I agree completely to the statement above. Girls aren’t born hating themselves/their bodies- we teach them to.  That power- the power to influence someone’s life, we all have it.  We have the choice to negatively or positively affect another person’s life.

I went with my mother to JC Penney’s recently, so she could buy a swimsuit.  I stood outside of the dressing room, and couldn’t help but listen to all of the other people talking in the dressing room.  All I heard were things like: “Ugh, I look awful!”, “I’m too fat”, and “I need to go on a diet”.  I was upset. How could these people all have such a negative attitude towards themselves?! No wonder we grow up hating our bodies! I took a Child Psychology class in high school because, well, it fascinated me.  Have you ever heard of “Monkey see, Monkey do”?  That’s a real thing. We grow up watching every little thing that our parents/elders do, and we start doing the same things.  We soak it all up like sponges.  So, when I stood in the dressing room and heard all of the awful things people were saying it upset me because of the battle I’ve had with my own body.  I grew up hating my body, and the thought that my niece could go through that scared the hell out of me.  I grew up wanting to look like the people in the magazines. You know those tall, skinny, airbrushed people on the covers that don’t really exist… (Because let’s be real here, perfect doesn’t exist.)  I was never enough for myself, and feared that I wouldn’t be enough for anyone else.  Those fears came to life when a family member told me, “If you just lost a little weight, then you’d be the prettiest girl in your class.”  That crushed me. That same person then would go on to give me dieting pamphlets multiple times.  This started before I even hit puberty. So, no wonder I grew up having such a negative relationship with my own body.  I bought into it. I believed what someone else wanted me to for such a long time.  I am just now starting to have a body positive relationship with myself.  I am enough.  I am strong, and have a good heart.  The shape of my body doesn’t determine who I am as an individual.  *Mind blown* I determine who I am as a person, and I am choosing to be great. I am choosing to accept me for me. I don’t just work out to change my body. I make the choice to go to the gym to be able to live my life the way I want to live it. I do it to be physically and mentally strong, and to be the best that I can be.  My body changing is just a perk of it.  My whole life isn’t about being skinny and perfect.  Being able to accept me for me is huge, and I am proud of the things I am learning and accomplishing on this journey.  I hope that on this journey I am able to be a positive influence for someone.  I want to be the person in the dressing room that says, “DAMN, LOOK AT ME! I’M BEAUTIFUL!” Sounds super cheesy, but it might rub off on someone and give them a different perspective when it comes to their own body.  That would be something incredible.

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