I’ve seen a lot of posts lately about an issue that affects women (and some men as well) all over the globe: body image. I thought that because it’s such an important topic in our current society, today, in honor of women’s history month, I’d post my own thoughts on the topic.
The media constantly bombards us with photoshopped pictures of the ideal image of Western beauty– teeny-tiny waist, long thin limbs, unnaturally long necks, a weight of 90 pounds soaking wet, and a ‘natural’ set of size-H boobs. Right. Natural.
And then there are the pictures of ‘fitspo’ and the like floating around the internet, cramming into the feeds of every single social media site in existence, of girls with thigh gaps and stomach bridges and ribs sticking out of their torsos, the majority of them effects of serious eating disorders.
As much as you may try to ignore these pictures and the accompanying comments people make, they have a habit of burrowing into your head and whispering soul-crushing thoughts without your notice until it’s too late.
Everyone has their Kryptonite.
Mine just happens to be my height. It’s the first thing anyone ever notices about me– “You’re so tall,” they say. All I have to do is look in the mirror, but for some reason, people think I’m blind to the fact and that it’s their duty to humankind to alert me to it. When I blush, embarrassed, they rush to say that it’s a good thing. There are people who would kill to be that tall.
But they never say a word about anything else. I would so much rather have people call me smart, overly sarcastic, a hard worker, a good writer . . . anything other than tall. I never had problems with weight or anything like that, but sometimes the full novelty of my height will hit me and all I want to do is shrink to the size of an ant to stop all the comments and exclamations that follow me everywhere I go.
And then I thought, why do I care? If that’s all they notice about me, let them do that. If they can’t see past that shell of a person to what lies beneath, they’re probably shallow and ignorant, and I don’t need those kinds of people in my life. I still have the episodes when all I want to do is hide away and return, but it’s much better now.
So for all you people out there struggling with body image, and even for those of you who aren’t, I want you to take a nice long look in the mirror, face that Kryptonite, and tell yourself that no matter what the world says, you are more than the shell that defines you. You are strong, kind, smart, daring . . . the list goes on forever.
Don’t forget it.