It's past time to end the shame
What is it about beauty that makes us all a little crazy? As a woman, I want to feel pretty. I want to do things to enhance my beauty. I sometimes have unrealistic expectations about what beauty is. With the explosion of social media, it is so easy to get caught up in the drama and shame someone for being too thick or too thin. We have babies and before we have changed the baby’s first diaper, we are trying to figure out how to get our bodies back to what they were. We see someone who is naturally skinny and think she must have an eating disorder. We see someone who is naturally thick, and we think she must be lazy and eats too much. We are surrounded by this all the time, and over time, we pass this down to our children and inadvertently feed the lies that we all have to look a certain way to be pretty and to have a good life. It’s time to end the shame.
My daughter and I have an immense hatred for jeans but for different reasons. She hates them because she doesn’t have a booty and can’t keep them up. I hate them because I have a booty and hate the gap in the back. My daughter is very aware of body image and has been body shamed. She is only 8. I have fought body shame my whole life. I had an eating disorder from a very early age. I have exercised, dieted, and tried everything to be anything but what I am: thick. We are two polar opposites, and I am sad that at such a young age, my daughter knows what body shaming is. What sucks the most is that she gets body shamed for being too skinny. I got body shamed for being too fat. There is no winning in this.
My daughter finds beauty in people, whether they are thick or thin. I love that about her. She is at an age where she is noticing the heavy advertising and billboards for plastic surgeons that are promoting that we must all strive for perfection. She comments on it often. She has been told she is too skinny, just as I have been told on occasion that I am too fat. I tell her she is perfect as she is. If she stays like she is when she is all grown up, it is fine. If she ends up with a booty and some extra padding on her thighs like me, then it is fine too.
I used to do some serious hating on my body. I still do sometimes. There are times I wish I didn’t have cellulite or stretch marks. I eat right, and I exercise. I am trying to come to terms that I may never be thin, but I am pretty just as I am. I find myself trying to be kinder to myself when looking in the mirror, especially when my daughter is around because I don’t want her to have the same destructive habits that I have. It’s hard, but it is something we, as mothers, need to work on.
I don’t want to body shame someone for being skinny anymore than I want to see someone being body shamed for being too fat. I think that with all we do on the internet nowadays, it has become so easy for people to sit behind their screens and shame other people. It’s disgusting, and it needs to stop.
I see the ad campaigns for Victoria’s Secret that promotes one type. Now Lane Bryant has come out with their campaign that promotes the opposite. What I want to see is a campaign that promotes both. I want to see something that has a body type my daughter can relate to and one I can relate to all in the same picture. I want to show the world that it is okay for people to love themselves.
I want to move past the hate and work on showing acceptance and love for our fellow women. We owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to our daughters!