Now my own title has given me the creeps. This is not supposed to be a creepy blog post.
Okay, creepiness aside, what will it take for everyone to feel comfortable in his/her own skin? What does it take for you to feel comfortable within your skin?
I am fortunate to have a lovely tribe of women who are more family than friends at this point in our collective lives. We may not always communicate perfectly (who does?) but we always continue to communicate. I’m one of the smaller people in the bunch. Really, my doctor has nagged me for years to gain weight. I am small boned. The women in my family are small. In the past, strangers have found it okay to walk up to me and ask me if I’m anorexic…because, you know, my body is everyone else’s business like that.
One of the ladies was talking about weight, as her thyroid had gone on strike, with the associated weight gain involved. As I was listening to her, she asked me “Do you even have any idea what it feels like to look in the mirror and not recognize what you see?!”
My reply was, “You’re not seriously asking me that, are you?”
My body is a crosshatch of scars. Although I will likely never pose for one of those amazing, nude, breast cancer survivor photo shoots (somewhere, a nun who educated me might see it, somehow), I do know exactly what it feels like to look in the mirror and not recognize THAT person.
We change. We grow. We shrink. We fall ill. We wear battle scars of one form or another. All of us do this.
And can’t we learn to love that stranger in the mirror, too?
When did looking the way everyone else expects up to become the norm?
I taught a class to teenagers just two weeks ago, and told them that they need to throw social expectation out the window. I told the girls that they really all can’t look like Blake Lively (I wanted to say Kate Moss, but realized that I’m old, haha) and I told the boys that the pressure on them is to look like Wolverine. I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy fitness and I still don’t want to consume the 6-8 chicken breasts each day required in that kind of training.
But everywhere, we see messages telling us we need to be thin, and tall, and always smiling.
So, who wants to join me in bucking the trend?
Identity is what makes us sexy, I think. Not fat or thin, scarred or unscarred. I’ve made it this far in this body, and I think I ought to love it more and judge it less. Who’s with me?
Happy #Monday, blessings…