It’s been an interesting week to say the least.
First on Monday we had a new moon which was rooted in bringing up old wounds and issues (if you found yourself emotional about things that you thought were in the past, that’s why). Then we had international women’s day (and March is women’s history month, well deserved). Lastly, there was the “Lane Bryant Commercial Scandal” where a commercial showing plus-sized women was pulled from television after being deemed “indecent”. Oh, and then a nude Kim K selfie…. but that happens so often that it’s not really news.
The main theme surrounding all these events are centred around one thing – body image. Body image means exactly as it sounds, it’s the image we have of our bodies. As we know from science and physics, images are virtual. They aren’t really there, they are what we “see”, or what we perceive as our brains try to make sense of the world. Hence our opinion of our body, or our image, is completely construed by our past life experiences and cognitive thought (as our brains try to make sense of things). So if body image is truly a product of our perception, why in such an accepting world is a bigger body seen in a negative light?
To understand this, we need to look and critique the world around us and past experience. As we were growing up (and now thankfully, things are changing), we were told to “put on a pretty face” and look well in order to be accepted by society. Evolution taught us that the most desirable females are young and pretty because they provide viable offspring (and strong men are desirable because they can provide for the safety of that offspring). Past self-esteem issues were past on to us from our mothers, and enforced by the plastification and objectification of the world view (hence why Victoria secret models half naked are sexy but seeing a mother breast-feed is disgusting… you can’t objectify breasts when they are feeding a child!). Really the negativity is out of fear. Fear for what others think and fear of having to be more than how we look, to show vulnerability and our true identity.
Through my schooling I was taught that sometimes weight is used as a protective mechanism, to shield a women from vulnerability. If emotions were withheld then they would accumulate as weight (which has scientific validity as stress leads to weight gain and inflammation, and withheld emotion can cause thyroid dysfunction and weight gain). And weight is really in the eye of the beholder. I use to pass judgement on thinner people who would complain about their weight (even though they were of normal BMI). But after seeing how much pain this thought would cause them, and how much hurt would consume them, I don’t anymore. They would berate and treat themselves the exact same way I use to when I was younger… and no one should feel that way about themselves. We should love ourselves unconditionally. Unconditionally means without conditions! That means loving ourselves regardless of how we are, or how we perceive ourselves to be, physically.
Beauty is truly one size fits all. The most beautiful thing you can wear is a smile, and the best thing you can walk out the door in is confidence. It’s not how your body looks, but how you feel about your mind/body/spirit which is important. The more we respect ourselves and our bodies, the kinder we will be to others and less judgemental we will be. Let’s write a new history for women this month – one of loving ourselves unconditionally and being confident in who we are as people.
Happy women’s month everyone!