Being real today. I was working on a “let’s chat” post that developed into this, especially after reading Sarah from Venus Trapped in Mars post yesterday. It’s not often that I write like this, so please be kind.
One of the main things that scared me away from blogging for so long was the bullying. I did not think I looked like bloggers were supposed to look. I read a lot of blogs and the comments some people left turned my stomach. It broke my heart for the women writing, because I knew how I’d feel if I received the same thing. We can all act tough and invincible and bad ass… but words sting. And you never, ever forget the ones that do. If you’ve ever been called fat, or ugly, or stupid, you know words burn an imprint into your memory. We face enough of this in real life; why open up for strangers to see?
We’re taught from a young age to cover our body “flaws” with headlines like “What to Wear to Slim Your Stomach” or “How to Cover Fat Arms” or “How to Disguise Wide Hips” (all REAL headlines, by the way). How can we not feel ashamed? Who decides what is “fat” and what is “normal” (two terms I hate)? WHO is going to tell me that I can’t wear horizontal stripes?
I can’t help but feel that we’re part of the problem. We shame one another for not following a clean diet. We shame each other for drinking a glass of wine or frappuccino or eating a slice of birthday cake. We shame each other for sharing pictures of donuts or for enjoying a pizza and beer with our significant other. We shame each other for not following a strict workout regimen. In turn, we obsess. We weigh our food on scales and wear Fitbits to see how many calories we’ve burned, and beat ourselves up over skipping a workout because we’re sick or tired or want to enjoy a night out. And this isn’t about making excuses: we are not allowing ourselves or each other grace.
Why do we do this to each other? Is it insecurity? Is it jealousy? Are we all assholes? I KNOW I don’t need some jerk commenting that I have a big ass… Look, I know. You actually don’t have to tell me. And if you tell me, I’m going to call down the thunder on someone else. Because that’s how I work as a person- you’re mean, and I’ll be hellish the rest of the day: to my coworkers, to J, to the barista, to the kids in the neighborhood, to the mailman, to the old lady at the grocery. It will set off a domino effect of emotions. And we perpetuate it by writing shitty and passive-aggressive posts on Twitter/Facebook/Blogs about others. I’m actively working to fix this part of myself. I can’t expect others to be conscious of it if I’m not.
One day I was walking in our neighborhood and passed a woman pushing a stroller. It was hot as hell and she was wearing shorts… as she should be. I thought to myself “girlfriend shouldn’t be wearing those shorts!” Why? Because I’m not comfortable wearing shorts? Why should she sweat like Ross in leather pants just so I’M comfortable?
I have been called “thunder thighs” on more occasions than I’d like to recall (in real life). But that is MY body. I work out every day and I will ALWAYS have thick thighs (#thickthighssavelives). I’ll always have wide hips and a big butt. That’s the way God made me and all I can do on this earth is try my damndest to treat my body well.
It has taken me 30 years to get somewhat comfortable with my body, and the work to get there seemed insurmountable.
I hope you don’t feel the need to cover your arms with a sweater when it’s 90 degrees, or wear pants to your child’s baseball game because you hate your legs. I hope none of us live with the mentality that we should apologize for our bodies. If my body makes you uncomfortable, that’s a problem with YOU; NOT me.
A bit heavy for a Friday, no? What are your thoughts?
To end on a fun note, say hello to these beautiful women!
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