Look at this. This is my daughter on her first Easter, 1981. Isn’t she adorable? And there is her young mother, wearing a skirt and blouse that she made (what?? I used to do that??) and it’s *tucked in* !! I thought I was fat then! Isn’t that sad?
Recently when “TubaLuba” posted a message about feeling happy with her body, even the extra little matronly roll she has developed, I was amazed at all the sad, self-bashing comments she received. I would say 99% of the comments said something like, “Oh, I’m glad you are happy with your body. I certainly am not. I am way too roly-poly.” Sad to say, I was one of those self-bashing commenters.
Then recently another blog mentioned Queen Latifah. I think Queen Latifah is beautiful and sexy. Has anyone ever heard her complain about being “above average” in size? I’m really asking, because I have not heard this coming from her, but she may have said it. I don’t know. She exudes confidence and beauty and strength! I admire her for those things! I *hope* she has never bashed her self because of size!
My point is (and I do have one), I think it is soooo sad that most American women feel bad about our bodies. What business did I have thinking I was fat back in 1981 when I looked like that!? Why can we never be satisfied? It is a rare woman I have met who doesn’t worry about her body and/or have a poor body image. I truly hope this will change, but it has not changed in my daughter’s generation, at least that I can see.
Charles told me about someone we both know. She is young, bubbly, cute, happy, full of life, and she thinks she isn’t pretty enough. He overheard her saying “if I were 20 lbs lighter I would go after Mr. XYZ.” We felt sad that she didn’t feel confidence enough in her bubbliness, cuteness, happiness, and joie de vivre. Why did her weight have to stop her from going after what she wanted?!
We have ruined so many women’s lives by making them think they are not good enough. Ever. I have wasted a lot of time worrying about my body… in the old days I was “too skinny.” Now I’m “too fat.” I’m just so lucky that my hubby loves me and doesn’t care two hoots about my size. He has helped me to see how silly it is to worry about it (but hasn’t managed to 100% cure me yet, I’ll admit.)
Women have made marriage choices and other important life decisions based on their own poor self-concept, sometimes much of that has to do with their body image. Very, very sad. And how dumb… women go through so many changes! We get periods, we go through pregnancies, we breast-feed, we experience menopause – all these things have consequences to our body shapes. Yet we are only satisfied with a Barbie-doll-body. Isn’t it nuts? We measure ourselves against an impossible standard!
I hope whoever you are, dear reader, will think about learning to love yourself as you are. Think about all your wonderful qualities: intelligent, great sense of humor, good mom, good writer, artistic, creative, funny, curious, friendly, bubbly, quiet, talkative, strong, proud, decisive, helpful… those are what make you worthwhile and loveable. Embrace those qualities in yourself. Me, too! I’m beautiful, funny, creative, and loving! One of God’s miracles! Hooray!
And here is another miracle from God: my son on his first Easter, 1987. Too cute!!