Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Naked Truth

It's been a little too long since my last post. I know, I know. I'm so exciting, you wish I wrote a post every day!

Well, this girl's a little busy for that now that the semester has officially begun, but I will try to keep up better than I did last year.

You may be asking yourself what happened to my 30 Day Photo Challenge. The answer is that I'm a bit behind, but I will be making up all of the posts eventually--probably in a few more chunks. It's just what happens when you get busy!

Now, without any more blibber-blabber, let's get on to the focus of today's post. I said naked! Ooohhh..scandalous! For some of you readers, it may sound scandalous now, but you'll like my message.

I've been thinking a lot about body image lately and the way that women in my generation regard their bodies. I'll tell you, most of us don't like our bodies. Frighteningly, according to the Social Issues Research Centre, 80% of 4th grade girls have been on a fad diet. What the hell? When I was in 4th grade I don't think I even knew what a diet was. Of course, I was still wearing cotton shorts with elastic waists and t-shirts with cartoon characters on them. What would the 10-year-old fashionistas of today think of 10-year-old me?

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the entire article, but just this blurb from a University of Colorado article reported that 2 out of 5 women would trade three to five years of their life in order to achieve their weight goals. Sure, maybe some of those women are obese so achieving weight goals seems worth it (though I still disagree), but I'm guessing that most of them are not any bigger than me. How sad. Give up years of life to be what? Prettier? Sexier? What is it really about?

I don't think we can blame it on Barbie anymore. Heck, who needs Barbie to tell us what we should look like when there are real, live girls walking around flaunting their flat bellies, skinny thighs and scrawny arms? But is that what we should look like? Is that really a healthy way to live our lives? And who are we impressing?

The funny thing is, we blame it on guys. We need to look "hot" when we go out so we can impress the guys. Guys don't want a "fat" girl. I don't think it's about impressing men at all. I think it's all about the women. How sick is that? I know that I'm certainly more apt to primp when I'm going to be around females than when spending time with men. I worry more about what the other girls will think of me than what men think of me. Maybe that's just me, but I don't think it is. I think that women are cruel and awful to each other. We are constantly comparing ourselves to each other. And you know who intimidates me the most these days: teenage girls. I can't imagine being 16 again. Teenage girls these days are itty-bitty, uber-trendy, and incredibly catty.

So, why bring all of this up? Do I have an answer for you? No. Sadly, no answer here. Not yet. But this is something I want to start talking about more and thinking about because something needs to change in our thinking about ourselves.

Praise God, I have come to love my body over the past few years. I'm going to admit that a lot of that has to do with being loved by a man who tells me I'm beautiful every day--that certainly helps! But I get that not everyone has a man to tell them that. So start telling yourself! And surround yourself with women who tell you you're beautiful and don't compete with you to look like anyone but you! Fall in love with your work, your personality, your hobby. Work on being a beautiful daughter, friend and neighbor. Accept yourself--your strengths, and even your flaws. Laugh at yourself. Tease yourself. Let things go. Take care of yourself--dress your body well, take care of your skin and hair. Love yourself--your good and bad, your made-up and dressed-down, your sad and happy. Because the other component to loving your body, as I've found, is loving your spirit. Why are happy people so darn beautiful? Get happy and find out.

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