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Friday, 4 January 2013

Body Image

A blogging friend of mine has recently written a post about body image and the way that the world will tell you you're not good enough.

She has a beautiful slim figure and I have always admired how nice she looks, often thinking if I could just look like that... I hadn't realised that she was subjected to cruel bullying when she was younger for her body type, or that it used to be such an issue for her.

Whilst we were talking, I told her I have always had body image issues myself but from the other end of the spectrum. Always being referred to as the "big girl" in our family - my sister was always slim and had comments about how her figure was so nice. In our family weight has always been the big joke, although we are a family who like our food, it was constantly topic of conversation. I just learnt to joke off any comments but inside it started getting to me more and more.

Being larger at school that the other girls, I was always very self conscious. I was told by certain people that I couldn't wear some of the fashionable clothes because I didn't really have the "right figure" and so they wouldn't suit me. The popular girls were always enviably skinny and I was just in a group of friends who were neither cool or uncool.

In hindsight, I was perfectly healthy and not overweight in the slightest - I simply didn't go through the stage that some girls have when they are young of being very slender. I admit, over the years I have put weight on for one reason or another, and I am determined to get down to a healthy weight before I get too much older and it becomes increasingly difficult.

I have always loved a particular recent fashion for leggings and denim skirts, and when I mentioned a while ago to someone close to me that I quite fancied getting this combo, the response was less than complimentary. "You haven't really got the legs for it" and the phase "tree trunks" was uttered!!!!

This person didn't mean any harm, but has been someone who I think wished I looked like my sister! Recently my sister has gone from a very skinny and unhealthy (for her body) size 8/10 to a size 14/16. She seems completely unhappy with her new figure but as for all of us, this is because of what the world portrays as perfection.

I was never made to be slim, it's just not my body type, but I recognise that it is time to get healthier. I am not so caught up in body issues, but the emotion and insecurity still lurks underneath, usually brought to the surface by someones lack of tact or meant-well comments.

It is so important to bring our children up in a loving environment, not bringing any doubt into their lives that you love them any less if they are different from everyone else. But let's face it, EVERYONE is different, that's the beauty of how God created us, but I think the world has nurtured this culture that we will never be happy with how we are.

We have a duty to our bodies to be healthy and active, and take care of what God has given us. And we have a duty to ourselves to celebrate our individuality and learn to love what we have. It's not always easy, especially if you have received negative comments before.

I agree with my friend, it would be great to change the world's expectations for the next generation and protect our children from experiencing this. Speak words of love and encouragement to your children, friends and family. Keep in check your own thoughts of body image, and make sure that you look in the mirror with thanks... I know I'm not alone when I say I am still working on that one!

Let's change the expectations in our own homes, and send our children - the next generation - out into the world equipped to change it.

Oh, and just so you know... last week I went out and bought some leggings and a denim skirt!!!

1 comment:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with every word! Well said! x


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