I grew up as a dancer. I LOVED it (and still do), but with that I was no stranger to body image talk. I remember hearing older girls talk about how they had never gotten their period, how they were told to loose weight, or how fat they felt in their leotard. Thankfully, I did not personally really even notice my body or compare it negatively until I was in high school.
I had taken a break from dancing and decided to get back into the studio. I remember being MUCH more aware of my body (and not in a positive way). I heard girls talk about what they could and couldn’t eat…how they wished they were skinner…
THAT is when I realized I couldn’t just live my life…I had to try and change my body. I heard messages of calorie counting and thankfully didn’t give in (I hate math). But, the idea of trying to exercise IN ORDER TO eat or do ____ seemed to resonate with me. (this idea is COMPLETELY FALSE by the way).
I began to feel the pressure to exercise and eat to please. According to society, a girl must be a certain size, eat a certain amount, eat a certain kind of food, and exercise a certain intensity/regularity to be accepted and to gain approval and satisfaction.
Our society has sneakily told us that the gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan diets are the way that we can achieve peak womanhood. (of course, if you have an actual, medically-diagnosed allergy that is different) No longer are we calling these diets but just lifestyles…reality: they ARE diets and we, as women, should NOT feel the need to diet!
With the ME TOO movement, we should look at the freedom we are expressing and take that into every aspect of our lives. We are beautiful, strong women. We should not feel the need to take out certain foods to be deemed good or to exercise a certain amount to be accepted or to have a certain kind of body or abs to be beautiful and #goals.
What if we believed that each of us, exactly where we are, is beautiful. What if we didn’t look to other women to define beauty but rather looked within ourselves?
What if I told you that your identity and beauty is not dependent on the clothes you wear, the amount of steps you took, the calories you ate or burned, and the body type you have. What if I told you your beauty is so much more? What if I told you: you are golden. Would you believe it?
Well, you are. You are golden. I want you to know that.
Are you friends with someone contingent only on their dress size? No. So don’t put that pressure on yourself.