I've been thinking about Body Image for awhile. It's a hot topic; body image, body positivity, acceptance. It's now hot to love your body. "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.", "Strong is the new skinny", "thigh gaps", "thigh brows", "nobody ever made a song about a flat ass"...the commentary on women's bodies is endless but there is a common thread, and that is us and our acceptance of such commentary.
At what stage did we give away the control of how we feel about our bodies to third parties?
We post pictures online to "boost our confidence" but that confidence is a lie based on red hearts. Today, being fit and strong is on trend and if you happen to fall into that bracket, then "Woohoo!", its your day baby! But what if you don't? Where two years ago, your naturally slim self was in vogue, now you need to go squat because you "have no ass", or eat more because you're too skinny. What's going to be the body shape of 2020? Two years ago, my athletic body was "too much" and "manly", now it's acceptable...for now anyway.
Here's what we need to do? Self confidence cannot be manufactured at the gym or on social media, self confidence stems from much larger issues than whether you fit into that dress you bought a couple of summers ago; it comes from your character, it comes from your talent and from achieving great things. It does not come from likes, that's short term satisfaction.
We need to learn to love our bodies for what they are; this magnificent vessel that transports around our mind and our character; this mass of bone, muscle, fat, water and organs can achieve so much if it stops worrying so much about how it looks, and more on what it can do. I've seen women deadlift twice their body weight, run ultramarathons, given birth, save lives, teach, campaign, make incredible changes to our planet, to name but a teenie fraction of our abilities, yet somehow we manage to let such a trivial matter of a flat stomach or a peachy ass consume our every thought, our every move and action. We are so much more than that.
Now while, I believe so strongly in everything I have said today, I of course know it's easier said then done. I too, somedays, check out myself in the mirror and feel down and crappy or the opposite when someone on instagram gives me a compliment but we have to take our bodies back. How we feel about our bodies cannot be governed by whether a magazine happens to be in our corner this month, it has to be governed by ourselves.
We are enough.
- Love Melissa x