Body image and why women suffer.
As a woman we want to be perfect, we want to fit in, we want to be trendy. In this day and age it is almost impossible for women to feel comfortable in their own skin.
On one hand we have society who has their own image of what ‘perfect’ is in terms of women’s weight, body image, and clothing. Society deems anyone bigger than a size 5 as ‘overweight’ yet if that were truly the case a very high majority of America, including the people who deem these rules, would be overweight. Included in this group are the people we see daily in magazines, modeling shows, etcetera whose bodies are so unrealistic and most times unhealthy. Society feels they have this upper hand in how we are to be viewed and the only way we can change that is if we change it ourselves.
On the other hand we have ourselves. We are our worst critic. Whether we would like to admit that or not, it is true. Standing in front of a mirror we often jump straight to what is wrong with our bodies and overlook the beauty that is within. I am guilty of this myself as are most of us. These negative thoughts only help society win. It allows them to conclude they are right in believing what they do. We need to help other women realize they are perfect just the way they are. You have to be happy with yourself before you can be happy for others.
Then there comes social media and all the negative attributes that come with it. If you post a selfie you’re ‘trying to get attention’ but really you’re finding confidence within yourself. It infuriates me that we can’t post our feelings of being unhappy with our body without people jumping back down our throats offering us it works, thrive, and all the other bullshit scams. Yes, we should feel happy in our skin BUT it is also hard to feel that way all the time. People aren’t always looking for compliments or pity when they post about being unhappy in their body. Sometimes they are just letting go of those feelings.
So many factors tie into where these issues start within us. It could stem from a comment made about us from someone we care about, or from growing up watching your mother stress eat.
I remember writing about this for one of my psychology classes in college and part of my paper was
“America has a very detailed view on women’s weight and what range of numbers should be reflected on the scale in order to be considered ‘thin’ and if you are outside of that range you are obese and overweight. This preoccupation has influenced the development of eating disorders and disappointment in many women and teens because we feel that we need to conform to their idea of thin to feel good about ourselves. We female always question if we are thin enough, pretty enough, and it all falls into societies hands as to why. Each person, male or female, is designed differently and whatever shape we are is perfect. Society and the media should have no influence whatsoever on our weight. This then leads to different health issues, eating disorders, and even mental disorders.”
I have had my own personal struggle with weight. I have never been what one would consider overweight but after having my second baby I gained a lot of weight from my birth control and had to handle being the biggest I’ve ever been. After having my third I am under my pre-pregnacy weight but definitely would still like to lose some and tone up. I look in the mirror and see stretch marks that have appeared and eve though I should embrace my tiger stripes it’s hard. My husband always tells me that I don’t need to be ashamed, that I’m perfect, but I don’t feel that way.
I realize that I am not eating 100% healthy, I’m drinking soda, and I’m not exercising or working out. I get that. This is something that I need to work on but despite that I should not feel so bad about myself. I have carried and birthed three beautiful daughters. My body grew them. How amazing is that. But even still, I feel like I am not living up to people’s expectations when it comes to my post-partum body.
I think the most important thing we need to remember is that we only need to live up to OUR expectations. No one else. At the end of the day it is YOUR body so rock it.
What we see in the mirror and think of ourselves is not a direct reflection of what others see or think. Stay positive, keep your head up! We’re all beautiful in our own skin!