slice of cold pizza we had leftover from dinner the other night. And I have no shame. 

Everyone (and you know you've witnessed it too) is obsessed with this "skinny girl" fad. Hell, there's even a cocktail brand named after it. With the rare exception of those who have overcome society and their own self-consciousness, there is a constant disconnect between the "skinny girls" and the "nots". 

Growing up, body shaming and a lack of positive self-image wasn't a thing. My mom was always very fit, even after giving birth to five children, and it just wasn't something that was regularly talked about. It wasn't an issue and that was beautiful. 

Of course, when puberty hits and all these crazy things start happening and you get into high school and socialize with girls who aren't your sisters, this whole new world opens up. Weight and size and image becomes everything. And it just goes on from there. 

I watched Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts last night. It's one of those grab a pint of Ben & Jerry's and cuddle up in your blanket (which also happens to be gray, thank you very much) while crying and laughing at the same time kind of movies. And I proceeded to do all three of those things. But anyways, there's this scene where Roberts and a friend she meets in Italy are enjoying pizza in a little bistro because duh, they're in Rome. The friend, who hasn't touched her plate is staring at Roberts who is indulging quite beautifully in her meal. "I've gained three pounds just looking at that...I have this pooch on my jeans." "A muffin top? I have one too," responds Roberts. She then has a line that rings so true. "Out of all the men you've been with, have any of them ever asked you to leave? No of course not, because they don't care."

THANK YOU. Obviously our significant others don't care about our weight, the size of our jeans or how many calories we consume in a day. It's not their job to be our lifestyle coach, it's their job to love us. There are some sick individuals who do shame their partners about their size and that saddens me tremendously. Because it doesn't matter. Those who bring it up strictly out of concern and love for the other will make the effort to improve with them. Hence the couples who work out and cook their meals together. But at the end of the day, the men in our lives don't care. They love us for us. 

It's the woman who are the problem. It's like the saying goes, women don't dress up to improve men, they dress up to impress other women. It's just another flaw in our society. Women judge themselves because they don't look like the women they see on Instagram. They diet and often starve themselves. Every chance they get, they look in the mirror and ask their friends if they look skinnier. And before too long the friends get sick of it. Because it doesn't matter. Beauty starts on the inside. As long as we are happy and moderately healthy on the outside, that is what matters most. 

Now I hate buying pants. It's difficult to find ones that really fit because I'm very short, I have hips and small legs but a little butt. However, I needed jeans and I was determined to get at least two pairs that fit me well. So I grabbed two sizes in the color and styles I liked and made way to the fitting room. The 2 was too small. Normally I would feel bad about myself for not fitting in the 2, but I had just had a body-image epiphany and subsequently I had a paradigm shift. I pulled another size on with a smile on my face. They fit well and I looked great. I bought three pairs. 

I've stopped telling myself I'm fat or overweight or unhealthy. If I do have something to tell myself, I tell myself that when I'm ready I can go and find a workout routine that will get me more toned. That's really all it is. Do I have days where I don't feel attractive or as fit as I could be? Of course. I'm a woman and it's how we are. But I keep myself healthy, eat mostly good foods and I've never been much of an exerciser but I'll commit to it when I feel like it. No, I don't look like a Victoria's Secret model. No, I'm not a 00, but I'm me and I've stopped paying attention to sizes. 

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