Wednesday, February 5, 2014

On beauty and loving our bodies.

I don't typically watch any videos that come across my twitter or Facebook feeds, but I was intrigued when Huffington Post mentioned something about women's unexpected moments of feeling beautiful.  Even on my lunch break at work and at eight minutes long, I had to watch the video.

[via Huffington Post Women]
I promise this video is worth your eight minutes.  I was struck by the poem at the end; it brought me to tears.  According to the video, "85% of girls 8-10 believe they are overweight. 45% have already started dieting."  At first glance, these numbers are saddening and shocking, but then when I really think about it they aren't.   Females are socialized to be competitive with one another: the richest, skinniest, most popular, etc.  As times and the media have changed, I believe this is a problem that is only growing (blogs, social media, and reality tv amongst others are partially to blame).  The lack of conversation, real and deep talk, about body image contributes to our skewed views of ourselves.  This article has always stuck with me; even the words we don't say make an impact.   
I grew up in a family where communication was (and still is) basically nonexistent.  Body image and loving myself was never discussed.  My mother was always yo-yoing between weights and diets.  No one in my family is active.  As I've learned being an adult, eating healthy is difficult on a small income.  When it comes to positive body image, these components can be insignificant.  Seeing beauty and loving your own body is all about perspective.
"I was on this pursuit of changing myself," says Corry in the video.  For as long as I can remember, I've been on this same journey.  It has only been within the past two years or so that I have come to appreciate this body I have.  We can't change the images we see on social media or in magazines, but we can appreciate, love, and own that we are who we are.  We can teach our sons and daughters that people are beautiful in so many ways.
"Speak truth into our own lives."
My truth comes from acknowledging who I am and what I love about me.  These are my truths:
  • I am beautiful.
  • I feel best about me when I'm sweating {and healthy}.
  • I have an hourglass shape to be proud of.
  • My legs are strong and carry me for many miles.
  • I'm graced with a chest that makes shirts look good on me.
  • I am an introvert and observer.
  • I'm happy with my bad eyes because I get to wear glasses which I love.
  • My hips give me curves and might help me birth a child someday.
  • My eyes are green or hazel or just mysterious.
  • I love what my body is capable of.
  • I feel most beautiful when my body accomplishes something I never thought it could.

What are your truths?  What journey have you been on when it comes to body image?  When do you feel most beautiful?


ari @ whatarisaid said...

I've had my students mention needing to lose weight or being "fat" or whatever. They're 5 years old. It's so depressing, at that age they shouldn't be worrying about those things. :(

Unknown said...

You are beautiful! And so is this post, and I feel more beautiful for you knowing you.

Joanna said...

You're right, this was worth the 8 minutes. So powerful and I wish every woman in the world would watch this and BE this. My self- esteem has always been very low because of mean boys in grade school and an abusive ex-boyfriend and like you said, the media. I like how the girl mentions not picking up magazines anymore because of how that makes her feel, so I'm definitely going to think twice about not watching or reading things that will make me feel less than I am. My truth is that I have a husband that loves me and has been trying to build me up to see that. My family and friends love me and that's all that should matter. Thanks for this post!

Alex Byer said...

This post is so great Kristin! So inspiring. My truths are apparently my eyes are hazel (news to me, always thought they were brown haha) and I am, and always will be, a runner. I'm beautiful :)

whitney said...

*slow clap*

i love this. thank you for sharing!

Meghan said...

I'll have to show this video to my sociology students! We discuss this very issue quite a bit.

I love your truths. I actually had a meltdown last night, thinking I was a terrible mother, and my husband helped me view everything in a similar perspective to yours. I need to focus on the positive, and not on the negative.

Jo said...

Oh, wow. That poem brought the tears for me, too. This subject is so dear to my heart and it needs to be spread to everyone, everywhere. To young girls, especially.
My truths are that I have an overwhelming smile and a very distinct walk and that I am amazed at how strong and capable my dainty body can be. We are all beautiful.

Alicia | Jaybird: Home in Motion said...

I love the idea of starting a body/beauty conversation from such a positive angle. It sets the tone for positivity and self-love rather than self-criticism!

Also, THIS: "I feel most beautiful when my body accomplishes something I never thought it could."

I completely agree. I felt like this the first time I ran 4 miles by myself. To many, that wouldn't sound like a big deal, but to me, it was an amazing affirmation that I'd been treating myself right in terms of diet, sleep and exercise. I felt totally radiant! Here's to more moments like that this year!


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