Body shaming happens quite a bit.
Women in general tend to be ruthless when it comes to beating themselves up about their bodies. Look in their eyes long enough and most will look away, feeling shame or fear that you’re thinking something negative about them.
It’s likely you’ve heard this from family members or friends. It’s also quite possible you’ve thought these types of thoughts yourself.
I know I have.
Body shaming. Can we stop it?
I never really thought much about my body growing up. I’m not sure why. I just figured we all had good bodies, regardless of the size, type, and so on. Then one day in college I was wearing a bikini out in the yard getting some sun and a couple police officers slowly drove by and stopped. It was obvious they were enjoying the view.
It got my attention and it felt good, but it also felt bad.
It felt good because it’s nice to get a compliment. It felt bad because somehow their googly eyes made me feel infringed upon.
Fast forward several years after giving birth to twins and my body had certainly changed. Stretch marks and saggy breasts were my prize for my babies. These changes caused me to feel shame for years. I stopped wearing bikinis and opted for a one-piece swimsuit. This was back before the days of tankinis.
But then in my 30’s I made a friend who was a belly dancer. I went to one of her shows and this changed my perceptions about myself so much. I saw belly dancers of every size and shape, and what I noticed about all of them is that they seemed to love their body. They celebrated it and it was a beautiful thing to witness.
So, I wondered if maybe I could start to love my body even though it wasn’t looking like the latest models.
And I set out on a self-love – body and all – journey.
I chose to journey toward wild self-love despite perceived flaws. Now, after over a decade, I embrace and cherish my mind, body, and spirit just the way they are.
My body and your body are perfect just the way they are. Regardless of size, shape, color, markings, etc. – all beautiful.
The body doesn’t have to be our sole identity. It’s a vessel holding the real you.
Your height, shape, breast size, booty shape – all natural.
It’s hairy, naturally. Want to shave? Go for it!
Don’t want to shave? Don’t.
Your body is beautiful both ways.
You’ll never reach perfection, so stop trying. There’s no such thing.
Afraid to put on your swimming suit and go swimming?
No more. Pick out your favorite suit and grace the beach with your self-love oozing out. Go ahead. Celebrate all of your glorious flesh and help others celebrate theirs.
Along my body-love journey, I’ve had darling sisters who’ve helped mirror my body-awesomeness and for this, I’m grateful. This is what I’m doing for you today. Giving you permission to love your body, because it’s yours; because it sustains you.
My body has helped create and birth three gorgeous and magnificent children. My body has allowed me to delight in playing sports, provide for my family, climb trees, plant flowers, hike through the forest so I could stand under my first waterfall, quenching my body’s thirst.
Is it perfect just as it is? YES!
Is your body perfect just as it is? YES!
Every wrinkle, every stretch mark (badge of courage), every curve, every blemish, organ, and scar.
Even all those grey hairs!
I encourage you today to stop shaming your body. Maybe it doesn’t look like the top models that society throws in our faces so we feel like we have to measure up. That’s alright. But really, who says that those body types are better than others? We don’t have to adhere to that kind of mentality.
I hope that you can choose to love and celebrate your body no matter what. Honor and cherish it, doing what you can to cultivate health, of course. But don’t berate yourself if you’ve gained a few pounds, are “too skinny”, aren’t busty enough, sag here or there, have blemished, and so on.
Commit to no more body shaming.
And, commit to uplifting others about their body image. We could all use a little help when it comes to accepting and honoring our body, so keep this in mind next time you hear a judgmental thought in your mind. Rather than speak it, change it and uplift that person. Refuse to body shame anyone.
I know that’s how I want to live my life and hopefully that’s how you want to live yours too.
No more body shaming.
Can you commit to that?
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