I think personal evolution is inevitable, & hopefully, for the better.
Personally, I’ve always I had a feeling of deep inadequacy which has caused me to be the one in my family who is easily offended (having 3 older brothers who loved to tease doesn’t help). This inadquecy, similar to a short-man’s complex, has caused me to work hard. Because I know I’m not naturally gifted/talented in so many areas of life, I work hard. That’s one thing I know how to do. I don’t give up, & I keep on truckin’, even when by most people’s standards I’d be considered crazy.
This sense of inadequacy I don’t think has been a bad thing, entirely. I feel I have greater empathy, compassion, & understanding, particularly for those who struggle with life, because I know what it’s like to struggle, for things not to come easily. That said, I have unbelievable high personal standards, & those standards at times have caused me to have unrealistic expectations for myself, especially when it comes to issues of body image.
My twenties were rough in this respect. I went through periods of not being skinny enough (sheesh, even at a completely toned 140 lbs.–ridiculous), not being strong/fit “enough” (even when I could run a 6 minute mile & teach 3-4 fitness classes a day).
You know what has helped me, though?
Having kids, & having those kids get older.
(I talk about it more, here.)
Especially having daughters.
I want my daughters to grow up confident, strong in the knowledge that they are much more than their body, their looks, their sex appeal.
At a recent doctor’s visit, I sat in the waiting room, & read this article in the USA Today.
Though not shocking (what is, anymore?), or new information per se, I became deeply saddened after reading this article.
Why, after all the advances for women, all the strides that have been made, are we choosing this? To chose, to be sold/bought/valued only for our sexual appeal?
I read this article, just shortly after posting my thoughts on pornography.
Between pornography & issues with warped body image, my kids have it cut out for them. How can I, as a parent help them to navigate these waters?
I certainly don’t have all the answers.
But I’ve realized (& this is where my shifting perspective has sprouted), that I must be the example.
The way I view myself (even in my thoughts, as we all know manifest themselves in actions), the way I dress, treat my body, what I say about my body. This has been motivation enough for me to work on my own thoughts regarding my body image.
I know my kids are watching, they’re learning from me. As intimidating as it is, I won’t back down from this challenge. I will do everything in my power to teach, to show, to discuss, all of the things my kids need to know so they will have the confidence & tools to rise above the tide of our culture’s distorted perspectives on body image & all of the negative behaviors that can accompany that.
For more body image/empowerment food for thought, watch this:
Please share your thoughts.