|Three Graces by Sandro Botticelli|
Dear Reader, another week has passed and here I am thinking about what to confess.
I watched a video this week that has made me think about body image. Oh, there is so much to confess here. I should just begin...
I confess, It says I'm 5'8 on my license because when I told the clerk I weighed 125 lbs he wouldn't change my weight. He said, "It's only 5 pounds. I'm going to leave it at 130." So I said, "Fine, I'm 5'8"," which he changed my height to. (I'm actually 5'7 1/2").
I confess I don't actually weigh 125 (and haven't since I was 12), but I have always considered my driver's license weight as a nice place to keep my "goal weight" so I always keep my DL weight 10 lbs lower than what I weigh. (If you do the math you will see I really weigh 135).
I confess that my weight fluctuates about 10 lbs during the year (I'll weigh anywhere from 132-142), when I look in the mirror, I can't tell the difference. I don't know if I'm skinny, curvy or chunky; I only see me.
I confess I was brought up in the 70's with a family of women who had a dysfunctional relationship with weight. I swear, I know females in my family who lived only on Tab soda all summer. It's taken me years to try to change the messages that were given to me as a girlchild and still, sometimes they sneak back in with a weird, "You'd be much happier 5 pounds lighter."
I confess I like chocolate and dessert more than being a size 6.
I confess I refuse to let the culture's obsession with weight, change what my daughter thinks of herself. Because of that, even on what feels like my ugliest days, in all of her life I have made a point never to complain about how I feel about my body or the way I look in front of her. And actually, this small change in my behavior has actually be something that has helped me like my own body better.
I confess I always assumed women in their 30's, 40's, 50's, and above were happy with how they looked. I guess I assumed there was an age you pass where you know longer worry about the size of your hips. ( Note: I have learned to appreciate the size of my hips.)
A friend and I were having a conversation yesterday and laughing about how our bodies are changing and there's really nothing we can do about it except accept it. There's a great satisfaction in knowing that I don't have to worry about whether I look good in a bikini because I'm not putting one on. And it helps me love this body (love the skin that you're living in), because if I don't there's no hope for the body that's on order 20 years from now. And we decided that if someone didn't like us because we weren't a) thin enough b) pretty enough c) young enough etc, then they really wouldn't be someone we'd want in our lives anyway.
I confess when I look at other women, I don't notice their body sizes, I notice what they are passionate about.
Though I confess even as a feminist, as a woman who knows all about all this craziness in our culture that is put on women and their weight, I still am surprised that I care about the number on the scale as much as I do.
This is the video trailer called Killing Us Softly: Advertising's Images on Women (thank you Ren Powell who linked it up on her FB page) that inspired this post. It's a great reminder on how we are fed fake images as real. It's a great reminder that by saying, "I love myself as I am" is the best way to defeat this type of thinking that there is a "perfect body." It's a great reminder that even Cindy Crawford doesn't look like Cindy Crawford.